As shown in the graphic below, the number of marketing technology vendors identified by Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com nearly doubled from 947 in January 2014 to 1876 companies across 43 categories in January 2015. Although some of this growth can be attributed to better research, as Brinker freely admits in his blog post on the subject, the simple fact is that this chart represents a staggering number of companies in a technology segment that barely existed a few years ago.
Does the explosion of marketing technologies cause you fear or excitement?
For many marketers, the thought of nearly 2,000 companies that need to be evaluated and potentially added to the marketing mix at some level is a rather large source of distress. The world of marketing technology would appear to be evolving and changing so fast that no organization can possibly keep up.
But in reality it isn’t the growth of marketing technologies that should be keeping you up at night. The more relevant question is whether your company is in a position to take advantage of the innovation represented by the marketing technology landscape. “When applied in the service of a well-organized, strategically-sound, executive-led digital transformation effort, these technologies are your friend,” writes Brinker. “They can imbue your organization with superhero powers.”
Helping companies achieve digital transformation and to use marketing technologies more effectively was one of the more important motivations for our recently launched Corporate Content Cloud initiative. The plain truth is companies need to have the right infrastructure in place before any of these new technologies will start to live up to their full potential.
Many of the marketing technologies Brinker identifies are complementary to each and often not interchangeable. This is not to say, however, that they should live in isolation. Arguably, their greatest value comes when they are linked to other marketing technologies with the common goal of improving the customer experience.
In the interest of moving on to other topics, let’s just agree that marketing technology suites are dead. Stick a fork in them and move on. With such a vast amount of innovation going on, it’s simply not possible for a single vendor to keep pace. By definition, the only way you’re going to be able to mine the marketing technology landscape for gold is with a best-of-breed strategy. Using a best-of-breed approach, you can select the absolute best technologies for your needs with the confidence that they can be easily made to work together. This is because best-of-breed vendors look for ways to make integration easy and to partner with other best-of-breed vendors.
Here at e-Spirit, we have always pursued best-of-breed. We make one product that we are committed to ensuring stays at the top of the heap of content management systems and that plays nicely with other systems and applications that our customers want and need. Take e-commerce as an example. We have the technical know-how to build a capable e-commerce system. But instead of going that route, with have invested in the best integration possible with all the top e-commerce solutions available. This gives our customers the flexibility to select the right e-commerce platform for their needs.
The Corporate Content Cloud initiative embraces best-of-breed. It provides a roadmap for how companies can integrate marketing technologies to connect people, systems and applications, access real-time data and publish content with total accuracy and relevancy across all channels and devices at every touchpoint of the customer journey.
In my next post, I will look at the building blocks of a Corporate Content Cloud.