By Adam Fraser
An interesting period in the martech sector.
In a world of 6800+ marketing software offerings, there’s rarely a slow news week and the constant M&A activity is interesting to observe.
A few recent major transactions:
Meltwater acquired social listening platform Sysomos to deepen and broaden its end to end media monitoring capability
Spredfast and Lithium merged to deepen and enhance their individual social technology capabilities and provide a very serious direct competitor to Sprinklr
Deloitte boosted its AI capability by acquiring martech vendor Magnetic Media online
This is just a small selection which illustrates the diversity of trends and drivers:
Extension of new capability (Meltwater deal)
Deepening of existing capability (Spredfast Lithium deal)
Management consultancies further encroaching into land traditionally controlled by agencies (Deloitte deal)
If you are looking for a nice simple consolidation trend of “the big guys hoovering up the small guys”, then martech is not the place to search. There are many trends within trends and a mix of underlying dynamics at play.
Is the much talked about ‘broader consolidation’ of this space coming? The quote attributed to the first American winner of the Nobel prize in economics, Paul Samuelson comes to mind:
“The Stock Market has Predicted 9 of the Past 5 Recessions.”
Since the martech landscape from Mr ChiefMartec himself, Scott Brinker, hit 2000 participants in 2015 (it’s now at 6800+) people have been discussing (including Scott and myself on the EchoJunction podcast here, here and here!) whether consolidation is coming. And every year the landscape grows deeper and broader. Scott himself dug deep into the cycles of new entrants, mergers and failures within martech in this recent excellent blog post on the topic.
Predicting the future size of this sector feels like forecasting the stock market – tempting to do but difficult to execute. However, never a dull moment as the recent M&A activity illustrates.