How To Evolve With The Martech Landscape
As of April, the martech landscape included over 8,000 martech companies, all pitching a platform, solution, or integration that you simply “must have” if you want to acquire, evolve, and retain your customers. In 2014, that number was just 947.
The martech landscape has evolved and grown tremendously year after year for a variety of reasons, namely the onset of SaaS startups over the last 5-10 years. With cloud underpinnings and small areas of focus to start, small startups can now provide an enterprise class offering for pennies on the dollar, allowing most of them to not only be cash-flow positive and/or completely bootstrapped, but to then pass that efficiency on to you.
What does efficiently eliminating gaps in technology look like? The short answer: it’s different for everyone. The long answer: an integrated martech solution is a continuous approach that pairs the right mindset with the right tools and partners. Here’s how.
Initiating a Cultural and Mindset Shift
Step 1: Realize all technology stacks are living, evolving toolsets
If you have a nail, you need a hammer. A screw? A screwdriver. But what if you only have a screw and a hammer? What if the last CMO bought a really fancy hammer and now you have no budget for a screwdriver? What if the business development team of the hammer company told you it also has a screwdriver capability?
Developing a new martech stack can feel daunting enough, but evolving from a starting point that may already exist (and may already be falling short) can become a completely different challenge. In both cases, the wins and losses are not solely determined by your awareness of given technologies.
Challenges like this push many marketers to a multi-year 'martech re-architecture' project. But there’s a better way. Rather than approaching martech as a one-time project with a single end point, Tandem Theory recognizes that your tech stack can – and should – adapt as your business and customers adapt as well. Hint: it's not supposed to end.
Evolving Your Martech Toolsets
Step 2: Identify a trusted partner to help you bridge current to future state(s)
The good news – most marketers can now build a modern, effective, manageable, cohesive, efficient, and economical marketing technology stack that is two parts excitement and one part sheer terror.
But which tools do you need? Prior to 2010, you had very few technologies enabling very little, which made for an easy decision in most cases. Now, you have thousands of technologies enabling virtually endless customer targeting, segmentation, modeling, activation, analysis... <deep inhale>. You get it – it's a lot. Thanks, cloud.
Decisions become exponentially more difficult as the number of available choices increases. To set aside the cognitive condition of overchoice and assemble any collection of tools, whether they be first or third party, or a combination of the two, there are three things to consider:
What tools are out here? Hint: many.
What role does each tool play? Hint: most of them do several things well, but only one thing great.
How does each tool work individually and when integrated with my larger stack? Hint: these can be quite different, requiring a clear understanding upfront about what is needed to ensure everything will work together.
At Tandem Theory, we help clients with all of the above. Through continual martech roadmapping, we assess the typical factors that play a role in your stack's evolution. What is your stack presently doing well, and how? What is your capabilities roadmap over the next three, six, or twelve months and what business objectives support it? What’s your budget now and how does it compare to your revenue targets and budget tomorrow?
Once you start to assess these factors with your preferred network of trusted technology partners, you can build a roadmap for your brand that will not only benefit you today, but also put you in the best position to adapt and evolve in the future.
To learn more about how our capabilities can support you in eliminating gaps in technology for increased data functionality and accessibility, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.