David Dodd who you can follow on Twitter @GDavidDodd sent us a link to an interesting article by Scott Brinker about Marketing Automation: The emerging third-party era of marketing automation. which has some parallels with our on-going discussion about the future of Digital Asset Management and the DAM Value Chain:
“Will marketing technology consolidate into a handful of behemoth super-platforms? Or will it continue to diversify with more innovative new software? My theory on marketing technology consolidation vs. diversification has been both…I believe that a set of “backbone” platforms will serve as the foundation of marketing’s technology infrastructure, but they will promote open APIs and robust third-party developer communities. Marketers will have the best of both worlds: a coordinating platform for standardized data and back-end processes, strategically enhanced with select point solutions for differentiated marketing capabilities.” [Read More]
The essence of the article is that marketing automation will sub-divide into larger scale vendors (‘backbone platform’ as Scott calls them) and then third party operators who leverage their application communications infrastructure to provide specialist services that are too niche or specialist for the platform suppliers to be able to deal with economically. Scott offers some examples of where this is already happening in Marketing Automation to illustrate his point. This is exactly the sort of trend we have been envisaging gathering momentum in DAM and it is no great surprise that related fields (and others) are thinking along the same lines.
For those that like to consider these trends from a more macro perspective, the article also has a link to a Venturebeat article about The API Economy which I had not read before. That abstracts the basic idea to envision what they call a ‘B2D’ (Business To Developers) market. Describing your services in those terms is currently unlikely to appeal to many software marketers as the focus is still on the end user of their software in pure user interface terms, however, it is the same kind of concept as a traditional B2B physical supply chain. If DAM vendors buy into the idea that DAM now largely exists to service a digital media supply chain of one sort or another, they may also need to come to terms with the notion that a fair proportion (if not all) their customers might one day be other service providers rather than end users.