Martech stack consolidation: The way of the future
With tools being seamlessly integrated, marketers get a holistic view of customer interactions and journeys. This allows for deeper insights, refined strategies, and optimised campaigns that make the most impact.
Marketing technology (martech) has become an instrumental part of any marketing campaign today. From monitoring reach to measuring conversions, there are hundreds of players and tools to choose from. But this wasn’t always the case.
While today there are over 8,000 martech tools, in 2011, there were only 150. According to reports by LXA and ReportLinker, over the last 12 years, the martech industry has grown by 7,000% and is expected to reach a billion dollar valuation by 2029.
It’s no coincidence that the rise of martech has happened in conjunction with that of mobile marketing. As marketers realised that the best way to reach audiences was in real time on pocket-sized devices that everyone owned, they prioritised the new over the old.
A decade ago, traditional marketing mediums such as TVCs, newspapers, and OOH (out of home) advertising were far greater considerations than mobile marketing. Compared to a billion dollars in 2011, mobile advertising spends are set to surpass $413 billion by 2024, a direct reflection of the market's transformed priorities.
With eye-watering sums being spent, organisations must maximise the value they gain from their martech investments. The success of a marketing campaign relies not just on the merit of the idea but also on how well the martech stack integrates its separate functions.
Like with any other industry, when there are thousands of options to pick from, the abundance (of martech tools, in this case) can be a double-edged sword. While each one is geared to a specific task and function, the over-saturation often causes buyer’s fatigue.
Another pressing question is: are marketers able to get the most out of their pre-existing martech stacks? A recent Gartner survey suggests, not quite, with marketing organisations utilising only 58% of the full breadth of the stack’s capabilities. Considering the fragmented and isolated solutions at play, this number comes as no surprise. Limited visibility and lack of cross-talking and compatibility are often the primary factors.
There are ancillary business considerations too. Amidst sustained macroeconomic headwinds, organisations are unsurprisingly tightening their belts and scrutinising the money spent on functions not core to operations.
According to a Harvard Business Review survey, marketing budgets have decreased from 9.5% of company revenue in 2022 to 9.1% in 2023. Simultaneously, a World Federation of Advertisers survey says, nearly 30% of major advertisers have said they are cutting ad budgets in 2023.
So the market has made it clear: nobody wants to manage disparate martech solutions from a slew of vendors amidst the global economic uncertainties. The solution: a consolidated, truly integrated marketing stack that does away with all these troubles.
Why consolidate your martech stack
Streamlined user experience
A consolidated martech stack reduces the complexities of managing data across multiple platforms. It helps save time while accessing data alongside reducing the risk of data silos and operational bottlenecks. Moreover, with tools being seamlessly integrated, marketers are presented with a holistic view of customer interactions and journeys. This allows for deeper insights, refined strategies, and optimised campaigns that make the most impact.
Centralising customer data allows businesses to offer more personalised experiences and accurately anticipate customer needs. This can also help improve post-sale services, instilling long-term loyalty in the brand. Lastly, when tools in a martech stack communicate seamlessly with each other, it enables cross-functional teams to collaborate more effectively.
Increased operational and cost efficiency
A consolidated stack has the potential to reduce software licensing and maintenance costs as marketers can let go of applications that aren’t helpful to operations. In fact, a report by Kearney suggests that the overarching benefit of martech transformation is an average 20% to 40% increase in return on marketing investment from revenue lift. With processes streamlined, it helps free up resources that can shift their focus on high-value tasks.
There are also instances where, due to limited visibility across disparate solutions, certain actions may be reflected in one tool/dashboard but not the other. This can lead to delays that may prove costly for time sensitive campaigns, while the repercussions for in-app campaigns may be as drastic as missing out on opportunities to cross-sell/upsell during checkout.
Scalability and flexibility
Imagine you are a marketer deploying a siloed platform for push notification campaign management and another siloed platform for customer relationship management. In this scenario, the two services provided by different companies offer limited but acceptable levels of cross-talking and visibility. This may be acceptable at modest scales, but when ramping up operations, these minor inconveniences become deal breakers.
Subsequently, if and when you need to look at a different service provider, you are left with only a handful of options that would provide the same or slightly better user experience. In contrast, if you deploy an all-in-one martech platform, every martech function is handled by a single point of contact, thus providing 100% visibility, allowing for more incisive campaign management.
So, data reconciliation problems where disparate tools don’t align on one single way of identifying consumers are put to bed. Additionally, you can also add on certain services knowing that this seamless experience will be maintained across the martech dashboard.
A consolidated future
By consolidating the martech stack, businesses can run more efficiently, cut down on redundant costs, and speed up time-consuming processes, all of which would translate to reduced running costs and a larger return on investment.
The consolidation of the martech stack is not merely a trend; it’s a strategic shift that empowers businesses to navigate the complex terrain of modern marketing with finesse. As we journey into an era defined by data-driven decision-making, personalised experiences, and customer-centricity, a unified martech ecosystem becomes a beacon of efficiency and growth.
The author is Vice President - Data Science, CleverTap, a customer engagement platform.
Edited by Swetha Kannan
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)