Ah, the LUMAscape, who in the digital marketing world doesn’t know it as an old friend at this point?
First debuted in 2010 by the ad tech banker Terry Kawaja, the LUMAscape has been through many iterations at this point, adding companies, changing categories and noting acquisitions over the years. From the very beginning this image was a hit with the digital marketing set as it provided a way to understand a complex industry, as well as a symbol for how difficult it is to work in a space so complex! The LUMAscape was a great way for ad technology people to explain the growing industry within their own companies in a visual way, as well as understand how new companies were aligned and fit together. Kawaja & team’s image was also a solid way to understand what a whole lot of companies even did, so if you were say, shopping for a data management platform, you could get a quick sense who the four or five companies in the space were. For Kawaja’s company, LUMA Partners, the LUMAscape was also a great way to show the sheer amount of fragmentation in the industry and possibilities for consolidation through acquisitions, on which his company specializes in advising.
Whatever the motivations, the LUMAscape is an iconic image in the digital marketing industry, and a must-know resource that Kawaja’s company has generously kept up to date for nearly five years now. But the graphic itself only tells a high-level story and can oversimplify, as the LUMA Partner’s website readily admits, so I thought it could be useful to take this image down one more level and explain some of the nuances and sub-categories within each service. This article describes what each category coves, what a lot of the companies on the LUMAscape actually do, as well as the differences between key services within specific categories. For those that are new to the industry, I hope this post not only demystifies this graphic, but gives you a well-rounded sense of how the digital marketing industry functions, and for industry veterans who already know the basics there’s probably still a few things to learn. (more…)