Martech Morass: Marketers Say They’re Confused By The Tech Landscape

Martech Morass: Marketers Say They’re Confused By The Tech Landscape

by , Columnist, May 26, 2022

Marketing technology causes as many problems as it solves, judging by From Digital Transformation To Digital Evolution: Survival of the Quickest,” a study from Netcel, Optimizely and Siteimprove in partnership with London Research.

Of the marketers  polled, 64% agree with the statement that marketing technology “generally creates more internal work which vendors rarely account for (e.g., creating and customizing content for personalization),” with 25% saying they strongly agree.

And 57% concur that “the marketing technology landscape is very confusing and it’s hard to know how different products fit together,” with 21% saying they strongly agree.

The study addresses digital transformation, a subject that pulls varying views from marketers.

Asked which areas are relevant for their firms, they cite: 

  • Improving overall technology infrastructure, including  automation of process — 60%
  • Ongoing evolution of business to capitalize on digital opportunities — 55%
  • Developing new business models and platforms to build competitive advantage — 53%
  • Preparing for a worldwide web and metaverse based on decentralization, blockchain technology, and tokens or cryptocurrencies — 48% 
  • Fundamental organizational change of culture and behavior so technology can be embraced — 45% 

Contrary to what marketers might think, companies with an offline heritage are more focused on developing new business models and platforms to build a competitive advantage. The only area in which they fall behind digital brands is in the building of the metaverse.  

The respondents say core digital marketing channels like email and websites are in place and are viewed as valuable. However, core departments such as marketing, IT, product and customer service remain siloed. 

Case in point: IT may be detached from marketing, front-line service and data and design teams.

Of those polled, 44% describe their marketing technology stacks as developed and 12% describe them as advanced. And 6% say they’re nascent and 38% as emerging.

Marketing is slightly out front on the latter point, but resembles other areas, including the use of audience and customer data to develop products and experiences. 

Who is responsible for driving digital initiatives? That responsibility involves C-level executives with these titles: 

  • Chief technology officer — 51%
  • Chief executive officer — 34%
  • Chief marketing officer — 24% 
  • Chief operating officer — 22%
  • Chief digital officer — 20%
  • Chief financial officer — 17% 
  • Chief data officer — 5% 

However, CMOs are leading these projects only 11% of the time.

The study concludes that “many businesses are digitized but few are truly digital.” They are missing the “impetus, capabilities, and partnerships” it takes to overcome the many barriers they face and respond quickly to changes in technology, customer needs and competitive set. 

London Research surveyed more than 300 client-side business respondents with responsibility for digital development in March and April 2022. The respondents come from companies with annual revenues of at least $50 million.

Marketers say it’s difficult to know how different martech products fit together, a study finds.