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We should be decidedly skeptical of Martech’s promises

Martech often looks a lot like fast fashion: cheap, easily replaced, quickly forgotten, and of dubious quality.

Martech promises the moon on a stick: every customer behavior carefully converted into a metric and tracked, data quickly analyzed and aggregated into a story, conversions tested and optimized.

They tell you that you’ll be able to target, in an ultra-personalized way, only the people most likely to buy, right when they’re in buying mode — and at scale too.

It’s a compelling promise: up-to-date, beautifully presented data that we can provide to the CEO and CFO to prove that marketing “really moves the needle” and, of course, get our budget requests approved.

But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Martech Reality: Stack Bloat

So what is the reality? Well, most marketing databases are full of errors and outdated. Programmatic adtech puts our ads in front of bots and scammers on cheap websites. And attribution is largely a mess.

Analytics generate meaningless metrics like impressions – meaningless because they can’t be traced back to anyone who might be spending money with the company.

And then there’s the problem that one martech solution doesn’t “fit all”. Different software does different things, so we don’t buy one, we buy five or 10. And, of course, not all of them integrate with each other, or with existing systems (despite the promise of an API for this).

The result is that we’ve reached peak martech, and we’re suffering from a severe case of stack bloat. Ten years ago, marketers could choose from 350 martech vendors. Today, more than 9,900 are on offer, reports Scott Brinker.

Martech is also responsible for the consumption of a very large part of the allocated funds. Gartner’s annual survey of CMO spend found that it accounted for an average of 26.6% of companies’ total marketing budgets in 2021, which is more than paid media (25.1%), labor- (25%) and agencies or services (23%).

And yet, it is replaced all the time. There’s even a company tracking this – the 2022 Martech Replacement Survey does what it says on the tin. In 18 months, almost a quarter (24%) of the companies surveyed replaced their marketing automation software, 23% their CRM and 22% their email marketing applications.

Related article: 5 Glimpses of the Marketing Technology Landscape 9,932

What should be at the heart of Martech Stack

Martech often looks a lot like fast fashion: cheap, easily replaced, quickly forgotten, and of dubious quality.

But doing our job without technology would just be silly. It’s 2022 after all.

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