Great post this week by Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures on the history of enterprise software, and how marketing has been under-served thus far.

His core thesis is that marketing software historically has focused on  improving “the process of decision making as opposed to delivering real insights.” Unlike financial or manufacturing systems which manage vital data like the general ledger or the bill of materials, marketing systems have never owned any strategic data and therefore the best they could do was to enable faster and/or easier decision-making. And therefore no major marketing technology companies have emerged.

This has changed. Marketing now is inundated with strategic data (browsing paths, purchase history, search terms, exit / entry points, social comments, etc.) , and so the time is ripe for software – like CQuotient – that takes advantage of it. As Ajay says:

For the first time in history, businesses can leverage big data for the benefit of driving marketing insights. We are at the very beginning of this wave, but this fundamental shift will create several multi-billion dollar winners. And a set of technology companies will emerge as the marketing equivalents of Salesforce and SAP.

I like this vision!

( Full disclosure, Bain Capital Ventures is our investor and Ajay knows us very well. But, that doesn’t mean he isn’t correct! )