More Tech, More Problems?

What’s happening in the ever-changing world of marketing technology? What are the pitfalls? What are the opportunities? And how can you, as a marketing leader, navigate this shifting landscape successfully? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Even as the martech industry blows past the $100 billion mark, dissatisfaction is rising as many marketers struggle to implement the expensive solutions they’ve purchased.
  • Scott Brinker of thinks this is a good thing. Using the Gartner Hype Cycle framework, he argues that the current malaise signals a healthy and natural period of disillusionment as the buzz fades and the technology progresses towards maturity.

  • Michael Shattuck argues that the real road to maturity lies beyond the technology itself: “The biggest incoming advancements in martech will not be technological. They’ll be human. They’ll be about change management, strategy, implementation, organizational psychology, and ‘transformation’ (a loaded but important word)”.
  • If you’re a marketing leader trying to navigate this landscape, take a cue from Shattuck and focus on the human stuff first. For example—don’t put a digital expert in charge. You’re better off tapping an insider with a proven track record for driving change.
  • Here’s some more sound advice worth heeding as you move towards martech maturity: “Put the brakes on independent purchasing and establish a formal evaluation and purchasing process that ensures that the ROI for technology purchases is aligned with business performance and objectives.”
  • A process like this has many benefits. For one thing, it removes hype from the equation.

  • It also forces you to slow down and look beyond the quick fix—a very real (and understandable) danger as the pressure to deliver more measurable marketing results increases.
  • Final tip: as you formalize your process, think about the cultural dimension of the change you’re working towards. And consider giving the team a voice in the process: “That way, your employees can buy into your vision of the culture you want to create, as well as the tools that you choose to adopt. They’ll also be more likely to use the tools appropriately.”

Go Deeper

For a deeper dive into this topic, we really like this long read from the Martech Alliance. We’re specifically fond of their “four P’s” framework, which succinctly illustrates the many dimensions at play as you navigate the martech world.

Issue #78
Sep 22, 2019

Further Reading