Who needs a martech stack review? Better marketing ROI is more important

Gartner’s recent report on the martech stack, and the role of marketing technology, might miss the point.

It’s not the martech stack that’s important as such. It’s how marketing technology is used, and its impact on customer experiences — and the revenues they generate — that matters.

The report makes some interesting points, in particular about what it calls the ‘disconnect between martech confidence and underutilization’.

(There might be a hint there about how complex and expensive martech can be.)

With budgets under stress, martech is under threat.

How can martech deliver better marketing ROI?

Gartner recommends four steps to take, to get the most from any given martech stack:

  • Implement regular audits of the martech stack
  • Determine your best vendor approach
  • Collaborate to overcome integration and utilization challenges
  • Adopt an agile approach

These are appropriate and beneficial to large companies. But: they still represent a technology-first approach to resolving marketing and business development challenges.

To SMBs and smaller companies, these four steps seem overwhelming. For SMBs in particular, the martech stack is a top-heavy, overwhelming concept that starts at the wrong end — Gartner’s steps put the martech stack first, not the marketing strategy or the customer.

Instead, the question should be: how can technology help me measure the ROI of my marketing activities?

Here’s an alternative take:

  • define what you need to know to make your marketing efforts more effective. Focus on marketing technology that helps you understand where customers are in their journey from brand to consideration to purchase
  • be clear about how you will get this data: will your choice of technology make it easy, will it deliver data in real-time, will it cover all your digital marketing bases? Will it cover your social media marketing, your content marketing, your web and search strategies? Will it cover your paid programs and your organic content?
  • make sure the cost, effort and complexity of getting this data doesn’t negate the benefits of doing so
  • find a technology solution that delivers this

When considering types of marketing technology, marketers and business owners don’t have time to battle with a martech stack. What they want is marketing technology they can bend to their needs, to make better decisions about resources, budgets, and where to invest both for the benefit of customers — and revenues.

Head of Strategic Business Communications @Digivizer. Chartered PR Practitioner.