Digitization has become a core part of nearly every company’s corporate strategy in recent years, and this shift to selling new “information rich” digital products through digital channels via digitized operations has certainly included companies’ marketing departments.
Almost every company has a digital marketing team that coordinates and supports all digital marketing activity. And this means that martech – a portmanteau of marketing and technology – is now big business, with Gartner analysis showing that some chief marketing officers are spending as much on technology as the CIO down the corridor.
But despite spending all this money, many marketers are far from satisfied with what they’re getting from their “martech stacks,” which is what they tend to call the portfolio of technology they own and operate. In fact, only about a third of marketing teams say they see a “significant” or “dramatic” impact due to martech investments, according to CEB data.
Three Steps to Take
Analysis of CEB survey data from over 100 marketers at the end of 2016 on their current and future martech plans – including when they’re looking to adopt various martech capabilities, the business results they derive from their tech spending, and the people and processes they use to get those results – shows three areas where the marketers that are happy with their martech stacks differ from the rest.
They maximize the technologies they have: Almost all marketing teams have access to some martech capabilities that they don’t use, whether that’s a host of extra functions on technology they use often or from entire tech products used infrequently
But marketers who minimize this waste are – understandably – more likely to see a better return on their martech investments. Marketers who feel like they’re using more than 50% of their stack’s capabilities are 61% more likely to rate their stacks as high-impact.
One common reason for this lack of use is that marketers don’t have insight into all of the technologies available to them. Bloomreach uses a “martech visualization framework” to get rid of the technologies it isn’t using.
They’re not complacent about their team’s skills or their function’s processes: Marketers who say they get “low” or “medium” value from their martech investments rate their teams’ skills and processes in the pattern of a standard bell curve: most in the middle with a few on the high and low ends of the curve.
But many marketers that get high value from martech investments rate their teams’ skills and processes on the extremes. This is because they’re more realistic about the sheer scale of the changes Marketing needs to make to get good martech returns, and are therefore more honest with themselves about the progress they’ve already made (after all, they are looking to maximize their investments) or the change they still need to make.
The company has been digitizing for a long time: More than three-quarters of companies that are “digitally native” (i.e., have been fully digitized from inception) report having high-impact martech stacks.
This compares to only about 30% of companies that are midway or completely through their digital transformations and a meager 10% of companies that are early in their digital transformation. While marketers can’t make their companies digitally native, they can help push their firm’s digital transformation along.