March 23, 2016
Two days ago, Scott Brinker published his annual marketing technology supergraphic. It's now grown to some 3,800 vendors.*
There are, by my count, 159 vendors categorized in the content marketing part of his uberstack.
Some quick analysis of this collection:
- First of all, a blob of logos is hard to relate to (but it looks intriguing, so I know why Scott does it). To see the 'content marketing' vendors in a more usable way, I made a list in this spreadsheet (three relevant colums: all 159 vendors, the 89 new ones he added this year, and the 21 that departed, for varying reasons).
- Only a small handful of these vendors would ever be considered as an enterprise content marketing platform. Nine of these vendors made that cut last year.
- The longer and harder you look at any space, the more vendors you will find. Vendors that were new this year, but which have been around for several years, include DivvyHQ, Inpowered, Livefyre, Oracle Content Marketing, Nativo, Outbrain, Pressly, Sprinklr, Taboola, TechValidate, TrackMaven, and Uberflip. It's possible many other of the 89 'new' entrants are not new, but I don't know them as well.
- Only three of the 21 departed from the space are 'presumed dead'. The remainder were recategorized, pivoted or acquired (Storify by Livefyre, and Docalytics by Contently). Some pivots are likely equivalent to 'presumed dead' (in the content marketing space).
- It's worth noting that the separate space 'interactive content' (a group in which Brinker's own company has pride of place) is probably very hard to distinguish accurately from the 'content marketing' space.
- Furthermore, as is consistent with the results of our research with the users of Content Marketing Platforms [CMPs], many content marketers are as likely to say their CMS, marketing automation technology, ESP, native advertising or SMM technology is actually their primary content marketing technology.
- Even after you've pulled 100+ content marketing vendors from the morass of 3,800 marketing vendors, many of these 'content marketing' vendors would likely tell you that they do entirely different things from the other 'content marketing' vendors, and are thus incomparable. I have this on experience.
- The graphic highlights the importance of a very hands-on and knowledgeable internal marketing technology development team to manage integrations (in my experience, tiny vendors will bend over backwards for you – to win the business, but once they're large enough you're on your own with integrations). I have this second-hand, but from a lot of marketing technologists.
- The more sophisticated content marketers today will be spending as much time with the vendors (and colleagues) in the 'data' column of this graphic, as the 'content & experiences' column.
- Some of the smaller vendors here (possibly even many of them) are testament to the ease with which someone can begin marketing software with a logo from Fiverr, a templated website and a Crunchbase entry. Take that for what it's worth.
- With that said, marketers can get a surprising variety of content marketing-y jobs done at a small price with bespoke software tools these days.
- Some of these vendors did not give a moment's thought to how someone might find their website via google search.
*In many senses, this graphic has jumped the shark in the sense of its usefulness, but it's cute and an easy conversation starter in the marketing tech space.