Data Expertise Needed by Marketing Technology Firms

Data Analysis

In their quest to reach potential customers and understand their behavior, marketing departments have long been aggressive users of technology. So it’s no surprise that a complete realm of “marketing technology” has cropped up, along with a number of startups focused on creating solutions for everything from marketing workflow to data analysis.

This is all about providing technical capabilities to those responsible for deepening the relationship between business and customer, whether it’s business-to-business or business-to-consumer. As in other areas of technology, success often lies in a narrow sphere of expertise. For example, Cupertino, Calif.-based Ensighten, which just raised $40 million in Series B funding, focuses on managing the tags websites employ to tailor their messages to different users.

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Data is one of the big drivers here. “With more data being generated than ever before, it has become increasingly complex for marketers to get a streamlined view of their customers or the ability to leverage their data for personalized communications,” Ensighten Founder and Chief Executive Officer Josh Manion told PandoDaily.

Ensighten’s funding also illustrates how marketing technology startups are getting attention from both investors and business technology players. Recently, SAP acquired SeeWhy, which makes an in-memory calculation engine to continuously analyze e-commerce data, while website tester Optimizely raised a Series B round of $57 million.

How big a deal is all this? Writing in VentureBeat, the Mayfield Fund’s Rajeev Batra goes so far as to say “the chief marketing technology officer” will soon be among the most powerful roles in tech, right up there with the CIO and CTO. Some may say that’s overblown, but it’s tough to argue that marketing departments won’t continue to integrate technology into almost everything they do.

Scott Brinker, co-founder of marketing apps platform ion interactive, divides the space into six areas: marketing experiences, marketing operations, middleware, backbone platforms, infrastructure and Internet. He breaks these into categories so, for example, “CRM” and “Marketing Automation/Integrated Marketing” are among those grouped under “Backbone Platforms.” Then he goes even deeper to identify the companies and technologies at play in each. With over 1,000 technologies distributed across 40 categories, his widely cited infographic is as good a look at the space as you can get.

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