Our audience is growing. Not a little bit as it's done gradually the last decade. It's growing every single month as more and more companies are overwhelmed with the decisions that need made with regard to marketing technology.
Martech Zone has grown its reach almost 40% year over year… averaging over 100,000 visits monthly along with ~75,000 email subscribers (now that we're on CircuPress – the email platform we built for WordPress). Our Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and personal accounts continue to swell as well. Our mobile app is growing and our combined podcast with Edge of the Web radio has reached over 3,000,000 listens in the last couple years. Wow!
Venture Beat recently did an outstanding article on the state of funding in the marketing technology industry.
The bad news is that despite some $49.1 billion in investment scattered among 537 marketing technology products that have received major funding, overall penetration of the top 25 marketing technology products across a broad swath of 151 industries is a miserly 4.1 percent. That would be primarily, of course, outside the Silicon Valley bubble.
It's not slowing down, either. Scott Brinker reports over $21.8 billion of funding for marketing technology… meaning a wave of tools and technologies are just around the corner!
Why is interest increasing?
- Discovery – companies have been developing solutions and beginning to build valuable tools that are truly helping companies deploy and measure their marketing efforts. Finding the right tools – with the huge selection as VB noted above, is difficult.
- Selection – there are thousands of solutions out there! I don't think it's a surprise that the landscape is largely flat and wide. Companies have the opportunity to find platforms that meet their needs rather than buying a one-size-fits-all solution that requires them to change their processes.
- Price – prices for IT have plummeted but marketing technology prices have remained the same or even increased. That's a bit of a bubble in my opinion, and we're observing and sharing many new, inexpensive tools that are feature rich and highly competitive with existing platforms that are old, bloated and expensive.
- Ease of Use – if you purchased a marketing automation system a few years ago, you needed to invest in highly-technical staff to deploy and manage the solution. Not so much anymore. New solutions are getting much easier to use and deploy, so businesses are open to investing more into the space because there's not an expensive barrier to entry.
So what's missing?
I've put the analogy out that selling marketing technology is a lot like selling refrigerators to starving people. The refrigerators are cheap, plentiful, feature-rich, and can do a fantastic job. But they're not worth a damn if you don't have food. The food of marketing technology is the strategy and content that are necessary to fuel your business.
Because marketing technology has become so cheap and plentiful, it's widely adopted but poorly deployed. A decade ago, a marketing department would have a multi-year strategy and human resources planned with every key marketing technology purchase. Too many companies are now deploying technology without a strategy, or in lieu of a strategy. The stuff that's being sold in the industry is just enabling poor marketers to spread more crap that's not getting results.
We need to change that! And as a publication on marketing technology, we've been focused on changing that the last year. When we are pitched by companies nowadays, we're resistant to write about their solution unless we have information providing the key problems they're trying to overcome and what kind of strategy needs deployed with the solution to succeed. It's not about features, it's about benefits.
So what's next?
We're not standing still and we're investing a ton of time and effort into our strategies to help you… here's what's coming around the corner:
- Site Redesign – We have a redesign of the blog coming that we're going to gradually introduce. It will make us look a lot more like a digital publication than a blog, designed by the user interface and design experts at Exit 31. I'm including a preview below!
- Content Improvements – we're working closely with the team and technology at Atomic Reach to tune our content and drive more engagement with our readers. We also have some great partnerships with copywriters that we're looking to expand to help us improve our content.
- Lead Capture – We have a lot of readers who need help and don't know where to turn. Our redesign includes having a form capture and solution shared with every single post. Need help and you'll be able to ask for it – routed directly to our team or one of our partners.
- Podcast – We're working to get many more industry professionals and marketers on our podcast with the great folks at Site Strategics. We'll do a lot better job of promoting the shows via our sites and email programs. The podcast is reaching a ton of people and we need to do a better job of injecting it throughout our site and apps.
- Mobile App – Unfortunately, the mobile app company that built our app is closing that portion of their business, so we'll be working on engineering a new app for the new year that includes advertisements and lead capture just as our site does.
- Webinars – We love our client ReadyTalk, and are working to develop webinars for you every single month to help you with your business and marketing technology needs!
- Events – Last year we had an amazing event in downtown Indianapolis that drew over 250 attendees to raise money for charity. We're going to pursue making that a larger event here in Indianapolis – especially since Salesforce is moving its Connections conference to New York. We still believe there's an amazing opportunity here for a midwest marketing and technology conference. The music festival we attached was a great addition!
- Video – we launched Marketing Clips and will be combining our Podcasts as well to publish out regular streams of videos to help our readers.
We're also trying to coordinate and work closer with other industry partners out there, like Social Media Examiner, the Content Marketing Institute, CopyBlogger, MarketingProfs, MarketingSherpa, New Media Expo, Chief Marketing Technologist, and various associations. These organizations have outstanding education resources, expertise, online conferences, and annual events that we want to support and promote with our own community.
From an agency standpoint, DK New Media has become hyper-focused, working only with marketing platforms, marketing companies, marketing technology providers and technology companies in 2014. Jenn Lisak (now a partner) and I are pushing the Marketing Technology brand into the spotlight and reducing the visibility of DK New Media.
Did I mention a redesign? Here's the sneak peak. It will be fully responsive so that we can improve the experience of our mobile web users which is growing by the day! All of the site pages have been designed and the developers are have begun work!