Nearly 9 In 10 Marketers To Spend More On Martech, That’s The Good News

I wonder where the whole “Good News/Bad News” concept first started? Was it perhaps when Eve said to Adam “The good news is I have an apple we can eat. The bad news is… well, I’ll tell you later, go ahead and take a bite.”

Ok, maybe that was not the best example but you get the idea.

And before I get to the crux of this article, I am curious: Do you prefer to hear the good news or bad news first when given the option? I’ll share my thoughts at the end.

Good News First

Culled directly from an article on

“Tealium recently published its State of the Customer Data Platform report for 2021, and statistics showed that the majority of marketers (89%) will spend more on martech than they did in 2020. In addition, 32% of these respondents said that they will be spending ‘significantly’ more than they did before.”

On the surface this sounds fantastic, seriously. The fact that nearly 9 in 10 marketers pledge to spend more on martech is truly a great sign. And Lord knows there is not a shortage of options out there. As of 2020 there were 8,000 – yes EIGHT THOUSAND different marketing technology platforms.

Here’s the 2020 version of the famous Scott Brinker chart:

Again, this is fabulous. Seeing marketers commit to spending more on something that is so vital for success makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

That is until reality sets in AKA…

The Bad News

Let me start here: The following excerpt from a December 2020 article entitled Martech Stacks Are Being Underutilized By Marketers, How Much Does It Matter?

“Gartner reported last year — and again in the same, updated report this year — that marketers only use 58% of their martech stack’s full breadth of capabilities because they have trouble with cross-functional collaboration, deal with a “sprawling array” of martech solutions and lack a solid customer data foundation.”

Yes kids, less than 6 in 10 marketers are taking full advantage of their martech’s capabilities.

As Exhibit B under the heading of Bad News I give you Why Increased Spending On MarTech Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing.  This piece — which is from 2016 and was written by the-then CMO of Oracle Marketing Cloud, Jennifer Renaud — includes such telling subheads as “Don’t Just Buy To Buy” and “Buyer Beware.”

The points Renaud was making then are the same points I will make today.

Any marketer among the 9 in 10 claiming they will spend more on martech needs to avoid the “Buy To Buy” trap first and foremost. As Renaud astutely put it in her piece, this is akin to the social media craze.

“Remember when social media came into vogue? Seemingly everyone-CEOs, CMOs and marketers of all sizes wanted in. So the mad rush was on to land grab all the Twitter profiles and Facebook URLs and on and on because everyone “had to be doing social media.”

The fact that there are SO many martech options out there only muddies the waters because people, by nature, can get overwhelmed by too many choices. Think about the last time you went out to eat and were overwhelmed by the number of choices on the menu. What happened? You more likely took significantly longer in deciding what to order and even then, you probably ended up ordering something that you really didn’t want but felt compelled to “order something.”

Exact. Same. Thing. Happens. In. Martech.

Don’t believe me? Trust me, it happens. All the time.

As for Buyer Beware, I will let Renaud take it from here because I could not say it any better:

“I won’t go down the whole “caveat emptor” path but, if I can offer one piece of advice when it comes to spending on marketing technology it would be this: First and foremost have a strategy in place.

While that may sound obvious we all know that oftentimes the obvious gets overlooked. So have a solid strategy around what you need when it comes to martech. For example, how will it help you drive revenue and enhance the customer experience? How will it give you a competitive advantage?

Remember martech is not one size fits all. If you’re a high service retailer, you don’t need nor want your martech solution to batch and blast. But you definitely want it to help you when it comes to things like CRM and loyalty. The right martech solution will enable you to know your customer the same way you know your own preferences as a consumer.

And finally don’t forget the human element. While I love what things like marketing automation can do and I’m super excited about the use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics–it’s vitally important to never get too dependent on technology. There simply must always be the human side to marketing as nothing will ever replace good old-fashioned gut instinct.”

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