A senior-level executive asked me for advice the other day. For the past 15 years, he had worked for a company that sold software to publishers and loved the challenge of helping to invent a new industry.
But as the market matured and his company was acquired, and then was acquired again, he realized that the heady days of constant innovation were over. Where should he go to get that same adrenaline rush and make a real impact?
My response was immediate: marketing tech platforms (aka martech).
This isn’t to say that publishers are no longer buying software. Quite the opposite is true. But every component of the publisher ad tech stack, from quote to billing, is dominated by clear market leaders — Salesforce, Google, Domo, Oracle — just to name a few, as is typical in mature markets. If you want to work in a field that’s wide open to new players, the sell-side ecosystem is bound to disappoint, because it’s locked up.
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