Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Think Ad Tech Is Hard to Understand? Try “Marketing Tech.” Terry Kawaja Wants to Help.

ArrowsAd tech is a crazy quilt of acronyms, oblique terminology and a gazillion companies you’ve never heard of, all of whom are trying to get their hands on slivers of marketing dollars as they move from ad buyers to ad sellers.

All of that has been great news for Luma Partners’ Terry Kawaja, a banker who has made a specialty of navigating and explaining that landscape.

A few years ago, Kawaja put together a chart that tried to map out all of the different players, and that graphic became an instant hit for him: Regular people can’t make any sense out of this stuff, but for people in the industry, Kawaja’s “Lumascape” is a key reference text. Since then, he has put together eight more, each drilling down into a specific ad tech subsector.

Here’s the newest one, focused on what Kawaja is calling “marketing technology,” which he says includes everyone from Oracle to WordPress to dozens of companies likely known only to their employees.

You can click on the graphic below to enlarge it, or head here for Kawaja’s explanation of the graphic, and a link to a larger version.

lumascape marketing tech

Does that make sense to you? Don’t worry if you said “no” — implicit in Kawaja’s pitch is that this stuff is so dizzying that only a trained professional can understand it. But that seems to be working out quite nicely for him.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work