Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map

The rise of digital marketing is producing a fragmented and confusing landscape of terminology, providers and technologies, according to Gartner, Inc. In response to this, Gartner has created a digital marketing transit map to aid organizations in the creation of a digital marketing solutions strategy and to improve operations and plan initiatives.

"Digital marketing organizations have accumulated most of their technologies in discrete initiatives, often one technology at a time," said Yvonne Genovese, managing vice president at Gartner. "This approach creates silos that don't work together and leads digital marketers to overlook strategies and technologies that improve efficiency and effectiveness of marketing efforts."

"Gartner's digital marketing transit map presents a comprehensive landscape of marketing technologies that will enable organizations to see every kind of service and technology that is available and how they relate to each other," said Andrew Frank, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "This will allow them to identify the best sources for their needs and acquire systems that work well together."

A transit map is a proven tool for communicating complex information in an intuitive way. In this way, the map provides a metaphor for digital marketing. Neighborhoods (see Figure 1) represent functional regions that can be thought of as centers of excellence within an organization. Tracks connect these regions and can be thought of as application services that share common objectives and information. Stations represent interaction points that can be thought of as vendor and production categories that provide platform and point solutions. Intersections represent transfer points where solutions may serve more than one business area.

The overall layout of the transit map is structured as follows: - To the south are the "business districts" that connect with other parts of the organization: IT, sales and service, general marketing, business intelligence and general advertising, which is often outsourced to agencies. - The stop in the center, labeled "digital marketing hub," is the central station where all of the functions converge. - In the northwest are services aimed at awareness and traffic: advertising and search. - In the northeast are services concerned with engagement quality: creative and user experience. - Due north are services concerned with engagement quality: creative and user experience. - Mobile and emerging technology loops indicate that they touch all other categories. The broken line representing emerging technology indicates areas under construction.

"We created the landscape for digital marketing in the form of a transit map to show complex relationships among a large number of technologies and operational areas," said Jake Sorofman, research director at Gartner. "Organizations should use the map to identify the connection among business functions, applications tracks and providers. Map elements can be used to find additional research or structure questions about strategy and best practices as well as providers, products and selection criteria. It is also a useful device for mediating discussions between marketing and IT."

Click on the neighborhood, track names, and stations for detailed descriptions and useful links to sample vendors, products, and research.

Links will open a new tab. Digital Marketing constantly changes – report broken links here. Last updated: 29 April 2016.

Program
Guide Promo
OTT Video Rich Media
Search
Gamification
Tools
Automatic Content
Generation
Product
Design
Advanced
Visualization
Media Labs Virtual
Actors
Natural
Language
Questioning
Mobile
Payments
Digital Wallet Social TV Persona Mgmt Real-Time
Decisioning
Predictive
Campaign
Analytics
Emotion
Detection
Microsensors Automatic Content
Recognition
Augmented
Reality
Statistical ID Microlocation Geofencing Consumer
3D Printing
Smart Kiosks DOOH Media Svcs Programmatic
TV
Embedded
Merch
Social Advertising Mgmt Content Marketing E-Commerce
Enablers
Digital Asset
Mgmt
Dynamic Creative Responsive Design UX Design Product
Design
Connection to CMO Idea Mgmt Campaign
Mgmt
Management
Consultants
Digital
Agencies
Search
Engines
Rich Media
Search
Search Retargeting Mobile Search SEM Platform SEO Tools Site Search Social
Search
Product
Search
Connection to IT IT Service
Providers
Business
Process
Outsourcers
Marketing
Service
Providers
Agile Mktg PM Mktg Resource
Mgmt
Lead
Mgmt
Campaign
Mgmt
Management
Consultants
Digital
Agencies
Site Retargeting Email
Mktg
Compliance Tag
Mgmt
Social
Mktg Mgmt
Geotargeting Microlocation Data
Providers
Data
Exchange
DMP
Connections to
Sales and Service
Campaign
Mgmt
Management
Consultants
Digital
Agencies
Site Retargeting Content Marketing E-Commerce
Enablers
Digital Asset
Mgmt
Mobile Apps & Content Digital Offers Mobile Commerce Product
Search
Social Commerce Advocacy Mktg Reviews
& Recs
Loyalty
Mktg
Mobile
Payments
Digital Wallet Digital
Retailers
Connections to
Sales and Service
Crowdsourcing Idea Mgmt Digital
Agencies
Social Advertising Mgmt Social
Search
Social
Mktg Mgmt
Social
Analytics
Blogs Communities Social Commerce Advocacy Mktg Reviews
& Recs
Social Apps Social TV Social
Networks
Mobile Search Responsive Design Mobile Apps & Content Mobile Commerce Mobile App
Marketplace
Mobile
Analytics
Geofencing Microlocation Statistical ID Augmented
Reality
Geotargeting Automatic Content
Recognition
In-app Ads Mobile Ad
Networks
Mobile
Media &
Targeting
QR Codes
SEO Tools Attribution DMP Programmatic Media Social Advertising Mgmt Email
Mktg
Tag
Mgmt
Web
Analytics
Web Content
Mgmt
Social
Analytics
Marketing
Analytics
Mobile
Analytics
Mobile App
Analytics
Predictive
Campaign
Analytics
Census and
Panel Data
A/B Testing Digital
Agencies
Management
Consultants
Campaign
Mgmt
Connection to IT IT Service
Providers
Business
Process
Outsourcers
Marketing
Service
Providers
Data
Warehouses
Media Metrics Customer Analytics Connection to BI
Media
Companies
Embedded
Merch
In-Game
Ads
Ad Verification Ad Exchanges Search Retargeting SEM Platform Programmatic
TV
Video Ad
Networks
Video Ad Mgmt Mobile
Media &
Targeting
Venues DOOH Media Svcs Smart Kiosks Geotargeting In-app Ads Mobile Ad
Networks
Attribution DMP Programmatic Media Online Ad Networks Social Advertising Mgmt Email
Mktg
A/B Testing Site Retargeting Digital
Agencies
Management
Consultants
Campaign
Mgmt
Media Metrics Media
Agencies
Agency Holding
Companies
Connection to
General Advertising
User Groups Advanced
Visualization
Personalization UX Design Media Labs Online Video Publishing Mobile Apps & Content Digital Asset
Mgmt
Site Search E-Commerce
Enablers
Content Marketing Tag
Mgmt
Web
Analytics
Web Content
Mgmt
A/B Testing
EMERGING TECH

CREATIVE

STRATEGY

SEARCH

MKTG MGMT

RT DATA

COMMERCE

SOCIAL

MOBILE

AD TECH

ANALYTICS

UX

AD OPS
DESIGN

SOCIAL OPS

MOBILITY

WEB OPS

DATA OPS

MARKETING OPS

Transit Map Acronym Key

  • CMO= Chief marketing officer
  • CSP = Communication service provider
  • DM = Digital marketing
  • DMP = Data management platform
  • DOOH = Digital out-of-home
  • IT = Information Technology
  • OTT = Over-the-top
  • PM = Program management
  • RT = Real-time
  • SEM = Search engine marketing
  • SEO = Search engine optimization
  • UX = User experience

Using the Map

The Digital Marketing Transit Map is designed to identify the best sources for your needs and acquire systems that work well together. It will help you:

  • Identify the connections among business functions, application tracks and providers.
  • Find additional research or structure questions about strategy and best practices as well as providers, products, and selection criteria.
  • Mediate discussions between marketing and IT.

Interpreting the Map

Navigate the complexity of a fragmented and confusing digital marketing landscape. Elements of the map include:

  • Neighborhoods represent functional regions that can be thought of as practice areas within an organization.
  • Tracks connect regions and can be thought of as application services that share common objectives and information.
  • Stations represent interaction points that can be thought of as vendor and product categories that provide platforms and point solutions.
  • Intersections represent transfer points where solutions may serve more than one business area.