The Subjective Quadrant (SQ) for Digital Marketing
A Jobs-to-be-Done lens on evaluating the market of Marketing
Many of you are familiar with the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) which uses a BCG matrix to plot brands along four subjectively defined criteria (such as completeness of vision and ability to execute). I’m sure there is some survey data to back it up. It’s hard to tell when you look at the definitions they provide. Much of the criticism I’ve heard over the years is that these analyses are bought and paid for by the brands you see on the MQ.
But mine is completely different! No one’s paying me!
In my last post - How does the Martech Stack, Stack Up? - I suggested that when you compare marketing technology brands against my framing of the market - marketers trying to develop a qualified lead - marketing technology tends to focus solely on the execution of marketing activities. These normally skew to the communication side of the solution spectrum. In the related podcast, we called it the theater of marketing. It’s the sexy/fun stuff that gets people noticed…until they get replaced.
I also highlighted that, at least from a digital transformation perspective, that there was a lack of attention on the front-side of the market. All of the planning, analysis, logistics and design seems as though it has been forgotten. But, we all know that this stuff has to take place.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t require digital technology to do the planning and analysis. The premise I’ve put forward is that CRM and Martech market growth in profit-share (and eventually market-share) will come from helping customers get more of their job done - or more jobs done (think smartphone) - on a single platform.
If the sub-objectives that I describe in my model are true (or close), then my theory will be proven out. My theory is that marketers would highly value a solution that goes beyond execution and monitoring. A winning solution would also need to manage, or facilitate, the planning-phase sub-objectives. The outputs from these sub-objectives would then be integrated into the configuration and execution objectives, resulting in a highly coupled end-to-end solution.
We get closer to a marketing appliance (but we’ll never get there)
We incorporate best practices and forward-looking predictive data consistently and effectively
We feed a consistently set of inputs into the execution stages
We generate the data that supersedes opinions
If accomplishing these goals is valid, then my Subjective Quadrant (SQ) for Digital Marketing Technology is valid. Just as valid as a Gartner MQ, in my opinion. Probably much more so from a long-term predictive standpoint.
Keep in mind, this is subjective based on the simple analysis in my preceding blog post. It’s an example only and the plots are completely random.
This depiction shows - in a very simple way - what Executors must do to address more of the market - they need to add more planning capability into their platforms or integrated portfolios. Conversely, Planners are typically agencies, consultants or internal methods that must be standardized in order for digital platforms to subsume, and digitalize them. I see potential disruptors coming from the Planner side and either partnering with, or exiting to, incumbent CRM platform brands.
It’s fairly rare for incumbents to look at the world through a new lens, however. So…
Alternatively, Planners could partner with (or acquire) Losers, who’s otherwise not-good-enough execution features become good-enough due to their integration with the Planners capabilities. Then they can mount an attack on Executors by improving those traditional capabilities over time, while maintaining a superior end-to-end solution.
While this SQ is currently subjective, unlike the Gartner MQ I do have the ability quantify this sort of matrix with great precision. In fact, I could use the data to evaluate this market in a variety of ways, from high level (yet forward looking) analyses like this, to much lower level, very specific areas within sub-objectives that have gaps, or over-delivery. Trends could also be evaluated over time.
And that’s just this one little sub-market in the CRM ecosystem. Imagine what else could happen!