Why focusing on martech is too myopic

While marketing departments have their own unique needs, building solutions in a vacuum can negatively impact the customer experience.

Yes, I realize that this is provocative and have donned my battle armor in preparation for your retort.

According to our own definition, martech is the blending of marketing and technology. Pretty straightforward assuming we’re talking about marketing in the traditional sense.

In school, we were all taught about the sales funnel. It’s a very linear experience that basically boils down to four basic phases: Awareness -> Interest -> Desire -> Action. And if we’re thinking traditional marketing here, our shiny martech tools would likely cover the awareness, interest and desire phases of that model while we leave action to those weird salespeople down the hall.

But we all know that this model is no longer relevant. With the advent of digital, our consumers now have a powerful voice. Disappoint one of them during the customer journey and they very well may leverage that voice to express their displeasure to the world, ultimately hampering future sales efforts.

In fact, 56% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience. Atop that, we know that attracting a new customer costs 7-8 times more than retaining an existing one

As a result, the new customer journey is cyclical versus linear. Personally, I like to think about a model that includes these phases: Discover -> Engage -> Transact -> Advocate, but you’ll find a million permutations of the basic notion out there.

In the modern customer journey, we build advocates by delighting customers throughout the customer experience. Delighted customers are 3.5x more likely to repurchase and 5x more likely to recommend.

Embracing the new journey model is not simple, certainly not at the enterprise scale. We all still think in our organizational silos.

With that as a backdrop, let’s go back to my point on martech. I believe marketing is uniquely positioned to help customer-facing organizations rally around the modern customer journey. But that suggests that we shouldn’t be working in a silo of our own.

If we don’t look at the bigger picture in our quest for martech excellence, we run the risk of compounding the problem by adding new silos of customer information that hamper our quest for experience excellence.

Do marketing departments need their own discreet technology? Of course they do. But building that technology without ensuring that it at least compliments a pan-enterprise view of the customer journey is a complete miss.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Len Devanna, founder and Chief Experience Officer at The Level 5 Group, has been driving digital innovation in many of the world’s top brands since 2000. In both Big Four consulting and Fortune 500 client-side roles, he’s helped startups to $180-billion companies reimagine how they serve their audiences throughout the customer lifecycle through digital media with a tenacious focus on delivering meaningful business outcomes.

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