Finding yourself in a minefield in the middle of a maze doesn’t sound like an ideal situation. However, that’s exactly where today’s marketers are – metaphorically speaking, of course – according to Joel Harrison, Editor-in-Chief of B2B Marketing. Joel and his colleagues came up with the ‘Get Stacked’ event to help make sense of the increasingly complex martech landscape.
Anyone with even an ounce of experience in B2B marketing will be familiar with Scott Brinker’s annual Marketing Technology Landscape super-graphic, the latest version of which boasts a somewhat absurd 6,829 vendors. You needn’t view anything else to understand exactly what Joel means. With so many tools out there, how do marketers avoid the mines to build a valuable and change-enabling tech stack?
It’s impossible to fully understand the martech vendor environment. Therefore, it’s best not to be drawn by vendors and assess your own needs before venturing out to build a tech stack:
- What do you currently have and is it working?
- What do your key stakeholders want? Strong ROI? Better customer insights?
- What do your customers want?
- How will you measure success?
Once you’ve answered these, you can more clearly assess the solutions on offer. Another nugget, shared by Think Direct’s Shane Redding, is to ask your potential vendor for a diagram of their tech stack. Marketo, for example, employs another 30+ tools alongside using its suite. What better proof of concept than another martech vendor proactively and successfully using the product?
The conference also showcased a myriad of solutions which prove technology’s integral role in marketing. The marketing function is of growing value within a business. This is because transformation CMOs and their teams can instigate through this tech. B2B Marketing unveiled new research to support this, revealing that 67% of marketers are looking to increase their martech budget, although only 56% are happy with their overall tech stack.
Such a clear discrepancy only goes to highlight the challenge laid out at the start of this blog. As the board watches, there isn’t any scope for error in determining budget spend or justifying results.