Polish martech is one of the industries where Polish start-ups achieve global success, but for the common public it is not a field where our native solutions are global successes. Perhaps it is because of its fragmentation, maybe because (somewhat ironically) that martechs are so good at promoting themselves, or maybe we do not pay attention to the fact that they belong in one industry? Because martech is a very broad concept, covering very different fields - so let us start with the definition.
Martech is a term encompassing all technological solutions that support marketing. Therefore, the industry is as broad as marketing is. What solutions can be included in its scope?
• Broadly understood advertising and brand promotion
This category includes products and services that facilitate promotional activities in various channels - both online and offline. PR, search engine marketing, social media, cooperation with influencers, as well as, for example, improving the printing or distribution of content.
• Content & Experience
Solutions supporting creation of marketing content and experiences related to a given brand - including blogs, e-mails, but also e.g. packaging.
• Relationships and Communities
Both relational activities in social media (including, for example, dynamically developing field of chatbots) and tools supporting the maintenance and management of an existing client - e.g. CRM systems. Here, too, we can add all means of internal communication - e.g. videoconferences.
• Shops and sales
Both an enormously wide area that is e-commerce and solutions collecting data in physical stores and automating the processes of promotion, upselling (promotion of more expensive / better products and additional services) or cross-selling (promotion of other products in the sales process).
Collecting, processing, gathering, analyzing, presenting the results - everything that can be done with data.
Tools that allow you to improve decision-making, marketing and sales processes, or budget management.
Just a glance at the range of topics that fall into the martech “basket” will show you that this is a very broad subject, and sometimes also difficult to define as well. Is, for example, the platform on which we place the online store a martech platform? Yes, but it does not necesarilly want to describe itself that way. What about a text editor or photo manipulation application that speeds up your work? It might be, depending on what you are using it for, and how it describes itself.
On the other hand, there are certainly Polish start-ups from the martech industry that can be counted among the world's best and have been recognized or used by people who do not specifically deal with the industry. These include, for example. Brand24, which, for many, is a symbol of the Polish start-up, and has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since May, Prowly, acquired last year by the American SEO/SEM giant - SEMRush, SentiOne - the second popular tool for Internet monitoring next to Brand24, but not only being its main competitor - because the creators of SentiOne also work in the area of AI and chatbots.
When it comes to chatbots and software allowing communication with the client, it is worth mentioning LiveChat - also a company listed on the WSE - that creates software for chats and bots, which in 2013 was included in the list of 500 fastest growing companies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East prepared by Deloitte. Among large and mature companies, we can also talk about Freshmail and GetResponse, two mailing solutions tailored to the requirements of Polish customers.
Is there still room for new solutions among such large and mature players? Of course - not only are new niches appearing where there is room for automation (among the solutions considered worth observing by us this year we have listed, among others, InSTREAMLY, which helps in marketing during live gaming broadcasts, another company worth watching is Nethansa, that, at the very beginning of the year, received over 10 million from VC funds - this start-up is focused on facilitating sales in one channel - Amazon, that entering Poland more and more rapidly), but there are also technological solutions that are becoming more and more popular and enable the emergence of competitive products - here we can mention, for example chatbots and voice solutions.
A highly dispersed industry?
The martech industry in Poland, unlike, for example, fintech does not have its own specialized media - the subject of martech is mainly featured in magazines and portals operating in the field of marketing - Nowy Marketing portal, which focuses on technologies in marketing - but not necessarily for the startup perspective, may be an exception here. There are also no organizations collecting marketing technologies from the country under one umbrella - despite a number of marketing conferences that very often operate at the meeting point of industries, there is also lack of one that would deal strictly with martech (although there were attempts to create such an event).
The place that works on connecting young companies from the industry is a typical martech accelerator - mSpark - cooperating with the KnowledgeHub fund and global marketing agencies. However, the martech industry is very closely connected to its customers - that is, marketers. Does it support its development? Certainly when it comes to finding customers for solutions, but not necessarily when it comes to looking at the market overall, as it is often considered a part of the marketing industry. This may be its strong or weak point – depending on how you look at it, but surely martech is here to stay and grow.