What’s in the typical martech stack?

08 April 2019
By: Mary-Anne Baldwin
Head of content
B2B Marketing

B2B marketers typically spend in excess of £20,000 a year on their marketing technology, yet only 56% are satisfied with it. These findings, which are part of our extensive industry audit, show the level of discontent brewing in the marketplace. And yet we just keep buying more.

The martech market is now so vast and complex that executives across the business (not least the CMO) are often immobilised by the possibilities. Which of the many thousands of platforms should they pick? How might those solutions support their future needs? Is there another platform around the corner that would serve them better?

And once you’ve bought that tech, you’ve got to get your head around how to use it, integrate it and report on it, all of which is very time consuming.

Of course, it’s exciting to think about the possibilities of tech, but it will only work for us if our own needs and uses 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 martech as laborious, time consuming and needing huge manual oversight.


Who’s missing the martech essentials?

While you’re off busily learning about AI and blockchain, just consider the following…

  • 16% don’t have a marketing automation system
  • 17% don’t have a CRM system
  • 28% don’t have platforms for social media and influencer marketing
  • 48% don’t use brand asset management platforms.

Across the entire tech landscape, integration is one of the root causes of why companies are struggling to transform. In marketing I would say it’s the root cause of the productivity debt that marketers suffer. We’re probably so used to it it’s not even apparent anymore.”

Maureen Blandford, VP marketing, Community Brands

Martech customer satisfaction is worryingly low

Our survey of 200 B2B marketers shows that while 56% are satisfied with their tech, only 21% rate it above the level of ‘okay’. In particular, only 23% are fully satisfied with their marketing automation and 16% with their CRM.

Added to this, many feel they’re only using a small portion of what their tech can really do but they simply don’t have the time to do more with it. When marketers bought those platforms, they signed up to promises of speed, efficiency, better customer insight and of course, ROI. Some have been granted, others not.

(To view a larger version of the most common B2B marketing tech (seen below), click here.)

The most common B2B marketing tech

“Companies often go into a technical evaluation of vendors but they need to have an articulated plan of how they’re going to set themselves up to succeed.”

Kieron McCann, director of marketing and strategy, Cognifide

The B2B martech audit

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.

It’s time we all got to grips with what’s in our stack. That means understanding what we have, what we need and how we should use it (we’ve got some tools to help you here). Most marketers have inherited a stack that mirrors the plans and passions of their predecessors, not their own. It has been built under a piecemeal approach that doesn’t reflect the long-term vision for the business. If we continue to build our stacks in this way, the result can only be more confusion and inefficiency.

A martech stack can only be a reflection of the strategy that sits behind it, but only 21% are working to a formal martech roadmap and 41% have no plans at all to develop one. It’s no wonder our tech is so disjointed.

To help get the ball rolling, we’ve carried out a martech audit of 200 businesses in the B2B space, revealing what tech is being used and the popularity of each platform. You can find this in the graphic above, ‘The most common B2B marketing tech.’

These unique insights, which we’ve compiled with the help of our partner, MarTech Tracker, show the 60 most common martech platforms across six key areas (marketing automation, CRM, CMS, web analytics, brand analytics and events). We hope this will allow you to assess the space you’re in and  benchmark your own martech use against the industry norm.

Hungry for more martech information? Then check out the martech stream at B2B Marketing Ignite 2019 where you can enjoy a whole stream of martech expertise and inspiration.