Martech and Rabbits?
In 2015 columnist Rachel Balik wrote in a MARTECH Today article “If marketing technology had a spirit animal, it would probably be a bunny rabbit.” She was making the statement in response to Scott Brinker reporting almost 2,000 marketing technologies available. That was up from just 150 in 2011.
Well, here we are in 2017, and her suggestion is more valid than ever. In May of this year, Brinker released his latest marketing technology landscape graphic which listed 5,381 solutions available (just his approximation). Judging by the number of vendor phone calls and emails I receive, not to mention the list of tools clients share during the technology portion of our discovery session, I’m betting there’s easily another thousand or so that can be added.
Is that good news or bad?
I guess that depends on whether you own a marketing technology company or are the buyer. Back in 2015 when Balik questioned the benefit of 2,000 marketing technologies, the average company had 17 marketing technologies. Today Brinker suggests that the new number is somewhere between 39 and 91 depending on company size.
I get it, marketing technology is everywhere, and the promises of efficiency, effectiveness, visibility and revenue growth are hard to ignore. Yet here’s the thing, study after study suggest:
- Companies underuse their technology
- Companies are paying for technology that isn’t used
- Companies have technology with overlapping capabilities
- Companies have technology stacks that aren’t integrated and working together
- Companies aren’t training their staff to use the technology properly
- Companies don’t believe the technology is living up to the salesperson’s promises
- Companies aren’t seeing the benefits or ROI expected
But is the problem really “too much” technology? I don’t think so.
Marketing technologies are simply tools and as my dad taught me years ago just because you have some tools doesn’t mean you can build a house. You need to:
- Choose the right tools
- Know how to use the tools
- Have a plan to follow
As Douglas Karr, founder of the MarTech Blog once said, “It doesn’t make sense just to buy a tool you don’t need or buy the best tools out there if you’re never going to use them. It also doesn’t make sense to make a decision based on the cost of a marketing technology; you must evaluate the technology for the difference in revenue it’s going to drive to your company. I watch companies fail over and over and over with cheap solutions that don’t work. I watch other companies throw away a huge budget on expensive solutions that don’t deliver.”
So do I.
The fact is, purchasing martech does not guarantee you’ll have effective marketing campaigns, better segmentation, increased conversions or even more revenue. It’s the strategy and process behind the technology that matters.
It’s the lack of strategy and process that is costing companies revenue.
The issue isn’t “too much” technology, it’s “too little” strategy and process. So if your company is one of those investing in technology and either not using it, using ineffectively or not seeing the benefit take a step back and ask yourself:
- Do I have a strategy for generating revenue?
- Do I have a defined lead-to-revenue process for marketing and sales?
- Do I know what technology I need and how it will support my process?
If you need some help getting started, download our eGuide “Addressing the Challenges with Marketing, Sales, and Revenue Generation.” It outlines how to develop a strategy, prepare the team, design a lead-to-revenue process, and leverage technology.
If you’d like to chat about the challenges you face or your technology woes, connect with me. I’m always happy to listen and try to help.