MarTech Landscapes: 2017 Wish List for Marketers & Ecosystem Builders

How can broad marketing technology landscapes be more valuable for marketing and business development practitioners? Which filters could narrow the focus to select group of companies producing more relevant “micro-landscapes” for a particular company type or industry? These landscapes could shorten the time companies spend investigating and building martech stacks and partner ecosystems. Below is a summary of my thoughts fueled by conversations with marketing and business development leaders.


I’m an advocate for marketing technology companies and the benefits they provide marketers. I’m also a huge fan of information expressed visually to help understand complexity. Combine these two and it’s no surprise that I’m a user and champion for the number of fantastic visualizations of the martech landscape. Most prominent are those produced by Scott Brinker on and Brian Andersen and team at LUMA Partners titled LUMAscapes. These logo intensive graphics provide an organized framework for this rapidly changing area, providing value to thousands of marketers, sales and business development people given the number of shares and downloads they receive. The landscapes evolve year-to-year with modified categories and greater detail to match market dynamics.

The Challenge

Given the well documented exponential growth of martech across all categories, it is challenging to review (let alone evaluate) all the players listed to get to a smaller group of potential providers and partners.

Taking the Next Steps: The Wish List

Three broad areas rise up to comprise the wish list for evolving these landscapes and associated tools to increase their value.

1. Marketing Organization & Prioritized Outcomes

Martech landscapes could consider functional marketing leaders head the effort to justify and procure technology solutions that help them meet their objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). Identifying the outcomes of each functional role, and by extension the ecosystem that supports them, helps tie the business value to decision makers around which martech categories and companies should be engaged.

The following simplifies the marketing organization of a B2B mid-sized technology company.

KPIs by function may include:

  • Demand Gen Marketers: Leads/Accounts, MQLs, SQLs…
  • Product Marketers: Time to Market, Product Adoption & Usage
  • Marketing Communications: Mentions, Influencer Sentiment….

Prioritizing these functions and KPIs is a difficult task. The best companies select a short list of the most critical of these outcomes to focus the business over a period of time. There are certainly categories that performance marketers adopt sooner than others. Not surprisingly, account and lead acquisition is often among the top of the list. It all starts with a prospect — and any solution that can accelerate its acquisition, improve velocity through the pipeline, or help identify the most profitable, sooner-to-close customer, will typically move to the front of the line. A focus on data quality and business forecast accuracy are also cited as most important. No organization today can tolerate poor data and most make tremendous efforts to accumulate more data to make the best decisions.

Below is a table of some business outcomes for a B2B mid-sized technology company. These outcomes are also prioritized to focus the team and sequence engagement with providers.

2. Customer Traction, Ratings & Reviews

A simple filter to narrow the number of companies on a landscape is to apply the number of customers that are similar to the buying organization. “Similar” could be defined by number of employees, B2B, B2C or by industry like Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Telecommunications. Given the vast majority of martech companies are private, this information is not readily available and is often to first question asked by marketers beginning their diligence.

Has the product-market fit been validated in the market segment or industry? Are there reference accounts and advocates speaking out on the value of the solution and the support received?

Narrowing the logos included on landscapes to include only those that meet a minimum customer rating is another reasonable suggestion. Popular B2B software ratings websites like G2Crowd and TrustRadius have matured over the years to include a larger percentage of categories and companies. If you haven’t checked them out recently, they are worth a second look.

Assuming you do not want to be a beta customer or very early adopter, at a minimum, the number of customers you may expect by business type for solutions that are positively reviewed:

Additional filters suggested included profitability (the landscape would become rather barren :) or filter by the average selling price of offerings.

3. Marketing Maturity Models

There has been tremendous work done by marketing agencies, service providers, consultants and the software providers themselves mapping how companies proceed over time through these stages. Each stage represents how effective and evolved the organization is with respect to getting the most out of their digital marketing investment. For example, Josh Hill of Rockstar Marketing Guides uses his Marketing Technology Maturity Model (below) to help companies work through their digital transformation. The focus of his work is focused mainly on optimizing marketing automation platforms (MAPs).

The Pedowitz Group and other marketing consultants have online tools available to access the maturity of marketing teams. There is an opportunity to build out these models to include information on suggested martech providers for each stage. The output of more evolved assessments could be recommendations for specific companies to help achieve the business outcomes for each stage. Stages of maturity are often defined as beginning, single channel, multi-touch, progressive, mature, worldclass, etc.

An Example

The following is provided as an example of a micro-landscape for a specific company type (B2B), size (mid-sized), maturity (progressive) and industry (technology) with company logos that meet minimum customer traction.

Parting Thoughts

Of course, the number of micro-landscapes increases with the complexity of the process. Using just the filters mentioned here would generate dozens of landscapes. The complexity further increases as more marketing functional areas and outcomes are added. Ideally, automating the production of these would be invaluable!

Another suggested route is to accumulate and analyze all the individual company martech stacks produced and available online. There has been a number of contests and promotions urging companies to go public with their stacks. With enough data on the martech stacks and the companies included, data analysis could yield pro-forma martech landscapes for various types and sizes of companies. I like this idea. CabinetM, a company launched in 2015, may be on their way to making this happen.

Finally, the marketing landscape is part of the overall customer experience map — martech solutions don’t live in isolation and any landscape should ultimately consider the integration with sales, customer support, etc.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on what process and filters you would add to the wish list to help your company identify a list of partners to engage to build its martech stack and ecosystem.

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