Let’s just put it this way: I did a helluva lot better in those predictions than I am currently doing in my March Madness brackets (Middle Tennessee…really?) Before I begin, nice job Scott, on completing another massive undertaking. And getting to announce it at an event getting rave reviews? Double awesome – congrats!
Down to business. What do we have here? Three thousand eight hundred and seventy four companies grace the 2016 ChiefMartTech Supergraphic (side note: Skittles may want to be a sponsor for his bad boy going forward because if you can’t #tastetherainbow…just saying). Nearly 4,000 solutions (87% growth compared to the 2015 edition), representing 49 categories of marketing tech, re-organized this year into six main categories: advertising & promotion, content & experience, social & relationships, commerce & sales, data, and management.
Here’s what I predicted we’d see back in February:
- More companies, more categories. I give myself an A- on this because while I predicted that we’d see at least 2,300 logos, we ended up with 50% more than that. I also said we’d see 4 net new categories so I got that right (43 in 2015 and 49 in 2016) though I think Scott’s rearrangement of the categories tells a much richer story than that there are more.
- Growth will be primarily in data-driven categories. B+. I based this hunch on how valuable customer data is today. We hear constantly from our marketing clients that they are grappling with multiple data problems: incomplete data sets or partial views of their customers; access that isn’t real-time; and/or data that is interesting but hard to act on. This year, there are 9 purely data-based categories in the Supergraphic, including the new arrival of a pure-play “predictive analytics” bucket as well as the division of data management platforms and customer data platforms into two (which we agree with wholeheartedly and you can see why here). In addition to the CDP bucket, there’s an “iPaaS, cloud/data integration & tag management” category which staunchly reinforces Brinker’s observation that the ability now exists for “empowered marketers to select “best of breeds” solutions and avoid vendor lock-in with a single marketing technology provider — and, indeed, many are now successfully embracing that more open and heterogenous approach.
- MarTech as a category is seeking equilibrium. There’s a nice illustration that summarizes this one in Scott’s post:
I’ll knock my grade here as a B just because any space that shows almost triple digit expansion over a year isn’t really as close to equilibrium as I’d expect. But the point that there’s a sizable middle providing stability while there’s extraordinary activity as companies come and go make marketing tech a dynamic and exciting place to be for the foreseeable future.
More thoughts to come on this I’m sure but for now, I’ll be content with a B+/A- average and see if I can step up my game next time!