The right martech tools have become equalizers for companies of all sizes and in the competitive struggle, are helping to level the playing field. CMOs now have to think on leveraging the martech tools to have a perfect blend of the right technology

The famous ‘Martech Technology Landscape Supergraphic’ by Scott Brinker, which is a visual representation of the types and numbers of martech available, had about 150 listings in 2011. By early 2019, the total had grown to over 7,040 and the graphics keep on growing. New players are continuously emerging, and the existing players also bring out new tools.

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Martech has become an equalizer for small and medium-sized players that are facing massive competitions. It is no more just about the technology, but, how well it is leveraged and managed makes a big difference. According to research by Salesforce, high-performing marketing organizations in 2019, use 14 martech tools on average, while the low performers use only seven.

All this technology has now changed the marketing leader’s job. Experts think that marketers have become stack managers and the shadow IT experts spend more time on technology implementation than creative development, messaging, or customer research. Marketing technology budgets are now exceeding IT budgets, and for many CMOs, the job is now a lot about the stack.

According to a Wipro survey of marketing leaders, 47% of CMOs ranked martech expertise as the most critical skill they need. The marketing strategy skills requirement was at 44%, and the business strategy skills were at 37%. The classic marketing skills had the lowest requirement with brand management at 21%, advertising at 13%, and sales at 15%.

Experts believe that though the shift to martech is not universal, it will become a trend and touch on every institution of all sizes. This amount of importance given to technology can also backfire since technology and software companies have become desperate to control more stack and too often customer experience (CX) is compromised in maintaining technology.

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For the customers, there are no departments, but one company. As CX leaders, marketers need to look beyond their walls for new opportunities and drive superior engagement across the customer journey. High performers integrate marketing technology across the entire customer journey, which includes advertising to customer support.

Tech for tech’s sake is just an expense, and marketing leaders must ensure that the strategy helps the team engage buyers to meet organizational objectives.

According to Gartner, the top technologies that are deployed in U.S. marketing organizations include digital marketing analytics (62%), content marketing platforms (64%), surveys and customer insights (64%); web content management (68%); and email marketing platforms (71%).

Until recently, almost all the top organizations have built martech stacks piece by piece and have added technologies to meet new needs. With so many applications now available, and the competition getting aggressive, the right combination of technologies has become increasingly important. It is also necessary to have a strategy that connects the stack across marketing to other revenue-driving functions.

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