In our dual role as technology investors and mentors to our partner companies, we spend a lot of time evaluating the latest marketing technology.  Several on our team have backgrounds in MarTech, and we have a strong focus on deploying more capital in this area.  As the folks at ChiefMarTec visualized below, we are living in a rapidly changing marketing environment.  Digital media production and consumption continues to grow at an exponential rate, which has birthed a new era of data and tools that empower marketers with deeper insights, more one-to-one personalization, and more effective tracking of ROI.

MarTech at Inflection Point
 Source: ChiefMarTec

This is both extremely exciting and a daunting challenge to sales and marketing professionals.  Sitting still is not really an option.  I need only look at my own background to confirm this.  Many of the marketing and database tactics I employed as recently as a few years ago to help media companies deepen their audience relationships are at least partially out of date at this point.   Among other things, target profiles have deepened, tracking of activity and engagement has improved, and as a result its easier to know when and how and with whom to make contact and what content to use. While I would certainly argue many of the core principles I used to employ are still valid, the available data, marketing toolkits, and metrics have jumped forward by leaps and bounds. Today’s marketer ignores these new developments at their own peril.

But staying current is no small task.  Just take a moment to leaf through the evolution of ChiefMarTec’s Marketing Technology landscape over the last few years:

MarTech Landscape

The number of companies featured has gone from ~100 to over 1,800, and although landscapes such as the one above seek to make some sense of the sprawl, there is a lot of overlap in what many of these companies actually deliver.  Marketing and sales executives at our partner companies are often barraged with marketing messages and sales calls from these 1,800 companies who seem to pitch similar value propositions, which just adds to a lot of the confusion and clutter.  If you think it’s hard for your company to differentiate, have some sympathy for the logos above!

As crowded as it may appear, we still feel that marketing technology is an adolescent at most, and there is a lot of opportunity for growth and innovation.  Much of the adoption of this technology to date has been by other software companies, and we still see quite a few untapped market segments.  Overall, the segment should benefit from several growth drivers:

As we pick up our head and look a bit over the horizon, here are few thoughts from Ashu Garg of Foundation Capital on where we are likely headed with MarTech:

MarTech Principles

Adapted from Foundation Capital’s Martech and the Decade of the CMO

While the current players will continue to expand the reach of their technology, there will also be inevitable disruption of some of the early players by the next wave of innovators.  Our team at Vocap looks forward to backing the next generation of MarTech innovators, as well as capitalizing on the new capabilities they deliver to help drive further growth at our existing partner companies.