The 2022 Martech Map contains 9932 solutions across 49 categories. It's a map you can't look at directly any longer - it's just too big. So this year, Scott Brinker and Frans Riemersma built a new engine to help us visualize the space. The map is interactive, and living, regularly updated as new vendors and solutions enter the market and exit the market (either through acquisition or end of life).
There was no map in 2021, and some may have thought that the pandemic would have slowed things down a bit, but they were wrong. Since 2020, the space has grown over 25%, an even larger growth than between 2019 and 2020. According to the report, there were 972 exits and 2904 new or newly discovered entrants.
There are six primary categories for marketing technology, and they have all grown over the last two years. The most significant growth rate was in the management category at 67%, likely due to the shift to remote working and new hybrid models. The Content & Experience category (the largest category overall) grew by 34% with 656 new entrants, followed by Commerce and Sales at 25% (309 entrants). The slowest growing category was Data at only 7% (88 entrants).
A few more interesting points in the report:
- Europe developed 50% more DAM and MRM products
- The US developed 61% more ABM products
- There are 379 martech vendors headquartered in the Netherlands
- Consolidations are only 2% of the total landscape
More revealing is a marketing technology growth rate of 5,233% over the last ten years. In 2011 there were only150 vendors on the martech landscape map.
A few things are happening that are driving the increase in marketing applications. A lot of it centers around making it much easier to create applications through the opening of platforms and the creation of app marketplaces, to no-code development tools.
With the increase in options comes frustration from marketers who feel overwhelmed and aren't always sure how to select the best technology for their stack or how it all fits together. In another report, From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution: Survival of the Quickest, 57% of marketers strongly or partially agreed that "The marketing technology landscape is very confusing and it's hard to know how different products fit together."
The martech hype cycle pattern
Selecting the right technologies for a marketing technology stack is a continual work in progress, and the report talks about the process looking like the well-known hype cycle pattern.
The idea here is that companies determine they need some capability, so they purchase technology to get it before they have the resource skills and the processes to implement it. Unfortunately, it's the technology before the strategy approach that seldom works and leads to frustration or disillusionment and the de-investing in technology.
Then, there's a slow climb back up as companies start to think more strategically about what they need to do and implement a plan that includes training and processes around the capability and the associated technology.
A good marketing operations function is not only about understanding the technology and how it works together, however. It's also about understanding the marketing strategy from a customer and communications perspective.
I interviewed Moni Oloyede, the Director, Marketing Infrastructure at Fidelis Cybersecurity, for the Content Matters podcast, and we talked about the intersection of marketing operations and content strategy. Oloyede is not only a seasoned marketing technologist but an expert in digital marketing strategies. She talked about the importance of marketing technologists needing to understand the communications and content strategy side of marketing and technology. Without that understanding, it's impossible to succeed with your technology implementations, she argued:
It's the old adage of left brain, right brain. Technology is the left brain, and the creative is the right brain. And it's hard to find someone who embodies both of them well. Normally, you have a technologist who's good at the technology, and they put all the integrations together, and they can think, three, four steps ahead about if you do this, this is what is going to fail, and this is going to go wrong. They're very process-oriented people.
Oloyede said that marketing technologists also need to understand the business side of marketing. They need to know who the customer is and what marketing is trying to do to communicate with that customer. They need to understand what their company does. What she's found is that is often not the case, and she sees it as a recipe for disaster.
I think that goes along with the idea of implementing technology for technology's sake. We need to understand why we want a piece of technology, how it will support our marketing activities, and where it fits in the bigger picture of the marketing stack and the strategy overall. That understanding is what marketing operations can bring to the table to ensure the technology is right-fit.
There is a lot of long-tail technology in the new martech map; some are purpose-built to integrate with specific platforms and marketplaces, while others are built as standalone options for small to mid-size companies. As a result, there is a lot involved in deciding which technology to select and how it fits with other foundational technologies (if it integrates at all).
Many companies are doing a good job building a solid martech stack, quickly trying new apps and pulling them out if they don’t perform as expected. But there are just as many who struggle to figure out that proper fit and getting the technology right is only part of the problem.