Frans Riemersma from Martech Tribe joined us at last week’s AntiConLX Global to talk about some key martech trends to look out for.
1 Martech explosion
Frans asks the key question:, is your martech stack happening by accident or by design?
As shown in the 2022 Martech Landscape, and our own UK Landscape, while there may be some consolidation happening, the number of martech tools just continues to grow.
This means marketers need to proactively build their martech stacks, and to build and manage a plug and play architecture, to ensure you have the guardrails in place where you can add and replace new tools.
Frans describes a long tail pattern when we look at martech tool growth. So we some consolation through Martech M&A activity, but there’s also a long tail of new and emerging tools.
Frans advises companies to ensure they visualise and create an overview of their martech stacks, so they know which tools are being used by design, and which are being adopted.
2 Martech acceleration
More martech tools are appearing, and we’re also replacing them faster. Organisations are adding new tools without phasing out existing tech.
Instead, new tools should be added and rolled out with decommissioning in mind. Think about where the data sits, where it goes, and how you can migrate the data.
Replacing tools takes less than a year for many, and longer for bigger systems.
As Frans explains, there’s a risk that comes with the failure to decommission existing tools, but also costs you can save by decommissioning. Orphaned app subscriptions - those without a billing owner because staff have left or transferred are on the rise.
Creating a decommissioning plan and backlog enables organisations to save money, and to ensure that data is not sitting in unused martech tools.
3 Martech adoption
We need to speed up martech adoption as, if tools aren’t being used internally, then they aren’t collecting and using customer data.
Deployments are taking six to nine months, often because IT is helping out.
This can lead to the growth of ‘shadow IT’, tools that are being bought and used by marketing, bypassing IT departments to speed up the process. These tools often have more engagement than those implemented by IT.
How can we create more cooperation between IT and marketing? Frans quotes the speed to value matrix, which looks to create value for the customer in the shortest possible time.
The key for Frans is to stop implementing software and start implementing business cases.
4 Martech atomisation
If we’re adding more tools to the stack without integrating them, we have isolated tools and data.
Frans’ advice is to stop waiting for the all in one tech solution and start integrating key data points. As Frans says, if data is the new gold, then integration is the new silver.
Frans quotes data from LXA’s recent CX Trends Report which shows that this plug and play ‘best of breed’ architecture is three times more popular than enterprise suites.
Frans recommends creating some kind of data as a service architecture, and to make sure that you create datasets that marketers can use and create their business cases.
Create some kind of customer data model where you talk about golden records and make sure you have those data points stitched together and you can create some kind of identity graph and then create a data and integration backlog.
5. Martech productization
A common question is whether to buy or build martech. That depends on what the plans are. Instead, the key is to stop running projects and to start building products.
Frans makes the point that companies are becoming software. Looking again at LXA stats, we can see that more than 50% of stacks are semi self-built.
Marketers are growth hacking anyway, creating one-off tools and experiments, but once they get the hang of this, they know what does and doesn’t work, they can start to build products.
As Frans says, productization, where possible, will make marketers’ lives easier.
Bonus trend: Martech democratisation
Frans now speaks about the people within the company reacting to these trends and carrying out the work.
He recommends that companies build a dedicated marketing operations team. Marketing ops should be the lynchpin between products and processes. They help to onboard teams with new martech tools, and educate users to encourage adoption. For these reasons, marketing ops should be given a mandate and a budget.
Currently, just 50% of organisations currently have a marketing ops team, with the proportion much lower in the UK and Europe.
This chart can help you to create a business case for your marketing ops team - how many marketing ops people do you need? Well, in smaller companies it’s a five to one ratio of marketers to marketing ops, which grows to 15 to 1 in larger firms.