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The 2022 martech landscape shows the space growing towards 10,000 solutions

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The 2022 martech landscape shows the space growing towards 10,000 solutions

2022 Martech Landscape

There’s a good reason you feel overwhelmed by the marketing technology out there. Actually, there are 9,932 reasons. That’s the number of martech solutions currently available, up from 8000 two years ago, according to the 2022 Marketing Technology Landscape,

Two years after publishing his last marketing technology landscape graphic, HubSpot’s VP platform ecosystem Scott Brinker has partnered with Frans Riemersma of Martech Tribe to create a new edition.

What conclusions do they draw from this?

The space is still growing. COVID-19 had produced initial consternation in the marketing tech community. “Would this crisis be the catalyst for consolidating if not out right collapsing the vast and vibrant martech vendor universe?” write Brinker and Riemersma. The answer, we now know, was that accelerated pressure to digitize businesses would be good news for the martech industry.

They estimate the landscape has grown 24% since the 2020 edition — and a staggering 5,233% since the first edition in 2011. “The drive to deliver better digital customer experiences and streamline digital business operations accelerated the demand for martech and inspired a new wave of startups in the space,” they write.

But there is consolidation. There were almost 1,000 exits from the space in the last two years, representing acquisitions or other business transformations, or simply failures. Many acquisitions were significant, with almost 40 $100-million-plus deals last year. Still, Brinker and Riemersma estimate acquisitions represent only about 2% of the total landscape.

Why we care. While the expansion in the space is entirely real, it is also somewhat illusory. There is no questioning the numbers. Yes, new apps are appearing all the time; yes, that trend is partly fueled by the pandemic-driven acceleration in digital transformation. And, as the authors shrewdly observe, it’s also driven by martech stacks becoming a plethora of specialist apps integrated with one or more consolidated platform. As platforms consolidate, they become willing hosts to app partners (HubSpot has doubled its number of app partners since the pandemic began.)

But there’s no reason to expect the technology market to behave like other traditional markets — not since the cloud came along anyway. Barriers to entry topple for products like SaaS software, which require no manufacture, warehousing or physical distribution. One might imagine a technology company (marketing or otherwise) as a fully staffed operation selling a range of products. Another valid description might be two people with a laptop, an internet connection and an idea. And why not? But it makes one wonder how much of the admittedly long tail of the martech space is made up of those kinds of companies. No wonder it’s a long tail.


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The landscape looks different. The landscape Brinker has been helming since 2011 became a sufficiently iconic visual representation of the space that it’s worth commenting on major design changes evident in the latest versions. The solutions are still grouped into categories (49), but are no longer represented by a tapestry of company logos. Instead, the grid is made up of “favicons” or website icons pulled from company websites.

As for which categories have shown most growth since 2020, content and experience (34%) and commerce and sales (24%) trailed management, which saw a whopping 67% growth. However, is a management tool that can be used equally by marketing, HR or accounting, still martech?


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

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Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This

When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”

My answer? “Yes!”

Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.

When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.

“What outcomes?” you might ask.

Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.

Now you have the real conundrum.

You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.

The most important thing isn’t to whom #content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s tricky.

Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge

Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.

For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.

When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”

The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.

Knowing where a #content project is assigned determines its development process, implementation owner, and success metric, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?

Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.

To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.

3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process

As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.

1. Develop a content operations backbone

I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.

Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.

2. Connect with the audience across platforms

You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.

In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.

3. Build an accountability framework

This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.

At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.

An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.

Start your content decisions by deciding together

Where should you begin?

Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.

A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.

It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.

In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.

It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?

But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)

If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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