In what ways do the various components of digital marketing intersect and how can a company use that knowledge to its advantage? Gartner asked itself those questions and came up with the "Digital Marketing Transit" map, which resembles the map of the London Underground, with color-coded routes bearing names like mobility, analytics, and ad tech snaking out of the "Digital Marketing Hub."
Each line includes "stops" such as fingerprinting, augmented reality, ad verification, and attribution. Clients who click on the stops in the paid version of the map get definitions of the functions as well as related research and a list of vendors. Many of the stops connect several lines, such as A/B testing, which spans user experience, analytics, and ad tech.
The idea was to “convey a high-level understanding of how these different functions in the marketing organization fit together,” explained Gartner analyst Andrew Frank. “We’ve developed a situation where people are quite knowledgeable about the areas they’ve been involved in but less knowledgeable about how all this fits together."
In order to become "a 360-degree company," Frank continued, that "has consistent customer experience across all channels and situations, you need to have a higher-level view than just understanding one particular technology that can enable digital marketing.” In contrast to other charts that simply list vendors and products, the Digital Marketing Transit map illustrates where digital-marketing components cross paths.
“There are other diagrams and charts out there,” he said, “but it was hard to find anything that described the relationships between the different areas in marketing. We’re trying to address this siloed tunnel vision that people struggle with when they need to think more broadly about enterprise strategy.”
Using visualization tools to make sense of concepts and big data is gaining traction. Gartner’s transit map follows Twitter’s acquisition of the startup Lucky Sort, which helps users identify patterns in live data streams. And information-management software developer Datawatch announced earlier this week that it would acquire Panopticon Software, a supplier of data visualization and discovery tools, for approximately $31.4 million.