Marketing leaders struggle to make progress in the utilization of their marketing technology (martech) stack capabilities, according to Gartner, Inc. In fact, the latest Gartner Marketing Technology Survey 2019 findings reveal that marketing leaders report utilizing only 58% of their martech stack’s potential.
This comes despite continued investments in new technology, with marketing leaders spending 26% of their marketing budgets on martech, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020. Gartner defines a martech stack as a set of integrated technologies, techniques and information that enables marketing to create new products and services; enter new markets; efficiently and effectively target, acquire and retain customers; and improve the processes needed to engage in a dynamic conversation with people who are influencers and buyers.
“Marketing teams are leaving martech’s potential untapped, imperiling both their credibility and impact,” said Benjamin Bloom, senior director analyst in the Gartner for Marketers practice. “But the answer isn’t necessarily more technology. Translating marketing technology into business effectiveness is correlated with martech utilization. With looming economic uncertainty, marketing teams need to focus on becoming more agile — putting extra emphasis on training, talent and system integration.”
Gartner research shows that 29% of marketing leaders indicate that training and upskilling existing martech talent is a major impediment to their martech stack effectiveness. Meanwhile, 27% of marketing leaders report either integration between martech solutions or identifying and recruiting martech talent as being the largest impediment to effectiveness.
Martech teams increasingly take a “best-of-breed” approach to selecting new technologies. Fifty-seven percent of marketers prefer to build their stack through various solutions from different providers, versus 29% who prefer an “integrated suite” approach. Marketers in North America and U.K. who prefer a best-of-breed approach report utilizing more of their martech stack on average (60%) than those who prefer an integrated suite approach (53%). This suggests that marketers are getting better at minimizing waste from unused or abandoned martech, perhaps due to marketing’s closer collaboration with IT.
Gartner recommends following a two-step approach to better improve martech stack effectiveness:
- Pursue a Best-of-Breed Approach: Maximize effectiveness of the martech stack by using a best-of-breed strategy that capitalizes on the strengths of multiple solutions. Ensure that the organization’s use of various solutions from multiple vendors remains aligned with overall business goals by formalizing a technology sourcing, procurement and vendor management discipline within your organization.
- Invest in Training: Bring skill and capability development into the martech planning. Give team members time to learn and master the technologies in the martech stack, and invest in workshops, training courses or conferences that can add new perspective. Marketing leaders should develop a business case for these activities based on improved efficiencies.
Additional details on improving martech stack effectiveness is available to Gartner for Marketers clients in the report “Marketing Technology Survey 2019: Marketing and IT Collaborate to Bring Discipline to Planning and Increase Martech Utilization and Efficacy.”
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