Why martech vendors are so crap

Is your martech vendor letting you down? If your vendor has oversold and under delivered, you’re not alone. Peter O’Neill, Analyst at B2B Marketing, reveals what we wish we’d tell our martech vendors, but are too polite. 

While many martech vendors are extremely aggressive in their marketing, the barrage of content marketing they broadcast is not always perceived as educational or evangelical. In fact, it seems to shame marketers into investing in more software. 

So we asked the industry to self-assess the state of their martech stack and give us insight into what they feel vendors should be doing better. The returns were extremely thought-provoking. Those vendors among you should listen up! 

A staggering 87% of our 300 survey respondents published in our latest martech report weren’t able to confirm that their martech stack was performing well, both for current and future needs. Nearly one third (29%) even consider their stack as poor or in dire need of expansion. 

That’s despite the vast majority (80%) of respondents expecting their marketing teams to make even more use of technology in the future.

  • There is little satisfaction with martech across the board. This is no surprise when 87% of respondents are not prepared to state that their stack is good enough.  
  • The CRM is marketers’ most-hated system in general, scoring most negatively for satisfaction. For most marketers, the CRM is an external system - installed before they were doing digital marketing and built for the needs of sales, not marketing.
  • After staff resources proves to be the biggest roadblock for better martech use, followed by integration. The first phases of most new martech strategies should probably focus on integration first, that’s before adding new technologies to the list of pain point. 

What we’d all love to say to our martech vendors 

So where is it that martech vendors are failing to support the needs of their customers and how does your experience compare with your fellow marketers? 

We asked the industry: “How do you feel vendors can support you better?”.  The numerous replies fell into four desired areas of improvement and we gained come telling feedback on each one.

Provide more guidance and responsiveness (training, support)  

44% said this was their biggest bugbear with vendors

  • “Provide better training so I can navigate the tool myself”
  • “Give better support options (24/7, plus ability to talk to someone)”
  •  “Give more specific support instead of general usage advice”

Provide more business orientation (use cases, processes, language)        

24% said this was their biggest bugbear with vendors

  • “Help build business cases for management and talk to my boss”
  • “Be more proactive in understanding the business case we need to support”
  • “Help us sell it internally - get through procurement and legal”
  • “Provide better real-world cast studies”

Reduce the amount salesmanship             

19% said this was their biggest bugbear with vendors

  • “Be realistic and authentic with your marketing promises”
  • “Stop hassling me” 
  •  “I’d prefer not to be upsold but have vendors listen to my problems”
  • “Don’t make a million promises then walk away so we have to learn the hard way”
  •  “Use less tech speak and have more of a big picture view of the field”
  • “Educate instead of selling”

Improve integration to other elements of the martech stack             

13% said this was their biggest bugbear with vendors

  • “Vendors often have very little patience to understand the intricate IT department we have”
  • “We need better API and integration options”
  • “Simplify your offerings, customising to industry specific or user needs”

Who’s doing it well? 

To give balance, we also asked the open question: “Which is the most useful piece of marketing technology in your stack and why? Six vendors were specifically named by a multitude of respondents, earning recognition as the most valued player. 

Most commonly recognised at a valuable player was Salesforce. Comments about Salesforce included:

  • “Used by majority of employees, it’s a single source of truth”
  • “Gives time-poor regional marketing managers the ability to develop and nurture leads”
  • “Full integration with CRM enables our 360-degree lifecycle marketing”

The second-place (for MVP) was won by Hubspot with comments such as:

  • “The main tool we are using right now”
  •  “Best of all, it’s regularly updated with new or improved features”
  • “Good all round platform, decent online training”

Third place in the voting was shared by Google Analytics and Marketo (named explicitly, not Adobe). Honourable recognition was also earned by Eloqua and Hootsuite. A further 30 vendors got one or two citations each. 

How is marketing’s technology stacking up?

This martech report will discuss what should be part of an ideal martech strategy and deliver guidance on the organisation and process of effective strategic management.

Download now!

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