In five years, all marketing will mobile-centric, according to Ashu Garg, general partner at Menlo Park, Calif.-based Foundation Capital

headshot of ashu garg

“Mobile is going to change everything. The startups that are mobile-first are going to win the battle," Garg told CMSWire. 

Garg’s comments come as the company closed its eighth fund, FC8. The early-stage fund is worth $325 million for the 20-year-old company. Of the more than 100 companies in Foundation’s portfolio, 17 of them are MarTech firms. Foundation Capital has invested $240 million in what it deems as the MarTech/AdTech sector. Some of the companies include Responsys, TubeMogul, Localytics and AdRoll.

$120B in 10 Years

Garg stands by his prediction earlier this year that MarTech will be a $120 billion yearly industry within 10 years. He also banks on his five keys to unlocking the decade of the CMO:

  • CMOs will continue to invest in software that reliably shows the ROI on marketing spend
  • CMOs will be data nerds
  • Content marketing is the new advertisement
  • Providing truly unique experiences will be a marketing advantage
  • Marketers will be sales closers

“Those themes remain consistent for us,” Garg told CMSWire. “The layer I would add is we are now exploring how mobile is changing marketing broadly and changing each of these five things. Mobile cuts across all of these and is a big piece of our strategy. All marketing will be mobile-centric in five years.”

2015 Mobile Action

Though some companies still have obstacles to effective mobile marketing, Garg cited one company in the Foundation Capital portfolio, Localytics, as an example of a longterm survivor in the space

Learning Opportunities

“They are a mobile-first analytics, and on top of that added marketing automation and personalization capabilities,” Garg said. “The web world was built on the notion of page views where the mobile world doesn’t have that concept of page views. That one simple change changes everything how you think about the product, technology and infrastructure. Mobile-first startups in MarTech are the future.”

This year, there was a lot of mobile marketing activity among MarTech providers. Teradata scooped up Appoxee in January. Swrve last month acquired Newport Beach, Calif.-based mobile analytics provider Tag management provider Ensighten last month claimed to make mobile analytics easy in a new release. Google, meanwhile, earlier this fall stepped in to ensure all mobile marketing companies are behaving with the best interest of the consumer in mind.

Video Helps Mobile Star

When you add video and content marketing possibilities to mobile, Garg said, you’ve got an even greater marketing opportunity.

“Marketers are taking the traditional 30-second TV ad and moving it to online video,” Garg said. “It’s a massive multi-billion opportunity. At the same time there’s a shift from paid advertising to brands creating unique content that not only informs but entertains and educates. Brands are creating content and leveraging content being created in social media and by customers. They’re reusing it to build authentic presence, and new video platforms enable brands to do that.”

Garg and Foundation Capital also target virtual reality (VR) as a “nascent” but impact trend. He noted that VR is where mobile was seven years ago. And a release by VR provider Oculus expected in early 2016 will will be “what the iPhone was to mobile in 2007.”

Title image by Igor Ovsyannykov

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