Scott Brinker has been tracking marketing technologies since 2011 when he first published the now famous landscape containing just 150 technologies.

Over the last seven years this number has been steadily increasing and yesterday he released the 2018 landscape, showing a 27% growth YOY with 6,829 recorded technologies — equivalent to the 2011 through 2016 totals added together.

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Funding in the MarTech landscape has also steadily been increasing and whilst it hasn’t mirrored exactly the growth above, it also reached an all-time high with a total of just over $14 billion in 2017.

This year’s 2018 landscape not only shows the continued growth and complexity of the marketing technology ecosystem but also raises some interesting observations into the state of the market.

1. AI and machine learning

Predictive analytics was a standalone category in last year’s landscape. However, as AI and machine learning have matured and started to show the use cases they deliver. This category has been dissolved this year, and the companies have been added to the categories in which they serve.

This is an interesting inflection point as we start to see AI move from a buzzword to a core technology that is commonplace in underpinning a lot of the latest technologies to draw insights and manage data. In fact, predictive analytics was distributed across 21 of the other categories.

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2. Sales automation, enablement & intelligence

With 490 solutions, the Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence category was the largest. Interesting, it may be counterintuitive at first glance to say that these sales technologies fall under MarTech.

However, as sales and marketing become more intertwined and the silo walls continue to crumble. The new, fluid, customer-centric, agile mentality is bridging the gap further between these two departments.

As technology continues to empower increased visibility it has been proven time and time again that marketing and sales collaboration improves profitability, revenue, and engagement. It’s also the same reason why Customer Experience, Service & Success is also such a larger category on this years landscape.

3. Bots & live chat

The rise of Chatbots has been a hot topic over the last year or so and one that we have covered extensively on ClickZ.

Making it into their own category this year it is also an interesting time for Bots and Live chat.

Businesses are utilizing this technology as a new way to engage with their customers and gather additional real-time qualitative data on their sites.

Also, as we start including more bots into our customer journey’s it introduces a new relationship between human and bot to create an experience for your customer that enables quick and reactive service empowered by tech but still with a human element.

A good example that shows the growth of adoption is with Alexa Skills.

4. Compliance and privacy

Another new category this year is data and compliance. As marketers collect more data, the responsibility to ensure that this data is collected and stored in a compliant way is falling to the marketers. We are seeing this on a global stage too, with the latest Facebook and Cambridge Analytica breech, as well as through The General Data Protection Regulation.

In summary

The Marketing Technology landscape is showing no signs of slowing down, with a 27% YOY growth and funding at an all-time high.

The rise of new categories such as Chatbots and Compliance show a shift to a more natural, conversational communication with our customers, but with a focus on building trust and transparency in how we store, collect and process their data.

The dissolving of the predictive Analytic category also shows an interesting shift for AI and Machine Learning as it moves from an operational emerging technology to one that underpins the core foundations of other technologies.

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