Dear marketing leader, your martech spend is money down the drain

It's time to audit your martech and pull back from needless spending, writes Mary-Anne Baldwin

Let’s start by getting to know each other a little. I imagine you’re an experienced marketer. Seasoned, but without too much salt and pepper in your hair. If that’s the case you also aren’t a digital native. Yet you’ll be carrying the burden of your company’s martech evolution. I bet that feels a tall order at times.

Like the time you were mulling over a platform you’ve never used, which supports a role you’ve not done in years. A platform you knew little about, but had heard its name bounce at several industry events and were worried you were missing a trick by not using it. You felt like you should know more, but it’s so hard to keep up-to-date. Am I right?

You can tell me, I won’t judge.

Here’s a little about me. I want to talk about the reality of your martech curation – not the promises, but the daily grind. I’ve already heard that martech stacks are about as messy as they get. That they’re built over time with each bit added for its own complicated and often isolated rationale. A rationale that can erode long before the tech does.

I also know you have some other stuff going on. Stuff like wowing your customers, boosting productivity and impressing your board. I could joke about that being easy but I feel like we’d get off to the wrong start.

So when I suggest that you sift through the intricacies of your martech stack, mapping it all out so you know exactly what you’ve got and where, then using that to build a long-term martech vision you may think ‘here’s another idea I won’t be taking up’.

You would be among the 79% of similar marketing leaders. The same leaders who are struggling  to wow their customer, increase productivity and impress their board. The same 79% who are trudging through modern leadership, waist-high in data doing the best they can with the messy martech stack they’ve got.

Yes, your tech is all over the place. Yes, finding the information you need would be hard and time-consuming. Delivering insight, evaluation and action from it even more so. But this is what your team does everyday.

To help you we’ve provided this simple framework for auditing your martech stack. It’s a list of questions you need to ask your team in order to locate and evaluate your current stack against your needs. It’s been crafted from the numerous interviews we’ve had with senior marketing leaders who have been through this process, and is part of our extensive guide to The Martech Audit.

  • The average annual martech budget is in excess of £20,000 a year and 67% of marketing leaders will increase that spend over the year ahead.
  • Only 56% are satisfied with their martech and only 21% rate it above the level of ‘okay’
  • Yet only 21% of B2B marketers are working to a formal martech roadmap; 41% have no plans to do this at all.

Most martech represents productivity debt

Of course, it’s exciting to think about the possibilities of tech, but it will only work for us if our own needs match those possibilities – and if we’re sold the realities of today, not the dreams of tomorrow.

While vendors promise more efficient and effective workflows, most experience the introduction of martech alongside laborious complications, huge manual oversight and vast amounts data that can only be properly analysed by humans. While we scrabble to make sense of what’s unfolding in front of us, other vendors are coming forward to sell to us again.

Let’s all take a breath. The solution isn’t doing more with more. We already have an arsenal of technology we’re not using fully. The answer lies in unlocking its potential.

The Martech Audit: How's your tech stacking up? 

We know that curating a martech stack can be a nightmare. This guide, a review of the industry’s martech use, is here to help.

Uncover more martech insights

The martech audit