Ever wonder who is the marketing technology behind the $35 billion dollars in e-commerce sales this holiday season? If you are an agency, wall street analyst, marketer, optimizer or any other player in the digital media ecosystem, you probably want to read below.
I always tell my team at The Media Kitchen that you can learn a lot from what other companies are doing; the good, the bad, and the ugly… so study them. On the web, it’s relatively easy to study companies and their respective infrastructure as the source code of competitors is only 1 click away.
I teamed up with my friends over at Evidon who own the Ghostery product and had them send me a data dump of 3rd party tags that were placed on 20 e-commerce sites (list below). Note, the data I have is fairly reliable but not perfect, so I may have missed a partner here or there. However, I do have over 150+ partners who had tags down on these 20 e-commerce destinations, so I feel I have a directionally accurate view of who was part of the marketing technology ecosystem for Holiday 2011.
Sites I tracked were Best Buy, CouponCabin, Sports Authority, LL Bean, Gap, Dicks Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, SVPPLY, DSW.com, Modells, Zappos, Old Navy, Disney, Target, Walmart, Gilt, Sears, Amazon, NewEgg, and Piperlime.
I counted a total of 413 partner tags/pixels placed across these 20 sites (note, I only went to 1-2 pages per site and assumed tags would be similar across most pages).
Executive Summary (full report can be downloaded here)
- Best Buy, CouponCabin, and Sports Authority properties contained 43% of all tags placed. The top 10 of the 20 sites accounted for 85% of all tags placed. I am actually surprised that Amazon didn’t fall into the top 3, but again, Ghostery told me they only had 3 tags down on their pages (Turn, DoubleClick, Google Analytics).
- The top 3 tags placed across all 20 sites were Google Analytics, Omniture, and DoubleClick. No real surprise here.
- The biggest surprise IMHO is that Google+1 outranks Facebook and Twitter as social plug-ins that are embedded across these ecommerce publishers.
- The DSPs are in-line with the recent Forrestor report so I didn’t find anything crazy in those numbers.
- Google Analytics has 70% coverage across these 20 e-commerce sites. Imagine the data that Google could/is collecting. Just saying.
In order to digest this 1000+ cell data dump, I created a schematic whereas I broke down the product (such as Tag Management) and took the top companies and their % composition the 20 e-commerce destinations. The link to the excel sheet is at the bottom of this post.
Web Analytics software: Google Analytics (70%), Omniture (60%), Foresee (40%), Webtrends (15%), Yahoo Analytics (15%), Coremetrics (10%)
3rd Party Ad Serving: DoubleClick (55%), Microsoft Atlas (25%), ValueClick MediaPlex (35%), MediaMind (5%)
Tag Management: BrightTag (20%), TagMan (5%)
DSP: AppNexus AdNexus (30%), Turn (25%), MediaMath (20%), Invite Media (20%), AdNetik (10%), X+1 (10%), Lucid (5%), DataXu (5%), Rocket Fuel (5%)
Exchange: Right Media (35%), AdBrite (15%), OpenX (10%)
SSP: PubMatic (50%), Rubicon (25%), Admeld (10%)
Social Plug-Ins: Google +1 (45%), Facebook (40%), Twitter (15%), AddThis (15%)
Site Optimization: Omniture (60%), Monetate (20%), RichRelevance (20%), Visual Website Optimizer (15%)
I believe the Omniture & DoubleClick tag data above is a bit misleading because those are grandiose tags that can do many different things and without the right context, they could be categorized incorrectly. I tried my best.
Google dominates pretty much up and down the marketing technology stack. I still think they should buy Adobe to become the monopolistic dominant player (to get Omniture), but I don’t believe the government will ever allow that.
I was actually surprised that Omniture didn’t have even higher composition of the 20 ecommerce players.
I couldn’t tease out DoubleClick AdX from their other tags so that’s why they weren’t included in the Exchange part.
And of course, since I work, play, and invest in the marketing technology ecosystem, I’m conflicted up the wazoo with many of the companies mentioned in this post as well, as, the data in the chart linked below. I have done my best to tease out bias. Please proceed with caution but honestly, I don’t think you need to. Contact me if you are interested in discussing.
Thought you might find all of this data interesting. I have included my chart here in case you want to download it and play with it. The full report I put together is located here. Please remember to give proper attribution if you use it.
I’m curious to look at this data in 2012 and compare it to 2011 (I don’t have historicals). I’m sure we’ll see some interesting changes.
Darren Herman is the Chief Digital Media Officer of The Media Kitchen (part of kbs+) and is President of kbs+ Ventures which is an early stage marketing technology institutional investment arm of the agency. His tweets can be found at @dherman76 and blogging here at http://www.darrenherman.com