Ever since the internet came in the 1990s, use of consumer data in marketing has undergone a complete shift. The basic principles on which marketing is based, are still the same. Yet, with the internet and the increase in the connectedness among people, we started to have unprecedented amounts of consumer data. How consumers behave in the digital world and how they make their choices and what motivates them to behave in different ways, all this is of immense value right now. With the internet, came Web Analytics. Eric Peterson wrote Web Analytics Demystified in 2004, and the book is still relevant for all the marketing analytics enthusiasts. Avinash Kaushik’s Blog Occam’s Razor is another goldmine where you can find loads of information related to anything and everything about Web Analytics. One obvious thing is that, the use of technology to assist marketers in their work has exploded in the last couple of decades—especially Digital Marketing, which was born out of this combination of technology and marketing.
Enters MarTech! If you have been following the industry closely, then you would definitely know about this. And if you haven’t, then you probably need to up your game. The following definition of Martech by John Koetsier sums it up beautifully, “Every piece of technology a marketer uses to reach a potential customer is martech.” The Martech landscape is evolving fast, and the number of companies in the industry has increased multiple times in the last few years. Kevin Hartman, in his book Digital Marketing Analytics, says:
“One driving force behind the growth of data analytics has been the ceaseless advance of technology. As technology has evolved to meet the needs of consumers and businesses, new opportunities to create and collect data have arisen. Two of the more important technological influences are consumers’ swift adoption of mobile devices and the growth of marketing technology to help businesses create value from the data they collect.”
These are two different images of The Vatican City. The first one is of the installation is Pope Benedict (2005), and the second one is the installation of Pope Francis (2013). Even though these images were taken at different times, it is still a testimony to how ubiquitous, the electronic gadgets became in a very little time. All the digital data that we generate is of immense value for the companies who are now looking to target their consumers at the best time of the day using content that they are most likely to engage with and for the products that will be most relevant to them. A whole stack of software solutions are available now, which help companies to do precisely that. It doesn’t matter whether you are a new startup or an established billion-dollar company, there is a solution available for you. Many of them are free to use and provide enough data for a small company to work with. Do a simple Google Search: “Free Social Media Analytics Tools” and you’ll know what I am talking about.
When Scott Brinker did his second analysis in September 2012, the number of companies had swelled to 350. That’s a 133.33 % increase in a year.
By May 2017, he named his ‘Supergraphic’ as Martech 5000, it had 5381 MarTech solutions. The next one came in April 2018, it had 6829 Marketing Technology solutions. The 2019 supergraphic came in April and had 7040 firms. And, the latest supergraphic came just a few months back, in April 2020 and it has 8000 firms.
As you can see from the above chart, since 2011, there has been a growth of 5233% in the number of companies in this space. There is an analytics tool for any need and data situation. There are enterprise packages, point solutions and analysis gadgets. They all cater to different parts of the market. Avinash Kaushik, in his blog “Best Web Analytics Tools” (2010) gives the following categories according to the specific needs of firms of various sizes: Clickstream Analysis, Voice of Customer, Outcome Analysis, Experimental Testing and Competitive Intelligence.
As you can see from the above image, we have come a long way from 2011 when there were just 150 firms. This speaks volumes about how vital marketing analytics has become for companies now. And it is needless to say, the skills needed for this job are also in high demand.
“The number of firms in the (Martech) space has led to innovation and technological advancement, thereby increasing the value analytics offers the business world.”- Kevin Hartman
Have a look at the image below which is taken from this article.
Almost half of the world’s population currently uses some sort of social media. They engage with all types of content and also contribute to content creation. Marketers study the various aspects of data that is generated on social media and target their consumers accordingly. This next infographic shows how much data is generated per minute on social media.
It is a challenging task for an analyst to sort through all this and find what is of value for their company. The following crucial metrics, as defined by Avinash Kaushik in his blog, come to our rescue.
With the increasing number of Martech solutions, it is also essential to keep in mind what is it that your company needs. Also, we must never forget the fact that:
“No tool is ever as valuable as the analyst.”
It is the analyst who makes sense of all the data collected by the tools. It is the analyst who has a 360-degree understanding of the business and knows how to leverage the data for their company’s profitability. It is the analyst who is responsible for making the best use of a tool. If I give you a pen, you can use it to write or you can use it to poke someone’s eyes out. It all depends on who is using the pen.
Even the most expensive tools are useless if not used efficiently and many analysts do a great job even with just the free resources out there. I would like to close this with the following quote by Avinash Kaushik, where he explains the secret to successful Web Analytics: “If you have a budget of $100 to make smart decisions about your websites… invest $10 in tools and vendor implementation and spend $90 on Analysts with big brains… It’s your investment in [people] that will deliver glory”
P.S.- I hope you found this useful. This article would have given you a glimpse of how quickly the Marketing Technology landscape is growing. All the links for the various sources which were used to reference the data are embedded in the text itself. Many resources are available online from where you can learn more about this field.
Hartman, Kevin. Digital Marketing Analytics: In Theory And In Practice. Ostmen Bennettsbridge Publishing Services. Kindle Edition.