It’s a new decade — and time for a new approach to the marketing technology landscape.
Those are the TL;DR links above. Here’s the story of what we’re doing and where it’s headed…
When I started that exercise back in 2011, it was a bit of work to research and catalog ~150 martech companies. Oh, man, I had no idea the beast that project was going to become. It didn’t just double, or triple, or even quadruple in size.
It grew more than 4,500%, within only 8 years.
I’ve spilled a ton of digital ink on the industry dynamics of that phenomenon over the years. (Most recently: Is martech headed for its dot-com moment in 2020?) But I’ve always believed that the empirical data itself speaks the loudest and clearest. We can argue why the landscape is the way it is, or endlessly pontificate on predictions of where it will go from here. (And I do.) But the data itself is indisputable fact.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. The data is disputable when it’s not correct.
And that’s become a real challenge as the sector has scaled exponentially and continues to change rapidly. Even with the incredible help of Anand Thaker and Jeff Eckman and the Blue Green team in recent years — and the pantheon of world-class sources we’ve referenced in our research — we still miss hundreds, hundreds, of companies who have entered the space.
With the frothy M&A environment we’re in, we also miss mergers and acquisitions. We miss launches and pivots, where companies leap from one category to another. We miss name changes and logo changes (thank you, rebranders). And we miss the unfortunate endings of companies that drop into the martech deadpool.
We do our best — and with credit to my excellent collaborators, we’ve kept the error rate low. But it’s a battle against entropy that no one person or team can conquer alone.
Of course, these crowdsourced contributions will be reviewed with love and care by myself and the Blue Green team, to keep the data set clean and consistent. (So, no, you can’t just add your own martech venture to every category on the map. Please don’t try.) And potentially other community moderators may join us in that mission, Wikipedia-style, moving forward.
In return to the community, we will make the resulting data set available to everyone. We’ve been releasing a subset of the data in recent years as as an Excel spreadsheet. But we’ve got some cool ideas for how to make the data richer, more dynamic, and — “mmMMmmmmmm,” in a Dark Crystal voice — interactive.
We’ll be unveiling this next generation of the landscape at the MarTech conference in April in San Jose. However, you can start by making suggestions through these two forms now:
(Martech vendors: this is your chance to make sure you’re on the landscape!)
The eagle-eyed citizen developers among you might notice that those are Airtable forms. That’s a partial hint to some of what may be coming.
We will still be publishing an updated 16×9 graphic for MarTech too. To have your suggestions make it into that insane logomaniac poster lovely work of art, please submit them before the end of February.