SAN FRANCISCO — The number of companies engaged in the marketing technology space has climbed to more than 3,500 in the last year, according to marketing technologist Scott Brinker.

Brinker, founder of ChiefMartec and chair of MarTech: The Marketing Tech Conference, gave a startling visual representation of those companies in his latest Marketing Technology Landscape. The number of companies included on the supergraphic jumped from 150 in 2011, the first year Brinker produced it, to nearly 2,000 last year.

The companies involved in this growing technology run the gamut in terms of their area of focus, such as sales automation, content marketing and display advertising.

Brinker made the big reveal here today at the start of MarTech, a two-day event that draws together company executives, analysts, marketing technologists, data scientists, digital strategists and marketers of all stripes.

Brinker's Supergraphic (click to expand) divides the massive number of marketing technology companies into key categories, including:

  • Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence (220)
  • Social Media Marketing & Monitoring (186)
  • Display & Programmatic Advertising (180)
  • Marketing Automation & Campaign/Lead Management (161)
  • Content Marketing (160)

Scott Brinker's Marketing Tech Landscape Supergraphic 2016

The graphic lists some companies in more than one category, if appropriate.

"The reality is for so many of the companies I talk to, they're dealing with multi-platform environments," Brinker said.

He's found that the "one platform to rule them all" model hasn't turned out to be the case as marketing operations have to juggle multiple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Integration Platforms-as-a-Service (IPaas) model.

More companies are exploring IPaaS options to connect their marketing technology to a common data exchange backbone

"My hope is we're reaching peak MarTech," he said in reference to growth of companies in this space. However, he believes the adoption of marketing technology is going to expand significantly.

Martech conference‚Äč

Brinker also advocated a concept he called, "bimodal marketing." In essence, companies should look at their marketing operation in two parts: a core and edge.

Many innovations are explored on the edge — a place where companies can try out new ideas that may not come to fruition. The core is the base of successful operations that are furthering proven marketing concepts. While his suggestion was a 70/30 division in favor of the core, he said the right mix will vary by company.

"Think of these as two separate parts of our organization, and manage them in slightly different ways with slightly different metrics. And it's ok if some of the stuff on the edge doesn’t make it into the core," he said.