Martech in 2023 will be the Year of 4PO (Part 2)

Scott Brinker

Scott Brinker has been one of martech’s earliest evangelists. I was introduced to the term “martech” in May 2014 by my colleague, Veer. We attended the first Martech conference hosted by Scott Brinker in Boston. Upon our return, we began Netcore’s journey into the world of martech, to complement its email and SMS businesses. In a recent interview, Scott Brinker spoke about the state of martech today:

Consolidation has defied the martech stack for a long time. It feels like we’re finally at a point where a variety of motivations are leading people to start to think about rationalising this. That’s why I think we’re starting to see a martech ‘cancel culture’ out there now.

…For a while, martech stacks were definitely getting out of control. It wouldn’t have been unusual to go into a company and find 60 apps in the stack. So yes, part of this consolidation or rationalisation is driven by people needing to simplify operations.

Even if they cut their apps in half, you still end up with a company of a decent size, such as mid-market and up, where it’s very unlikely just one product is doing everything for them. They are going to have multiple products and other elements across the business, such as the data layer, they’re going to need to connect to. That’s where we’re seeing that integration discussion: Consolidate down to what are the essential capabilities we need, eliminate some redundancy, but then with the things that remain, really make sure the choices and investments are going to integrate. How well they integrate is now a first-class consideration in that buying criteria.

…[Martech’s] always been 10 per cent about the tech, 90 per cent about people, training, the organisation and strategy. That stuff is hard and doesn’t change quickly. Many folks bought a bunch of tech and into its promise. Yet if you don’t have enough in the way of developing org capital to harness it, you’re just going to be able to tap into it well. The martech in theory could do these amazing things, but if I don’t have the people to orchestrate what we do with it, why am I paying for it at this point?

A slide from a presentation by Scott Brinker highlights the shift in Martech through the years:

Scott Brinker wrote about convergence and consolidation: “This 2nd Age of Martech is bringing significant improvements to marketing technology and operations on all three of these dimensions — commercial software, professional services, and custom software. While massive consolidation in the martech landscape has not yet materialized — and given current software dynamics in the cloud, it seems unlikely to shrink to a handful of vendors in this decade — we are seeing convergence in this 2nd Age of Martech. The industry is converging around platform ecosystems, where the lines between services and software and between custom and commercial are blurring into the cloud. This convergence is much more transformative than consolidation ever could be.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.