Marketing technology platforms are evolving fast. It’s nigh on impossible to keep track of what is a fundamental changing of the game – and what’s just a cool app.

B2b marketers know that technology should not be the tail wagging the dog of strategy, but sometimes new technology creates ‘a-ha’ moments to redefine everything.

Two such ‘a-ha’ moments occurred just before and during Christmas.

(Now it’s important to not think about specific vendors here, but instead think about the direction marketing technology innovation is taking. For example, back in the day Overture set the direction for the great innovation of pay per click.  Google basically copied the model with Adwords and the rest is history.)

#1 Shift: The app ecosystem being controlled by one rules engine

B2B marketers have become increasingly disillusioned over the past couple of years with the core backbone model.

The benefits of support and familiarity with an all-in-one platform such as Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo etc. are well known and accepted.

The problem is that they are good at everything, just not great at the individual sums of their parts.

And now specialist apps are cropping up daily that are great at their one thing.

Viva la connectors

Zapier paved the way by realising that there is a potential fortune to be made in being the connector rather than an actual app. Connecting the app ecosystem together through open APIs is the 2016 equivalent of selling shovels to the diggers in the gold rush.

The shovel merchants made the real money.

A few years ago a b2b marketer’s technology stack was pretty dependent on one vendor. But now bolting on apps has become as quick as whipping out a credit card to pay for them.

But this best of breed model creates its own problem – how to you manage and control them all together?

Enter LeadPage’s New Center

A beta programme launched during the Christmas break, with an official launch set for February.

This is about taking app connectivity to a whole new level.

LeadPage’s CEO Clay Collins explains: “Center is a new command center that sits on top of the marketing apps you already use to track and segment leads and customers across all of them… allowing you to automate your campaigns in new and powerful ways.”

The itch this new platform is attempting to scratch? “The myth of the “marketing-suite-to-rule-them-all” (that doesn’t actually suck) is becoming, with few exceptions, an unrealistic pipe dream.” says Collins.

A view increasingly shared by many b2b marketers.

There are hosts of other data sources outside of marketing automation platforms that marketers should be able to tie together.

The idea of consolidating everything in one master command centre is compelling and potentially liberating.

Leadpages may not get it right and other connectors may be about to launch. But one thing is for sure, this opens up a new fork in the road for everyone’s digital marketing strategy.

#2 Shift: The beginning of the end for the CMS

Content management systems are painful. Yes, functionality and UX have improved over the years but as publishing platforms they still adhere to the same Stone Age workflows.

Enter PageCloud in November 2015 with a VC pot of $2.2 million to play with.

Their core raison d’etre: why can’t you build a website like you would a PowerPoint presentation?

In the words of the founder Craig Fitzpatrick:

“Other people have tried to do drag and drop, but we’ve actually spent a lot of time turning the browser into a clone of PowerPoint so you can drag and clone and make changes.”

Have a play here to get your head around it:

Pagecloud is already getting a lot of detractors. Mainly from front end web developers who are greeting this innovation in the same manner as Hackney cab drivers embraced Uber.

It’s disruption – deal with it.

It’s not yet perfect disruption. Heavy database driven websites with complex taxonomy will still need an enterprise grade CMS. But for how long?

How long will tight b2b marketing budgets be eaten up with all the necessary plumbing of website CMS infrastructures? Most marketers don’t care about the plumbing, they just want to able to turn on the taps with the peace of mind that it all works.

And this is just the start of 2016.  Who knows what’s being cooked up right now?

“No-one would have believed in the early years of the twenty-first century, that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own. That as men busied themselves about their various concerns, they observed and studied.”

Intro to War of the Worlds