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B2B Marketing’s Martechopia: The expanding and evolving martech space

By Luke Whitton on 30th March 2022

Last week, we attended B2B Marketing’s Martechopia event. It was packed with industry experts and sessions on how the martech space is evolving. Here are the 10 key takeaways that we found most interesting:

  1. Starting broadly, the martech universe is expanding exponentially. In 2011, Scott Brinker published his inaugural map of the most important martech companies – the Martech 150. Fast-forward just over 10 years and this has become the Martech 5,000, which (oddly) contains 8,000 companies. Whatever your business need or pain point, there’s a solution somewhere to satisfy it.

  2. Despite all the choice, B2B Marketing’s latest martech research suggests 96% of users are on some level dissatisfied with their martech stack. They are not totally confident their martech is performing well for current and future needs.

  3. The above is partially a talent issue. We heard 56% of companies do not employ dedicated martech users, relying instead on generalists. With the tech landscape expanding and tools becoming more complex, will we start to see more specialists popping up?

  4. Another problem is buyers biting off more than they can chew. One analogy we heard was that buying a martech solution is a bit like buying a new car. You’ve got top-of-the-range models with all the flashy add-ons you could ever need, but then you also have more basic models, which do the job well but might have a couple of gaps in the dashboard (where a swanky smart display or phone holder could have gone).

    Unfortunately, martech buyers often go for the premium martech licenses straight away, dazzled by new and intriguing features that will help convert prospects to customers. Once implemented, the buyer realises they have neither the time nor the talent to make the most out of their purchase. The recommendation here is don’t do everything all at once. Start small and build out your functionality as you go. 

  5. There’s also the issue of companies collecting martech solutions over time and then not being able to integrate them properly. This often manifests itself during cross-channel reporting – for instance when Google Ads has registered a dozen landing page conversions but only three of them have appeared in your database.

  6. This should go without saying, but martech purchases should be strategy-led. Your strategy should inform your martech purchases and not the other way around.

  7. Speaking of strategy, did you know that only about 3% of your target audience is actively buying at any one time? With this in mind, identifying the active portion of your audience early on in the buying process (if not just before it) is a huge opportunity for higher conversion rates and more efficient budget spend.

  8. Measuring intent is difficult, especially if you’re trying to deal with unknown contacts whose actions can’t be tracked and attributed within your database. Activity from unknown prospects – such as anonymous web visits and fake form fills – happens within what 6sense refers to as ‘The Dark Funnel’, which can be tapped into and paired with buyer intent data to identify opportunities.

  9. Other intent-led tools like LeadSift are emerging which can identify prospects searching for keywords or talking to your competitors on digital channels like social. These insights could then feed into your paid or lead gen strategy. Implementing something along these lines could be a quick win to supercharge your next campaign plan.

  10. We often talk about the importance of marketing/sales alignment, but Amplitude’s Adam Greco says we should also incorporate product teams within the mix. This gives a more complete picture of the customer experience and can help identify any unexpected issues or positives occurring at the customer level. Clearly, aligning three teams effectively is easier said than done, but establishing a KPI that matters to everyone (also known as a ‘north star metric’) will help to this effect.
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