The explosion of marketing technology and the rate at which new disruptions continue to change modern business marketing processes and business in general has created a much greater emphasis for vendors who aim to deliver all-in-one platforms to modern digital marketers. Carl De Lucia – CDD
Major marketing technology providers already know this and they’ve shifted their strategies in order to compete. In the process, they’ve created a new type of platform for digital marketers, one that provides a variety of specialized solutions.
The majority of these platforms (sometimes referred to as suites) are focused on CRM and marketing automation. They might look like classic platforms because they are centralized repositories of data that other solutions can be connected to, but the capabilities have evolved. Strong examples of this are Adobe, Marketo and Oracle.
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The alternate approach to platformizing marketing technology is integration platform as a service (iPaaS). These solutions give companies the ability to create a “distributed” platform where they can pipe data between marketing applications and their own data.
While the architecture is conceptually more complicated than a centralized platform, they offer a number of benefits, above all, the flexibility to adapt to change. Another group of platforms sits between these two extremes, ones that combine centralized philosophies: data management platforms. Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce each offers a DMP. The advantage of this marketing platform is that marketers can build better marketing technology stacks. Instead of having to choose, marketers can now borrow from different platforms
The biggest advantage of this platformization of marketing technology is that it’s easier for marketers to build customized marketing stacks. Instead of choosing suite or best-of-breed, many marketers are now taking a hybrid approach, using the suites as digital marketing hubs and customizing them with a range of specialized products to create their own marketing technology stack.
Expect an increase in consolidation when it comes to the core capabilities of coordinating customer data and campaign management. There are only so many general-purpose CRMs the world requires.
Ironically, the consolidation at the platform level will likely lead to greater diversity and innovation at the next level up, as more specialized market developers build on top of these foundations.
In conclusion, this is going to continue to be a fascinating space and it should be fun to be part of the continued evolution of marketing and technology.