A new martech era began over the last 12 months, according to a report by global management consulting firm, Kearney.
The single-minded focus on martech stacks and CMOs amassing an ever-growing collection of “shiny objects” has become unworkable, say analysts, with thousands of applications and datasets being added to the mix, often without ever being used.
Compiling over 40,000 published martech articles over the past three years, researchers noticed a distinct inflection point in 2021 where focus had shifted away from martech stacks. Today, we’re seeing a new emphasis on marketing and adtech personalisation, advanced analytics capabilities, and customer data security and compliance.
"This is what we call the shift from the ‘tech stack era’ to a ‘data and analytics era’ that focusses on the customer,” explain the authors. “This new era enables a higher level of marketing personalisation across many platforms and sources.
Despite advancements, the report found that today’s martech stacks continue to be unnecessarily complex, redundant, and fragmented, with the majority of organisations failing to utilise even 50% of their martech capabilities, and estimates about 40% of customer data remains unused.
However, 60% of CMOs consider their stack incomplete and incapable of supporting company growth plans. Kearney's findings indicate that CMOs can place disproportionate emphasis on CRM and analytical tools, but overlook vital supporting applications, such as marketing automation, workflow and productivity, operations, and content management.
"Success in the data and analytics era requires a continued evolution of marketing operations, talent, and organisational capabilities. The magnitude of martech tools and applications requires advanced specialisation. With this comes an increasing demand for marketers, data scientists, product managers, and IT/solutions architects," the report highlighted.
“Companies with multiple complex and fragmented stacks struggle with incomplete and underutilised systems and a lack of focus on crucial business objectives. When you recognises the case for change, you can realise higher marketing effectiveness and efficiency, improve capabilities, and enjoy a bigger return over cost.”
Reflecting on this evolution of martech, many marketing leaders are addressing a number of overarching questions from their organisations, including:
What martech capabilities do we need to deliver an effective and unique customer experience?
What skills and construct does martech require to drive tomorrow’s marketing organisation?
What is the business case for change? How can I best align and rally my organisation?
What steps do we need to take to win in this new martech era?
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