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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik