You can be forgiven for not understanding martech. Seven years ago there were 150 martech vendors. Today there are nearly 5,000. The industry is predicted to grow to $32 billion by 2018. And to think that marketers once used phone book sized directories called Standard Rates and Data to manage advertising.
Martech is comprised of the technology that a business uses for marketing. The combination of those tools is referred to as a marketing stack. There are many ways to break down the stack but with 5,000 vendors it’s a moving target.
Martech choices should be based on your specific sales funnel and application strategy. The sales funnel considers the customer journey from awareness through purchase. The application strategy evaluates the relative benefits of platforms versus best of breed solutions.
There are as many ways to break down the funnel as there are companies. The model below is only a framework for this discussion. Not included in the funnel are measurement and connective tissue. Web analytics measures traffic, engagement and conversion rates. Typical applications are Google Analytics, KISSMetrics and Meltwater. Integration applications provide the connective tissue between disparate applications. Common integration applications are IFTTT and Zapier.
- Awareness: Buyer doesn’t have need or want for your product yet
- Martech: WordPress, SquareSpace, Moz, AdWords, Buffer, Hootsuite
- Information: Buyer has developed want or need and actively searches for solution
- Martech: Gravity Forms, MailChimp, GoToWebinar
- Evaluation: Buyer begins considering and comparing alternatives
- Martech: Google Contacts, SugarCRM
- Purchase: Buyer commits to taking action
- Martech: Freshbooks, Stripe, Paypal, Icertis
Platform vs Best of Breed
Martech is a long tail industry. There are a few billion dollar vendors and thousands of vendors making less than $100,000 per year. The advantages of platform vendors are simplicity, support, a broad base of trained workers, and the likelihood that they will be in business a year from now. The advantage of the best of breed vendors is that many of them are free and they provide nearly limitless choice.
The industry may be moving toward a hybrid approach with platform solutions that enable best of breed plug-ins. This gives marketing organizations a stable platform with the opportunity to innovate with new solutions when they become available.
With nearly 5,000 martech applications available there are lots of ways to solve this. The key is to make sure you know what it is you’re trying to solve.