TMW Special Edition | The 2023 Martech Innovation Index

Dec 10, 2023

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The 2023 Martech Innovation Index

Deep dive into the future of Martech innovation. 

This week’s newsletter is a little different than usual. We’re excited to share the first-ever 2023 Martech Innovation Index. 
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The highly anticipated Martech Innovation Index Report analyzes 2023’s TMW 100 nominees in depth with some great insights on how technology companies are building the future of the Martech industry. Including:
Innovation Trends: Key innovation themes from 2023 and their industry impact
Peer Rankings: Martech innovators ranked against their peer categories, countries, and their  product, customer, and business innovation case study types.
Industry Reflections: Innovation observations from our international Judges and expert industry contributors. A special thank you to those who contributed their 2023 reflections: Anna Ambrozevich, Jessica Box, Darrell Alfonso, Brandon Redlinger, Arpit Choudhury, Apoorv Durga, Justin Gray, Phil Gamache, David Raab, Joe Escobedo, and Myles Younger.
Looking Forward: What to expect in Martech innovation for 2024.

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An industry in new terrain 

Below is an excerpt from the TMW 100 Martech Innovation Index Executive Summary.

If 2023 will be remembered for anything, I think it will be known as a special year where a lot of new ground was covered in Martech. Indeed, 2023 was the year of new, unexplored terrain, which means rocky paths and a lot of stumbling through an ever-expanding sector... But also brings new challenges and significant opportunities for growth. 
What you will find in this report is a big focus on Data and Analytics, as it emerged as the most innovative category from the TMW 100, garnering significant attention from both industry votes and expert judges. This surge in interest coincides with a paradigm shift driven by two major trends:

Firstly, the imminent demise of third-party cookies has propelled the development of new tracking and targeting tools within Data and Analytics. Companies are seizing this opportunity to pioneer cookieless advertising solutions, as evidenced by innovative offerings from ReBid, Lotame, and CustomerLabs.
The official commencement of Google's third-party cookie depreciation in 2024 has become a trigger for marketers to  find alternative solutions. Marketers face multitude of choice in what comes next, either shifting to first-party data, leveraging data cleanrooms, adopting contextual advertising, or embracing existing walled gardens.

Secondly, the Martech landscape is witnessing a move towards more flexible data management architecture, often referred to as composability. Companies like Hightouch, Census, RudderStack, and MessageGears are leading this shift, empowering marketers with greater access to customer data and enhanced flexibility in data flow between apps.
The composable Martech trend is maturing, with new players offering services similar to Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Cloud platforms, exemplified by AWS's Customer360 proposition, are capitalizing on the abundance of data in the marketing and advertising domains with new products.
The meteor that was Generative AI in 2023 has significantly altered Martech. And this is found no better than in the Content and Experience domain. Companies like Desygner, Kognitiv, SaS, Eagle Eye, Solus, and Aampe are embracing AI features for automated content creation and deployment, and are taking full advantage of the tools available today. 

But it’s not just in the content realm where AI is making its mark. Martech infrastructure advancements in 2023 highlight AI's dual role in automation, and insight generation also stood out as a transformative shift in Martech, enabling incredible efficiency gains for marketers.

What you will also find in this report are significant innovation insights not just in technology categories, but also in the size of companies and where they are located. For example, the top 3 most innovative marketing technologies of 2023 are all bootstrapped (self-funded) companies, while the majority of voters choosing startups with less than 50 staff.

Additionally, while the United States continues to be the “assembly line” of Martech innovation, boasting the majority of entrants, votes and Judge’s Picks awards, surprisingly, Australia and India come a close second in all aspects of innovation, showing strong innovation growth in countries in Asia Pacific.
Indeed, the terrain has been a steep learning curve from all sides of the industry, whether that be Generative AI disruption, or the dual pressures of privacy regulation and a third-party cookie less future, or significant progress in modernising customer data management. Clearly 2023 represents a step change in Martech innovation, a step into new terrain with new possibilities.
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Juan Mendoza

Juan Mendoza is an expert in researching global media, marketing, data, and technology trends. He is the CEO of The Martech Weekly, a media and research brand with subscribers in over 65 countries.

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