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The MarTech Scene in Review

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John VernonSenior Business Development Manager

The growth of the martech industry seems to be a hot topic these days. That’s why PAN Communications decided to check out the scene at MarTech San Francisco to get the scoop on trends, advancements and the overall industry landscape. This three-day conference was packed with educational sessions and keynote speakers discussing the latest trends on AI, content, ABM, GDPR and the infamous martech bubble.

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Below are a few takeaways from what we learned about the martech industry:

  • The martech industry is becoming vastly competitive. Scott Brinker’s famous Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic was a highlight of the event. But don’t forget to pull out your magnifying glass if you want to have any chance at catching a glimpse of a particular logo as the landscape grew this year, by about 40 percent, to a total of 5,381 solutions (from 4,891 unique companies).

To be clear though, 1,500 new martech companies weren’t created between 2016 and 2017. Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec and chair of the MarTech event, clarified in a blog post that “not all of the new companies were launched in the year in which we added them to the landscape – many had been around earlier before we discovered them. (And we’re quite sure that there are many others that we missed this year too. Sorry.)”

  • No one martech tool has the capability to offer all the capabilities needed by today’s marketer. Brinker went on to state that “the spectacular scope explosion of marketing – and the rate at which new disruptions and innovations continue to roil marketing and business at large – has made it impossible for any one vendor to deliver everything that every marketer needs in a digital world.” This explains why we are seeing such a burst in the industry – opportunity.
  • The martech industry has reached its peak in terms of players. So, will this landscape continue to grow as brands diversify and provide increasingly niche offerings? We’re thinking not. Here’s why – one of the key stats about this year’s landscape that caught my eye is that nearly half of the brands (48.8%) are investor funded startups at any pre-exit stage. To us, that signals two major possibilities – 1) many of the “smaller fish” could join forces via mergers/acquisitions, or 2) the “bigger fish” will eat ‘em up.
  •  Watch out for door #3. And, not to be bleak, but there’s another scenario to consider – some of the smaller startups will go out of business before the 2018 landscape rolls around. Look at where the money’s flowing – in Q1 2017, there was a 29 percent drop in VC funding in martech companies compared to the same quarter last year. That might be a warning signal to some of the startups relying on new funding to survive and grow.

Overall, certainly an exciting industry to be a part of right now, and a fascinating one to continue watching evolve in the months to come.


An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.