The case for technographics in MarTech, AdTech, DataTech (MADtech).
I’ve been working in and around the NYC AdTech world for over a decade now. I’ve started and run several companies, raised some venture capital, had some successful exits – and some that failed to realize my wishes and dreams. Through it all, I am continually struck by pace of change: Contextual targeting – behavioral targeting – the rise of programmatic – the rise of fraud – video – verification – mobile – PMP – GDPR, (always more) fraud – privacy, and now… blockchain. What’s more, we’re witnessing the explosive growth of MarTech companies and solutions (AdTech’s inward-facing cousin).
Throughout these trends, data remains the consistent current--data truly has become the new oil. We drill it, refine it, process it, combine it with other data, trade it, trade it, and trade it – first party, second party, third party, offline to online, contextual, behavioral… Data is ubiquitous and yet still growing at a seemingly exponential pace.
I love this industry – its tech, its people, its ingenuity, its challenges, the pace of change.
After leaving my last gig with Adomik (a brilliant sell side optimization company), I spent a number of months thinking about what matters, and what’s next. I concluded the following:
- The pace of change is a given; embrace it.
- The proliferation of technology solutions results in publishers, agencies and brands hiding the deluge of vendor sales and results in many companies only reviewing a small subset of the best technology offerings. This is not good for the buyers or the sellers.
- Experts seldom agree; recommendations are often based on extraordinarily limited data sets.
I started Industry Index almost two years back, driven by my new conclusions, and purchasing the assets from its former incarnation, DMR, and reimagining what it could be. Bringing clarity and wisdom out of a chaotic and confusing marketplace. I knew I had an opportunity to change the way that MADtech (as our team has taken to calling Marketing, Advertising, and Data Technology) users and makers see the ecosystem, and see themselves in it. Industry Index’ organizing principles became clear:
- We will quantify and organize the industry and its innumerable interactions to help others gain a clearer understanding of this chaotic landscape.
- We will leverage data, but not pretend that more data = better data. Context is key.
- We will take an Evidence over Eminence approach, with technographic data as the basis for our understanding.
- We will continue to learn as an organization.
The proliferation of MADtech companies will continue for the foreseeable future. According to Chief MarTech, the volume of MarTech companies has grown from ≈ 150 in 2011 to ≈ 7,000 in 2018. While AdTech will likely continue its consolidation, MarTech and DataTech companies will continue to grow like, well… mad.
re: AdTech re: MarTech
- Datasets will continue to grow both in volume and in segmentation – specifically users’ datasets. Personal Data Privacy will move to the forefront of the public zeitgeist while newer data management models and analyses proliferate.
- Companies’ marketing technology spends continues to grow, from $12b in 2014 to $120b in 2025.
- Companies are beginning to recognize – in greater numbers – that utilizing multiple technologies is both expensive and often duplicative, illuminating a desire to simplify adtech stacks.
- Brands (and often not via their agencies) are increasingly willing to test new solutions, given the growth of APIs, allowing new tech to be deployed (and often abandoned) quickly.
We’ve been building up our proprietary marketer, publisher, and vendor panels across this teeming industry. And over the last year or so we’ve been asking our panels thousands of questions about what they know and what they think. Brands, agencies, pubs, and tech vendors have all generously shared their knowledge and opinions across dozens of our, and client studies. Regardless of cohort or industry vertical, a major underlying theme for us has been to decode MADtech users’ (read: agencies, brands and pubs) tech needs – what they understand, what they want, and what they need.
- Most people within the ecosystem remain confused about tech offerings, including how companies and categories differ (what’s the difference between a Data Management Platform, Audience Management Platform, & Customer Data Platform, exactly?), which is the right tech stack for their company, and why.
- The market is littered with people and companies who promote their insights and analysis over data and real conclusions.
Our Technographic Data
About nine months ago we began collecting tech usage data from millions of companies – tracking which MADtech is used by which companies. We take all that data and map it to company types (industry verticals) and technology types (what we call categories). Our tech usage data comes from tens of millions of sites, with a tighter focus on the most active 2.5 million websites in the US, and millions more across EMEA, APAC and around the world. We then started organizing and converting this data, known as technographics, into a series of evidence-driven products for pubs, brands, agencies, and tech vendors.
We’ve recently announced the beta release of PubMonitor™. This tool helps identify technology in publisher ad stack(s), using our technographics data to highlight problems related to data leakage and piggybackers (GDPR compliance), Ads.txt compliance, and helping them to form an understanding of exactly how their publisher ad stack(s) compare with competitors.
We invite ad ops and rev managers at publishers both large and small to demo our PubMonitor beta program today at a discounted rate. Early adoption should have its benefits, after all.
Tomorrow = Today
Industry Index’s purpose is to make sense of, and provide insight on, the tech in MADtech – from all perspectives. We understand that, while data is helpful, it still relies on the recipient to decode and contextualize it. Our expertise and feedback from user groups informs our product development, making data decoding and interpretation our science, not our opinion.
We hope you agree, and we look forward to helping you stay ahead of the pace of change in this mad (MAD) world.
President, Industry Index