I don’t think anyone will disagree with the notion that marketing has dramatically changed over the last 10 years. The scope of marketing has evolved and widened considerably. That widening, by the way, is probably going to continue for some time too. Modern marketers today have responsibilities that now span across the full customer journey – from branding and awareness to sales and customer service and even into IT to tie it all together.

Of course, if marketing is changing, what does that mean for marketers? The profile and characteristics of today’s modern marketer has changed too. Today’s marketer is strategic, data-driven, and focused on a personalized message to its audiences throughout their journey. More importantly, marketers today are accountable to revenue and profit and are focused on scale and testing faster/better ways to accomplish things. Finally, modern marketers need to have enough technical chops to know, relatively speaking, how technology can support their vision.

With marketing taking on greater responsibilities as far as overall revenue and experience are concerned, it makes sense that the average marketing budget now represents as much as 12% of company revenue, according to Gartner Research. In addition, Gartner anticipates this number to increase over the next few years.

And as marketing budgets have grown, so has the Marketing Technology landscape. Look no further than Chief Marketing Technologist’s landscape chart to see the explosion of tools available for marketers to support end-to-end experiences with. Just six years ago this same grid listed 350 applications. Today it shows nearly 7,000 applications. It’s not unreasonable to think this chart could list 10,000 applications by 2020.

In my mind there’s no coincidence between the rising marketing budgets and growing number of available marketing tools entering the marketplace. In 2017, Gartner reported technology investments made up 27% of all marketing budgets. As crazy as that sounds, additional research from Gartner this year suggested some pullback has started to happen to 2018 marketing budgets. More specifically, the pullback is directly tied to technology spend due to concerns about marketing’s ability to acquire and manage technology.

Ewan Mcintyre, Gartner’s Research Director who lead the research for all the stats above, had an interesting quote when summing up these findings:

Pressure from CFOs and CIOs means that now, more than ever, CMOs need to improve their MarTech capabilities and prove their technology chops.

– Ewan Mcintyre, Research Director at Gartner Research

Taking Ewan’s quote a bit further, it’s clear adopting some of those 7,000 tools wasn’t difficult. However, the value – or the perceived value – driven from these tools is now being scrutinized by Finance and IT Executives.

I’ve wondered in the past if marketers lack the technology selection/adoption processes department’s like IT have developed over the years. Traditionally marketing departments haven’t made significant technology investments like IT and the result of a rapidly changing profession with growing revenue, profit and retention expectations has lead to basic vision and concept testing being used instead of tried and true RFP/use case/ROI driven methodologies.

I also believe many MarTech tools are purchased for a single use or as part of an individual program. Once that program is complete, the tool stops being used. That’s part of the problem – these tools aren’t being selected, deployed and used as a more strategic marketing investment, but more as a one-time stop gap.

It’s All About Foundations

The key to driving value from a set of tools, or a MarTech stack, is having a solid foundation in place that you can build from. This foundation also acts as a marketing performance benchmark which will help marketers develop cycles of iteration to constantly tweak and optimize initiatives for improved campaign/program results across any stage of a customer journey.

Need help in developing a sound MarTech foundation that maximizes your marketing investment in the New Age of Marketing? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help!