Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of the most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I look to where the industry is going and what you should be paying attention to.
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Congratulations to the TMW 100
On Tuesday, I walked on stage at MOps-Apalooza to present the culmination of the TMW 100 global rankings, awarding ReBid 3rd place, Desygner 2nd place, and CustomerLabs the #1 most innovative marketing technology of 2023. You can now view all the rankings here.
I hadn’t heard of these companies before they applied for TMW 100, with two of them headquartered in India and one in Australia and yet, these folks beat out 97 companies – including some of the world's largest firms - to claim the top spots in the People’s Choice and the Judge’s Pick. Diamonds in the rough is an understatement.
And after a good six months of scheming, building, recruiting, spruiking and organizing, this is exactly why we started TMW 100: to find the companies building breakthrough technology and creating industry-critical opportunities for marketers from all over the world.
Around the time I came up with the idea for TMW 100 on a warm Sunday afternoon, I was thinking about how broken the existing ways we analyze the Martech industry are, and how little it has changed over time. Large research firms – with their army of analysts – will give you a Myers-Briggs version of a tech landscape where everyone gets to win a prize, or tech ranking websites that offer some signal of success and quality, but are easily gamed with gift cards and content marketing.
It’s been that way for at least 15 years, and as the industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, adding about 1,000 new solutions a year, I felt strongly that we needed a way to showcase not only the excellence, effectiveness, and market potential of all of these new solutions, but also how these companies are steering the industry into the future.
After all, the DMP category was red hot only six years ago and now it’s entirely dead, while the CDP is all the rage, growing into a huge industry driving more than $2.3 billion in revenue per year in a relatively short amount of time.
Then ChatGPT came onto the scene, and generative AI got its moment in November last year, creating its own revolution in the Martech stack. I’ve lost count of all the AI feature announcements that have come out of Martech companies this year.
Beyond the specific tech of the day, there’s one indisputable fact: The hype cycle is getting shorter, and the iteration and net new creation flywheel is spinning like crazy. But it’s not all growth and opportunity. Innovation is best served under pressure.
At the event, I talked about a few key charts that really tell the story of how hard it is to build marketing technology today. For example, Martech company valuations have plummeted since COVID-19, making most startups significantly less valuable to investors and acquirers than just a couple of years ago during the height of the pandemic.
On top of that, marketers' purse strings are tightening. According to a 2023 budget outlook by Nielsen, marketers are looking to decrease their marketing budgets by as much as 35% in places such as APAC.
And broader market surveys such as last year’s Ascend2 Martech utilization report suggest that the vast majority of marketers are using less than 50% of their Martech stack’s capabilities.
Clearly, there are challenges ahead for this industry. But as I’ve learned throughout my time, marketing technology is one of those dynamic and creative industries where the only way to push through it is to innovate.
And so, on that sunny Sunday afternoon back in March, I thought: why not extend how we curate industry trends for our subscribers with a program that recognizes the innovators in the industry? Why the hell not?
The way we went about it is this: Instead of leaving it up to unknown analysts or letting Amazon gift cards do the talking, we thought we’d see if a brilliant panel of international Martech leaders from places like Kenya, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and the United States would agree with what the general public thinks is innovative. Each judge got to select a top three each, making up 36 companies in total selected by the panel. So, did the Judge’s Pick and the rankings agree? Let’s find out!
What I’m going to do now is count down to the 1st place, showing both the overall rankings and the Judge’s Picks in each ranking group. We’re working on an analysis of the TMW 100 and how they ranked against their competitors and peers called the Martech Innovation Index Report, which comes out on 10 December. For now, enjoy the rankings and congratulations to this year’s winners!
Introducing the TMW 100th to 50th place:
And congratulations to the 100th to 50th place Judge’s Picks: Uptempo, Zitcha, Twilio Segment, MessageGears, Omneo, Red Marker, B2, Connectedflow, Incites, Pega, Airmeet, Pyte, Scout, Trademark Ventures International and Holder!
As we move on to the 50th to 25th place, you might notice that the rankings start at 48th place: this is because we have two sets of ties at 47th and 29th place. But be assured, there are still 50 companies in total; we are just starting the ranking at 48th place. Speaking of which…
From 25th to 10th place is where things get interesting; the companies in this group are very diverse and fiercely competitive. So, a big congratulations to the 25th to 10th place!
Moving on to the top 10, congratulations to Census (USA), Terragon (Nigeria), Castled Data (India), Eagle Eye, (United Kingdom), Factors.ai (India), Digivizer (Australia) and Hightouch (USA) for ranking in the top ten most innovative!
And of course, the Judge’s Picks, which make up the majority of the top ten companies:
Congratulations now go to the Top 3, starting with third place: Rebid!
Based in India, Rebid is innovating for a cookieless future by enabling advertisers to draw a straight line between acquisition efforts and real-world business impact through a full-stack advertiser’s CDP.
Moving to 2nd place is Desygner, an Australian-founded AI-powered platform redefining digital asset management for swift, on-brand content creation at scale, saving businesses thousands of precious hours every year. Desygner is also the only company in the top 3 to have received the Judge’s Pick!
And lastly, a huge congratulations to our first ever most innovative Martech solution: CustomerLabs, with a huge 1,155 votes! CustomerLabs is democratizing the CDP for everyone with a patented identity resolution technology, simplicity of use for small businesses, and an affordable price point. CustomerLabs is a centralized system to manage customer data from all sources – including CRM, website, and data warehouses – in one place. Congratulations!
And that wraps up TMW 100’s award ceremony for 2023! Watch out for our in-depth Innovation Index Report for 2023 which I will send to you on 10 December, which will go deep into how each company ranks against their category peers, countries and innovation types along with a deep bench of insights from international experts.
For now congratulations to the Top 3!
To go from a fragile idea to a fully-fledged program took a village, so a massive thank you to Mike Rizzo from MarketingOps.com for not even hesitating to bring TMW 100 into their inaugural 3-day marketing ops festival, MOps-Apalooza, and for giving us such an amazing audience and community to celebrate this awesome tech.
Thank you to She Loves Data (Jana and Patricia) for coming on board as our charitable giving partner. Super excited to announce that TMW 100 is donating $1,800 to She Loves Data to continue their vital work of bringing more women into the marketing technology industry.
And of course, a massive thank you to the TMW staff that made this program so awesome. It took a huge effort to bring this to the industry and now it’s here. Here’s to 2024 and even more innovative marketing technologies pushing the boundaries of growth and opportunity for marketers from around the world.
And lastly, thank YOU for sharing, subscribing to and engaging with TMW 100, I hope that this program will help you gain even more insight into which companies are building the future of this incredible industry.
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