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Brian AndersenPartnerLuma Partners
A lot transpired within the marketing technology space last year, but 2017 will be a pivotal year for advancements in omnichannel integration. Brian Andersen, partner at investment bank Luma Partners, which focuses on digital media and marketing technology, spoke with eMarketer’s Nicole Perrin about the progress he expects to see in 2017.
eMarketer: What were the biggest developments in the marketing technology space in 2016?
Brian Andersen: There were a couple of important mergers and acquisitions. Salesforce buying [data-management platform] Krux was interesting, because everything Salesforce has done to date has been about known users. Krux—and DMPs by nature—generally involve more anonymous data. It’s a different data set than Salesforce has ever managed, but DMPS are the center of powering audience buying and personalization based on non-PII [non-personally identifiable information] data. That enables some really interesting things for Salesforce. It’ll be interesting to watch its next move.
The second [biggest development] is Adobe buying TubeMogul. Generally, marketing clouds have been pretty allergic to media execution. Now, that integration will be natively built in. If you believe in true omnichannel marketing—where advertising and marketing are done in a holistic and coordinated manner—you need to have those close ties. It’ll be interesting to watch what Adobe does with that and whether the other marketing clouds follow.
eMarketer: What was the biggest trend you saw in the marketing technology space in 2016?
Andersen: The focus on identity and identity solutions in the industry. It’s all under the premise of planning the right message at the right time to the right person. In order to find the right person, you need robust identity solutions.
eMarketer: What do you see coming in 2017?
Andersen: A move toward orchestration across channels. Customers slam marketing clouds largely because of integration. There are a number of challenges to providing true omnichannel marketing—especially if it’s marketing and advertising together, like getting your data assets in place and having the organizational structures within your company set in a way to enable that, rather than by individual silos. There’s also the technical capabilities—which is where artificial intelligence comes into the equation as well—of figuring out what to send to which person, through what channel and at what time.
Instead of having a journey builder-type capability that’s coordinating ... your emails, it means having a similar system that’s more broadly and holistically coordinating your marketing and advertising interactions together, and that’s hard to do.
eMarketer: Will marketers get closer to achieving that this year?
Andersen: Nobody can do it now. You’ll see the marketing clouds do more pure blocking, tackling integration with their products and adding capabilities to their portfolio that will enable much better orchestration. I imagine you will see announcements along these lines from marketing clouds that will be both internal development integration as well as potential mergers and acquisitions.
eMarketer: Does that mean single-vendor solutions have a better future than the best-of-breed stacks that seem to be preferred?
Andersen: Right now, best-of-breed [stacks] are preferred. But when the enterprises that use one of the major marketing clouds have a new need, even if they prefer a different solution, it might not be as coordinated [compared with] the other tools they’re already using. I believe in the best of breed, but there’s a strong case for buying packages from a certain vendor as long as they’ve done the work to integrate those solutions.
eMarketer: What do investors think of the marketing technology space? Do they view it like ad tech?
Andersen: If you do a rough cut between the two, it’s based on pricing models. If it’s a media-based model—for example, it’s arbitrage like an ad network—that’s ad tech. If it’s a SaaS [software as a service] subscription business, generally that’s [marketing technology].
Investors have invested an incredible amount on ad tech. They feel the space is saturated, and they’re right. But they realize there is still a growing market for the fundamental drivers, like the move to programmatic advertising. We’ve seen a lot more investing lately in marketing technology, but it’s starting to taper off and become more about sales technology and other areas.
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