Getting a handle on marketing technology

A look into some tools that could help you get your head around marketing platforms

The marketing tech landscape has been expanding at an impressive clip over the last three years. It now boasts more than 3,000 vendors, including giants such as Adobe and Oracle. It's an ecosystem buzzing with activity -- big fish gobbling up smaller ones, startups trying to survive -- and marketers can easily get disoriented.

At times, marketing tech is like the parable about the blind men and the elephant, whereby each man touches a part of the elephant, say, the trunk or ear or tusk, and attempts to define the entire animal. Marketing tech has many distinct parts that add up to an elusively shaped, incredibly disruptive ecosystem.

Analysts, marketers, vendors, even a venture capital firm have all tried to define this marketing tech ecosystem. Forrester relies on six phases of the customer lifecycle as bearing points. Foundation Capital divides vendors into five keys for solving marketing challenges. Scott Brinker, editor of Chief Marketing Technologist, has created a popular graphic of marketing tech vendors that looks a bit like a traditional technology stack.

As the marketing tech landscape shakes out, though, it's still unclear what it will look like beyond the generally accepted areas of social, mobile, content, analytics and automation. Then there's the customer data and systems integration that needs to happen for companies to be able to interact with customers at critical moments along the customer journey. This is the holy grail of the digital marketer.

Naming names

Picking winners and losers in marketing tech's muddy bracket is a futile exercise, not to mention a credibility killer. Nevertheless, marketing tech vendors continue to flood my inbox daily with interesting offerings. Some are platforms, others point solutions. Here are three that recently caught my eye.

Highspot: Every marketing tech conference will have a theme on content, whether it's creating original content, aggregating content or amplifying earned content. Highspot, which recently raised $9.6 million in a Series A round, has built a content-scoring engine. It looks at a company's marketing collateral, such as PowerPoint slides, case studies, data sheets, brochures, call scripts and battle cards, and analyzes how well they performed.

Judging and scoring a piece of content's performance is tricky, because it's unclear what the content's role might have played in, say, a sale.

"This attribution problem is real," says Highspot co-founder and CEO Robert Wahbe. "One of the ways we try to solve this is to shorten the time horizon. Did this brochure help close a 9-month deal? Hard to say. But did this brochure move to a conversation or proof-of-concept? That's better."

Fliptop: Fliptop also has a scoring engine, called Darwin, although this one is aimed at sales leads. Darwin ties into Salesforce, Marketo and other places where sales data resides and looks at usually a few hundred data points. Then it spits out leads that have the best chance of conversion, as well as hidden leads stuck in the database.

Darwin works best for midmarket companies that can't afford nor need highly customizable predictive enterprise solutions, says Fliptop CEO Doug Camplejohn. Companies with a high volume of inbound leads can prioritize calls and maybe even reduce the number of salespeople, in a digital version of Death of a Salesman.

Shocase: Marketers often feel the creative, emotional side of their profession is under attack by analytics geeks wielding scoring engines and other technology. In San Francisco, though, startup Shocase hopes to rekindle a marketer's passion by providing a social network that shows off their creative work, from videos to design to copywriting.

"Showcase your work, stay abreast of the news, get more business," says Shocase founder and CEO Ron Young.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Thanks for sharing this post, its really good information I get through this blog.CDPO Online Exam Training

Infosectrain01

3 ways Booking.com is improving its B2B marketing game

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in