martech stack
Ian Lowe Posted by Ian Lowe July 12, 2019

Dealing with Martech Overload: A Path to Marketing Results

Does any of this sound familiar? New marketing campaigns take too long to get to market. Budget and precious labour hours lost to technology upgrades. Huge volumes of data on hand but no way to use it to actually impact results. Complex webs of technology and systems that don’t talk to each other and don’t help you get your job done. In my over 20 years’ experience in the marketing and technology space, I’ve witnessed a phenomenal increase in the power of martech, but also a concurrent increase in levels of exasperation as marketers struggle to actually get the job done.

We’re in a golden age of martech – the number of solutions in this space has grown to over 7,000. Over the last couple of decades, we’ve seen a phenomenal increase in the power and capabilities of martech. Yet, we’ve also seen a growing frustration as marketers struggle to get the job done. Most brands today complain that digital isn’t meeting their expectations. Bogged down by complexity, it’s a rich diet that’s slowing us down.

Compensating for something?

A bloated martech stack is often symptomatic of a deeper issue: technology is being used as a substitute for strategy. Otherwise known as “shiny object syndrome,” companies are drawn to new tech as a distraction from the hard work of marketing: making and executing a strategy.

The reality is that new tools almost never deliver the promised short-cut. They take time: time to integrate, time to learn, time to use. A poorly chosen and integrated tool can bleed resources, sap productivity, and add to the mountain of complexity marketers already have on their plates.

The difficulty of actually using the stuff you got is one problem. The figures vary, but in one widely quoted study 59% of companies confessed to not fully utilizing the marketing technology they have today. The big open secret in the martech space is that most customers never execute on the promise of the platform they’re buying. 

But even if you can and do put everything to use, the bigger issue is, “so what?”

Scott Brinker dissects this brilliantly in his recent post, Martech stack utilization is a misguided metric, in which he urges businesses to refocus on the value that their martech delivers: “I can almost guarantee you that there’s only a subset of features in your current martech stack that, if utilized, would deliver net positive value to your business today… Everything we do costs something in time, effort, resources, complexity, and/or impact on customers. So if it’s not adding value, it’s at the very least an opportunity cost on other value creation activities we could be investing in.”

In other words, if it’s not helping you it’s probably costing you. And the costs can be significant.

The sweet spot

In a perfect world, Marketers and their martech would be exactly aligned - every tool fully utilized and delivering value to the business. In his post, Brinker sees marketing nirvana as three overlapping aspects of martech:  venn diagram[Source:]

Get the three circles to overlap completely and you’ve hit the sweet spot! 

However, performing this party trick presents a substantial challenge. Most companies are looking at untangling years of misguided tech investments, jealously defended purchasing decisions and a widening gap between their technical capabilities and their business strategy.

How do you get out from under to arrive at that lean, mean marketing machine that you know exists on the other side? 

The power of simple

The internet is accelerating, and today’s winners need to be fast. Agility and momentum are the keys for organizations to meet customer expectations and beat their competition. But how do you go fast and keep things simple? 

Across your technology stack huge savings and productivity gains are to be made by simplifying and streamlining your investments. Digital strategy gurus, Arke, routinely realize 10X results for their customers through their martech rationalization program. Some recent examples:

  • Herschend Family Entertainment achieved 100% reduction is software licencing and support costs
  • Healio achieved 200% reduction in support costs 
  • Cannondale reduced order and publishing time by 50%

But knowing what to cut and how to select the right mix of marketing technology is a big challenge for most companies. To guide you down the path, we’ve partnered with Arke to provide an invaluable masterclass on their 3-step process to help you align, integrate, and optimize your martech investments. 

Webinar: Simplifying Martech Complexity for the Enterprise
When: Thursday, July 25, 2019 8 am PT/11 am ET/4 pm GMT/5 pm CEST

You’ll learn:

  • Why many brands have substituted technology for good marketing strategy 
  • How to cut through the complexity with Arke’s 3-step process to martech optimization
  • How following that process can help you maximize results 10x, with case studies from leading brands.
  • You’ll also walk away with strategic resources and workbooks to help you realize value from your Martech investments and build competitive digital experiences.

Register now

(Can’t attend? Register and we’ll send you the on-demand webinar to watch at a later date.)