MarTech vs. Marketers: Three Ways to Bridge the Gap and Drive MarTech ROI

A cross-industry study by B2P Partners of marketing executives and their relationship with MarTech reveals that marketers are not happy with the business outcomes and ROI on marketing technology investments. But then, the report also identifies solutions that marketers themselves voiced to address these gaps. Read on to find out more from the report.

Marketing technology, or MarTech as we call it, has been in a continuous state of growth and evolution. With 6,829 marketing technology solutions from 6,242 unique marketing technology vendors, there’s a lot to choose from.
Yet, 40 percent of marketers are not satisfied with their marketing technology. And almost 75 percent believe that they realize only up to 60 percent of the potential of their marketing technology.

These findings are from the recent survey 4 Keys to Getting More from Your MarTech by B2P Partners. Speaking about the survey, Scott Hornstein, a B2P partner, said, “Our research addressed marketers’ satisfaction (or lack of satisfaction) with their overall investment in marketing technology.”
Two alarming trends emerged (quoting directly from the report):

1. The average level of satisfaction of marketers with their marketing technology (where one is abysmal, and 100 is paradise) was 62.

  • About 10% are extremely satisfied (81 or above)
  • About 50% are somewhat satisfied (61 – 80)
  • The remaining 40% are at 60 or below.

2. The average score for marketers reaching the full potential of their marketing technology (again on a scale of 1 – 100) was 45.

  • Almost no one scored over 81.
  • Over 20% are realizing somewhat of the potential, scoring 61 to 80.
  • However, about 75% of the respondents are at 60 or below.

Technology should be for humans, not machines

Marketers are expected to establish an emotional connection with the customer and personalize the customer journey. It, therefore, follows that marketers themselves should be able to make the same sort of connection with the technology they use every day. But when it comes to MarTech, there’s discontent among marketers.

The qualitative findings from the report indicate three major reasons for the discontent. These are:

  1. Complexity and compatibility challenges in deploying MarTech successfully
  2. Focusing on technology rather than people (users/customers)
  3. A lack of strategic readiness among marketers themselves, to make the most of their martech investments.

The acquisition, adoption, and integration of marketing technology need to be planned, researched, and coordinated. Marketers are looking for an end-to-end marketing process that makes their life easier.

“Compatibility with each other is a large issue if one app is supposed to schedule your information to appear in the other – if one solution isn’t fully compatible you have to redo all your info,” a respondent expressed.

Indeed, in the recent Season Finale episode of the Talking Stack Podcast, MarTech expert and SVP of Product Strategy, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, Marty Kihn also said that the most crucial preoccupation for CMOs in 2019 should be integration – of teams; of data and of technologies.

3 ways to bridge the gap between marketers and MarTech outcomes

The survey’s findings, based on commentary from respondents, also included some directions in which MarTech vendors and marketers could reach a better understanding and drive real business outcomes from investments. The 3 most insightful ones were:

1. MarTech vendors need to focus on their customers’ marketing efforts

‘Many MarTech vendors are start-ups or SMBs, and they are under enormous pressure to come up with “net new” figures that please their investors. However, given the level of competition, the brass ring is likely to go to those who partner with their customers and help them to conquer the complexity and compatibility and achieve lasting marketing success. That, as any marketer will tell you, leads to loyalty, referrals, and a long-term relationship,’ the report observes. This means creating value for marketers; helping them dig through the dirt to get to the business outcomes they need, rather than just promising instant success.

MarTech vendors need to avoid glossing over the hard work that needs to go into driving successful business outcomes from MarTech investments – including onboarding, change management, data readiness, etc. – and instead work with their clients as long-term partners in success.

2. Marketing teams could create a “chief business technologist” position

When it came to what marketers could themselves do, “Marketers raised the concept of a Chief Business Technologist in the qualitative phase of our research (it is not an idea that we introduced). It’s a statement of need — a coordinating authority that helps marketers get more for their money (and effort),” says Hornstein. A single owner or point-person for acquisition, integration, orchestration, and measurement of both – the data and the technology, would bring the stakeholders and users together – including marketing, sales, and management.

3. Marketing must prioritize the ‘human aspect’ to drive long-term outcomes

Marketing Technology is an enabler and not the strategy itself. The report makes the point that marketing must become ‘disruptively human’ to make the most of what MarTech can enable in the execution. The technology must follow both – the strategy and the ‘strategic readiness’ to address the customer’s long-term needs. This insight probably applies to both MarTech vendors and marketers themselves.

Conclusion

The adoption of MarTech has become an essential aspect of marketing. But as the report states, it’s come to the point where ‘the customer has become the data, while MarTech has become the strategy’.   Both – marketers and MarTech vendors – have a real responsibility to ensure that marketing can achieve the full potential of what technology can enable. But it has to be based on the reality of what customers want and what users can do with it. We’ll let an insight from the report inform our closing thoughts: “Marketing must become disruptively human and understand the full range of rational and emotional variables as the customer sees and describes them. Marketing must take the lead in forging a long-term strategy based on that understanding, and then use the magic of MarTech.”

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