September 18, 2018

7000 to 1


There are technology tools to help you in every phase of marketing. In fact, almost 7000 of them.

Your marketing stack is likely to be unique: choose database A plus email program B, then add analytics tools C … soon, you may be tempted to add Shiny Objects D and E, and things can get very Rube Goldberg* in a hurry.

This insane chart, updated annually by, shows the logos of multiple categories of marketing technology firms/apps. In 2011, it was a complex array of (gasp) 150 choices. It mushroomed, year after year: this year’s display shows a drinking-from-a-firehose 6,829. Safe to say, there’s not a human being alive who knows what all of these tools do, or how well they combine or conflict or overlap.

Here’s a closeup of a portion of it so you can appreciate the lunatic complexity of it all.

In larger enterprises…

When the marketing stack piles up high enough, the people operating the Attract machinery don’t play well with the tools of the Engage people, who don’t feed data to the Analytics folks. And nobody speaks to Sales. Soon, the firm must hire a Marketing Technology Officer to keep the Jenga tower from collapsing. It’s usually early in the “stacking” that uncertainty creeps in – have we optimized? Are these our best choices? Are we overspending on services that might be duplicated or irrelevant?

But that questioning is not all bad; it might even be healthy. Big data makes measuring the ROI of every marketing tactic possible, even in smaller firms, so an investment in good tools makes sense, even when it seems complicated. Future success is data-driven.


A box crammed with shiny tools doesn’t make you a carpenter, or guarantee success in carpentry.

7000 to 1

Let’s pull back the lens. Change the focus from 7000 apps that could combine into a million possible marketing stacks … compare it to one solid, success-worthy brand strategy. All science and no art is a recipe for bad carpentry.

Before adding one more “cool new way to reach mommybloggers,” let’s make sure we’ve got the brand narrative that mommies actually want to hear, and respond to, and repeat as brand enthusiasts. Amirite?

*For our UK readers, Rube Goldberg = Heath Robinson.

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