Naturally, my first reaction was that there must be some grade inflation going on here — perhaps a few categories had been invented, or perhaps the definition of “marketing technology” stretched to include more companies than reality would warrant. What I found, instead, surprised me: the mass of vendors included appeared to be quite legitimate.
So my skepticism turned to geeky joy — finally here was visual proof for what I’ve known at a gut level, as well as through sometimes painful experiences: we are being crushed under the weight of so many marketing tools. Yes, many of these tools are amazing advances, and they are supposed to enable and inspire us, but at the end of the day, they are making decisions harder, not easier, and are not helping CMOs and their direct reports gain truly actionable insights.
And they’re not helping disparate marketing teams — the quants and the artists — collaborate or gain a common view of the customer. And they’re certainly not doing enough to help CEOs and Boards of Directors with the timely insights needed to instill confidence in the right actions, plans and budgets. That task will have to be taken on by the next wave of marketing technology innovators.