The Martech Maze

Trying to find your way around the martech landscape can feel like navigating a vast, complicated maze. How can marketing leaders avoid the downsides and make the most of the upsides? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Over a decade ago, famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen told us all that “Software is eating the world.”
  • Since then, tech has become a dominant force in the culture at large—and in the marketing department.
  • As marketers, we’re particularly susceptible to the charms of new tech. We like to keep an eye on what’s next. We’re always seeking a competitive edge. And we love anything that helps us prove our value to the C-suite.
  • In pursuit of these goals, we sometimes get caught up by the hype and FOMO around the next big thing.
  • Despite our interest in new tech, we often struggle to figure out what tools are right for our organization. It doesn’t help that the number of options have skyrocketed.
  • Many of us aren’t naturally good at tech so we turn to our partners for help. But sometimes that helps turns out to be a thinly veiled sales pitch.
  • Even when we’ve found the ideal combination of tools, there’s a real risk that our teams won’t use them to their full capacity. Or use them at all.
  • Despite all the challenges, there are many rewards to assembling a solid martech stack.
  • Our teams can collaborate more effectively. We can streamline marketing processes and activities. We can personalize customer interactions. And, ultimately, boost the impact of our work.
  • So what should marketing leaders consider when assessing the health of their stack and considering tweaks or additions?
  • Don’t start with the tech. Start with your strategy.
  • Which audiences are you aiming to connect with? What are their needs? What’s the customer journey like? What are your goals? These answers can help to narrow which tools could be used for support.
  • Ignore the noise and question the so-called best practices that others are following. Every organization’s context is different and each must find their own path.
  • Acknowledge that a tool will sit on a shelf if it’s not fit for—or understood by—your team.
  • Ask your team about their daily challenges and what they could use support with. And when it’s time to roll out a new tool, ensure they receive proper training.
  • Embrace an agile approach with your martech stack. Business goals and team needs can change over time, so re-evaluate your tools regularly.
  • Ultimately, your martech stack should be seen as something that can support your team and help them succeed—rather than a must-have secret weapon in and of itself.
  • For the final word on the topic, we turn to Rishad Tobaccowala: “Recognise that people matter. We spend too much time thinking about marketing and technology stacks and not enough thinking about people, behaviour, expectations.”
Issue #170
May 14, 2023

Further Reading