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Scott Brinker News & Analysis

Does So Much #MarTech Make You Want to Scream?

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Listen to your customers. Innovate without restriction. Embrace marketing technology to bridge the gap between marketing and IT.

And then just throw up your hands and sigh. Or scream.

Because there are more products in more categories — from CRM and e-commerce to content marketing and sales enablement — than even the most perceptive marketing technologist can wrap her head around.

This was the reality that more than 1,000 participants grappled with at the two-day MarTech conference in San Francisco this week.

The marketing software vendor landscape is twice as big as it was last year. Gerry Murray of IDC, one of the conference speakers, estimated that the worldwide market for marketing software was more than $20 billion last year — and will grow to more than $32 billion in 2018.

But as we've told you before, bigger isn't necessarily better. And more choices rarely make the marketer's job easier, contrary to popular misconception.

How Do You Make Sense of Too Much #MarTech?

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Scott Brinker probably didn't shock any participants at the MarTech conference in San Francisco this week.

In fact, it seemed, he reiterated a lot of what they already know.

The marketing technology landscape is evolving rapidly. There are twice as many companies in the space now — nearly 2,000 — than last year. MarTech is a hot topic in the business world. 

But Brinker, co-founder and chief technology officer of ion interactive, the author of the Chief Marketing Technologist blog and a CMSWire contributing author, seemed to get their attention anyway.

“Marketing today isn't about getting buyers to picture your narrative. It's about getting them to experience it,” he said.

And that's really what the two-day conference was: It was an experience, a chance to bring together more than 1,000 delegates and 65 exhibitors to share problems, solutions and ideas about a cluttered tech space.

Customer Experience Is in Urgent Need of a Fix #MarTech

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Marketing and technology professionals joined forces this week at the MarTech Conference to reimagine what’s possible in the customer experience (CX) world and to share tips on how to win hearts, minds and sustainable transactions. More than 1,100 people attended, which was double the number at the inaugural event held in Boston six months ago.

The two day event included an impressive variety of participants, a balance between marketing and technology topics and a touch of March Madness and April Fools' themes. The single-track format was ideal to take in the breadth of the program.

Basketball coach John Wooden's quote, featured in one of the presentations, provided the best context for the event: 

Never mistake activity for achievement." 

When 2 Worlds Collide: Marketing, IT Come Together at #MarTech

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The best products or services are only as good as the tools you have to market them effectively. That's a simple business reality, and one MarTech — the marketing technology conference — seeks to address.

Promoted as a vendor-agnostic forum, the second MarTech conference will take place tomorrow and Wednesday in San Francisco.

More than 1,000 delegates and 65 exhibiting companies will attend the event. The conference offers insight about marketing technologies and ways to integrate them into marketing strategies and operations

The inaugural MarTech conference was in Boston last year.

Too Many Apps: The New World of Information Overload

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“Did you see my post on Yammer?”

“I didn’t see your comments; didn’t you see my email?”

“I knew you wouldn’t see my email, so I sent you a text message … and a WhatsApp message”

“I was waiting for your call; didn’t you see my LinkedIn update?”

It’s only Monday, but I am already behind. I periodically checked email over the weekend. I thought I could short-circuit the stress of dealing with too many messages on Monday morning, but checking email is not enough anymore. Because while I kept my Inbox empty, I didn't keep up with LinkedIn, Twitter and Yammer … and I missed some important developments. 

Avoid Impulse Buys when Shopping for Marketing Technology

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My wife's shopping approach is pretty simple: she sees something she wants and buys it.

And, if one of her friends has it, that's a no-brainer. She needs it, too.

Marketers can't be like my wife when choosing technology. As they stare into the 1,876-vendor abyss, marketers need to do a little homework and always remember their organization's business strategy.

"My advice is to step back and take a fresh view, using tools like @chiefmartec’s landscape," said Scott Vaughan, CMO at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Integrate. "Good planning always starts with defining business strategy and customer goals and needs. You can then utilize what other tech-driven transformations have used -- create a 'blueprint' by taking inventory of current systems, processes and data flow."

Honey, Did We Shrink the Marketing Technology Landscape?

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Don't be intimidated by Scott Brinker's latest marketing technology landscape.

Many of the 1,876 vendors will fold, others will merge and be acquired and the landscape will shrink because of it, some industry players told CMSWire.

"Many will fail," said Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.

"In the Wild West, new vendors are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Not all of these work -- look at Facebook storefronts for example -- and some will flop spectacularly. Caveat emptor, there are many snake oil salesman promising the earth. Look for a solid measurable return-on-investment (ROI) that you can prove before committing."

The Marketing Tech Landscape Isn't As Scary As You Think

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"Please, make the bad chart go away," I've heard more than one marketer plead.

I've been mapping the marketing technology landscape for the past five years. It's mostly a labor of love. I'm fascinated by how this space is evolving -- both the technologies and the strategies of the firms who build them. And as the co-founder of a marketing technology company, I have a vested interest in understanding our positioning in the larger world of marketing software.

My intention in sharing it was to illustrate just how much marketing has become a technology-powered discipline. I hoped it might impart a sense of awe for all the incredible innovation that's out there.

But the most common emotion it stirs is, well, terror. It's often incorporated into presentations with the intention of frightening people. "Look at how scary the marketing technology landscape is!" That's a shame, because it's really not as scary as it looks.

Marketing Tech Landscape: 'Inspiring, Frightening' [Infographic]

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Almost 2,000 technology demos and requests for proposals. Why not? Your team can handle it.

The landscape for marketing technology has exploded in the past year, nearly doubling to more than 1,800 software vendors.

Scott Brinker is the guy who's chronicled this tech climb. He's the author of the Chief Marketing Technology Blog, organizer of the Marketing Technology Conference and the co-founder and chief technology officer for Boston-based ion interactive. 

But he may as well be the Godfather of Marketing Technology, the man who has boldly gone where no other marketing tech industry person has gone -- diving into this crowded landscape and discovering a space as crowded as sardines.

"It's somewhere between wonderfully inspiring and downright frightening," Brinker told CMSWire.

IBM or Twitter: Who Needed the Deal More?

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IBM posted disappointing quarterly revenues last month. Twitter hasn't found a way to make good money.

They needed a boost, and they hope it's each other.

But who needed who more?

"That’s arguable. Both need to can some lightning," said Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum Research.

"For Twitter it's the need for another path to market where they don’t have to compete with the Facebook colossus head-on. For IBM, this is entirely consistent with directions such as Watson where it is striving to establish cognitive computing as the new de facto enterprise solutions building block."

Part II: Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud? What Practitioners Say

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Scott Brinker's marketing technology landscape graphic is the face of the space. It captured plenty of air time at Brinker's first Marketing Technology Conference in Boston this week.

Isaac Wyatt built his very own marketing technology landscape at New Relic, a San Francisco-based real-time application monitoring platform. It includes the approximate 30 technologies he uses to get his job done.

Sums it up, right? More than 1,000 digital marketing platforms in more than 40 categories. At the heart of it all is the "buy vs. build your marketing cloud" debate, sparked this week at #MarTech by presenter Travis Wright, chief growth officer for MediaThinkLabs.

Yesterday, we caught up with vendors on buy vs. build. Today, we conclude our series with marketing veterans who have had to face the question themselves.

Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud?

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Nearly 400 attended the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston this week to make sense of the more than 1,000 digital marketing technologies in more than 40 categories available today.

Bottom line: marketers want digital technology that works for their organizations. Easily, the most bantered about topic these past two days in Boston boiled down to one question:

Buy or build your marketing cloud?

Much like a little tea party here in this city 241 years ago, you had your division at #MarTech this week. 

Today, in the first of a two-part series, we catch up with the guy who got the debate going and two providers who sell marketing technology. To conclude the series, we'll talk to digital marketers who've had to make the buy versus build decision.

What Digital Marketers Really Think #MarTech

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Remember the Mel Gibson flick "What Women Want?"  The gist: Mel's character gets blessed with the ability to hear what women think.

We're kinda getting that power here in Boston today at the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel. Only we're hearing what digital marketers think.

And so far, we've discovered two things they love to hear. First, that they can adapt to new technologies. Second, they are working well with IT professionals, despite what some may think

Feed the Marketing Automation Machine with Interactive Content

2014-26-June-Hungry-Gator.jpgMarketing automation is a powerful technology. But to extract the most value out of it, you need two things: 1. content that magnetically attracts your audience -- both initially and throughout your nurturing program -- and 2. data that reveals the specific interests and characteristics of each prospect.

Without that, marketing automation is a blender with nothing to blend.

Segmentation Is About to Get Interesting

2014-30-May-Halloween.jpgFor marketers willing to ask the question, “Who is my customer?” the response now comes as billions of data points. Few of these fit into the neat set of demographics that once defined marketing. It’s age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams and much much more. Understanding this deluge of data -- and the people or segments they represent -- means a whole new way of understanding customers.

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