It seems as if every few weeks there’s a new trend in marketing technology. All you have to do is check Scott Brinker’s blog on the MarTech landscape to see the massive expansion in the sector. Where does MarTech begin and end? Which enterprise technologies truly belong in MarTech? As we break down the classic silos between IT and Marketing, and use technology to redefine the spheres in which the two operate, the answer becomes both more nuanced and more comprehensive.
In other words: MarTech is eating the enterprise software world. What’s an enterprise software vendor to do?
Breathe. The first step is acceptance.
No Matter How Hard You Run, You Can’t Outrun Progress
At the rate MarTech is expanding, it’s very unlikely that any vendor can outrun market demand for all MarTech capabilities. In just this past year, the number of MarTech companies on Brinker’s landscape has doubled from 2014, rising to nearly 2,000 in 2015. That’s 2,000 different tools, currently divided into more than 40 categories.
As an industry, we’re well past discussing whether to take MarTech seriously. We recognize that it’s here, it’s in demand and, if we want to serve our customers, it’s going to transform our roadmaps. The question is: How do we respond?
We all talk about being responsive and agile. But agility is not synonymous with knee-jerk reactions. As a co-founder and CMO, the last thing I want to see is a product team asked to pivot our roadmap in a different direction each time a new category is added to the MarTech landscape. Simply put, it’s not a sustainable strategy for delivering quality software.
No Vendor Is an Island
As the poet says, no man is an island. Well, no enterprise is an island either. Any vendor that claims it can do everything on its own is delusional, or not paying attention. Sure, some vendors will try to acquire all emerging tools and platforms, but this approach leads to inflated prices for customers that prefer an incremental approach to scaling their solutions. It also limits clients’ choices in terms of which solutions to work with.
Integration Is Your Friend
To succeed in the market, and make our clients truly succeed, we vendors need to work together. CMS, CRM, Marketing Automation, Customer Service — together these specialized, best-of-breed technologies can ensure that no part of the customer’s MarTech ecosystem is a missing link.
Do What You Do, and Do It Well
To remain truly innovative, you can’t be jumping onto every new trend and idea that flows through the industry. Don’t try to be the new kid on the block every time a new MarTech element is published. Instead, innovate in your own niche, your own segment or category, and be ready to work with new systems and new platforms in finding ways to serve evolving customers together.