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As a marketing team we care about what marketing leaders see when they imagine the future of MarTech.

What is the rock that will shatter the way we work today? Why will marketing orgs operate differently tomorrow?

In addition to technology itself, the most important changes will always be around the use of technology -- and how the organizations will change processes and make spending decisions in the next several years.

Here are 5 predictions from our marketing team for the future of MarTech.

Marketing Operations Companies Will Number That Of Marketing Experience Companies By 2022

Andrew: In 2015 there were many more Marketing Experience companies than Marketing Operations companies.

Using data from the “Supergraphic” we can see just how much larger the Marketing Experience space is compared to Marketing Operations.

The chart below shows MarTech companies organized by Category and Subcategory. The larger the circle, the more types of companies there are in the Subcategory.



This makes sense since the continued rise of the always-online consumer means marketers need to engage first and measure business value later.

But we believe marketers will begin shifting budgets towards operations, specifically in performance and attribution (highlighted in red) (we’re a little biased here). Overall, the trend is that budgets will shift from creating experiences to measuring experiences.

How do marketing experiences translate to business value?

Answering this question presents a lot of opportunities for Marketing Operations companies to enter the MarTech landscape while also supporting Infrastructure and Middleware businesses through data management and big data.

For a simpler look at the MarTech industry, here’s the charted data used to create the above graphic. 



Going down the list of Subcategories raises the question of what kinds of companies we’ll see more of, which we’ll see less of, and what kinds of companies marketing technologists will invest.

Marketing Will Own Sales Automation By 2019

Lauren: Marketers who are passionate about performance measurement and MarTech have always wrestled with the challenge of connecting marketing to sales.

Whether it’s for purposes like performance measurement and attribution, or for purposes such as setting up the perfect sales and marketing stack from the beginning.

We believe marketers will begin implementing and owning sales automation in the next few years. 


Marketers today want to understand their impact on revenue and use that information to improve their efficiency. If they had it their way from the beginning, marketers would build their technology stacks around sales automation like the CRM. 

Erica Seidel, who runs The Connective Good, focusing on recruiting leaders in marketing analytics and marketing technology, asked MarTech influencers a good question.

What is the single most compelling thing - aside from money - what would entice you to explore a new role?

Rohit Prabhakar, Head of Digital Marketing Strategy & Marketing Technologies at McKesson (who is currently very happy leading digital marketing transformation at McKesson) had this to say:

The single most compelling thing would be ownership of Sales Automation(e.g. CRM) in addition to MarTech. I am a career digital transformation guy, and I have learned that MarTech alone is not enough to make the transformation happen.

We couldn’t agree more. And we think many more marketers feel the same way. Crossing the digital divide between MarTech and sales automation is the kind of transformation marketing leaders dream about.

It’s also exactly the reason we’re dedicated to helping marketers cross this gap with a performance and attribution solution for the CRM

ABM Tech Will Reach Demand Gen Tech Heights By 2019

Jordan: B2B marketers have long known that a “spray and pray” approach is not ideal. There have been improvements -- inbound marketing -- but still, it could not match the targeted named account strategies that Sales teams have been using for a while now. Until recently, the technology to scale account-based marketing efforts to keep up with and match the sales team just did not exist.




As you can see in this Google Trends chart of “Account Based Marketing” and “Demand Generation,” ABM is taking off, and the growth is beginning to look exponential. So what’s fueling this growth? According to Megan Heuer of Sirius Decisions, it’s “three things: technology; data and analytics; and the willingness of sales to collaborate with marketing.”

In my opinion, these three things are extremely connected. Technology covers not only the execution side, but also the measurement side, which produces more accurate and actionable account-based marketing dataand analytics. The better data and analytics (e.g. measuring marketing in terms of revenue), enables better alignment between sales and marketing. In the end, it all comes back to the growth in ABM technology.

Beginning more or less in 2014/2015 (see Google Trend chart), ABM tech companies started offering products that could effectively scale ABM initiatives. The growth in these ABM tech companies allowed ABM strategies to become a reality for many B2B marketers. With a few years under its belt, this space has developed a lot, moving from its infancy into the adolescent years. Over the next 3-5 years, ABM technology will continue to mature to match the development of the technology for demand generation.

Over Half Of Organizations Will Have A CDO By 2020

Andrew: In 2012 Gartner predicted that by 2015, 25% of organizations will have a CDO.

They said organizations will create the role of a Chief Digital Officer as part of the business unit leadership, which will become a new seat at the executive table.

Two years later, a 2014 report by McKinsey & Company’s found that CDOs are increasingly playing a critical role in the C-suites of major global organizations. Thirty percent of respondents reported a CDO is part of their company’s executive teams.

So what kind of prediction can we make today? While the two studies above used different data sets, the McKinsey & Company survey hints that Gartner’s 2012 prediction was not far off, exceeding 25% earlier than expected.

Granted, we’re doing very rudimentary math AND basing it on survey data we haven’t reviewed.

But it is reasonable to believe that if Gartner or McKinsey & Company measured the number of CDO hires in 2020 that over 50% of global organizations will report having a CDO leading business transformation.  

The Rate Of CMO’s Who Come From A Marketing Operations Background Will Outpace That Of CMO’s Who Come From A Marketing Experience Background By ….? 

Alexis: This one is very tough to predict. But we do have an idea as to how we could measure it. We’d scrape LinkedIn profiles for those who become CMO or CDO and count how many also served in marketing operations at some point in their career.

Just to be clear though, this would be against LinkedIn’s terms of use policy. Hey. We said we had an idea, not a plan.

The seeds for this prediction were planted by Scott Brinker, of ChiefMartec fame, in 2013.

In a blog post Brinker says marketing operations is the right home for marketing technology leadership, saying:

Marketing operations leaders will be particularly well suited at the crossroads of marketing because they will be some of the few who speak all the key dialects of the Corporate Tower of Babel:

  • “project and tech” to IT

  • “balance sheet” to finance

  • “pipeline” to sales

With a technical background, an understanding of the levers that move the organization forward, and the ability to talk to all corporate divisions, it’s easy to see that marketing operations becoming a major source of senior executive leadership.

When exactly will this happen? It’s difficult to say, but we believe it is well underway. 


MarTech 2016 is the destination for conversation about the topics we’ve discussed above -- and so much more. The conference will add more insights into our predictions and will spark even bigger questions.