Spring Cleaning brings clarity – so does simplifying martech stack!
For years, I have looked at my garage and wondered when I would clean it. Is it really worth the time and effort? Unfortunately, after this winter (and a couple of moves), I realized it was almost overflowing and needed some help.
As I started to go through the stacks of boxes and tools, I noticed something. There were things I had only used once in years, that had been useful in a previous house (but not helpful now) and other things that were duplicates – I thought I had lost that rake! In addition, once the unneeded things were cleared out, it was suddenly much simpler to use what I had more often, and to keep everything more organized; a weight was lifted!
This is no different than a martech stack, ironically; yes, it really is true. For years we have been buying the newest and most exciting tools to improve our marketing efforts. Quickly they start to collect. Strategies change, like we change houses, and we continue to carry all of the software tools with us. With a new strategy though, there are new tools to execute that strategy, plus we try to force fit our old tools into the model since we are comfortable with them and remember what they have done for us in the past. The problem is that the increasing complexity makes it harder to coordinate between the tools, sync them, and gather meaningful comprehensive data; not to mention scale the level of effort to keep it all together as the company grows.
Tool consolidation and martech stack simplification
I have come to believe we are on the cusp of a tool consolidation movement and an era of simplification. The number of companies on Scott Brinker’s “Martech 5000” landscape graphic increased 27% between 2017 and 2018 and now comprises over 6800 companies – more than the 2011-2016 landscapes combined! The soon-to-be released 2019 landscape will likely show similar growth.
And as martech companies are consolidated, there is a natural consolidation and simplification of tools once the technology is fully integrated. This simplifies the tool stack. In addition, if you look at your long-term strategy, you may realize the incremental benefits derived from many tools are not worth the time and effort needed to use them. In addition, the effort it takes to synchronize data across your toolset is not only frustrating, but you end up with a large amount of information that makes it difficult to tell a clear, simple story for your efforts.
Picking the right tools to execute your marketing strategy
At Pramata, we worked through this problem and simplified our toolset from 22 tools to only 7. We removed tools that were not providing enough value to justify the cost, and replaced some tools with others that better fit our strategy. This ABM case study details the process we followed.
We found that we were able to execute on our strategy in a more focused and efficient manner after the pare down. In addition, we happily found that we were able to tell an easy story for our marketing efforts. But the best surprise was what we saw in our results. Our conversion rates increased, our cost per sales accepted lead decreased, and our web traffic came more from our target markets.
There is no one-size-fits-all martech stack. It needs to be catered to your business needs. The right set of tools can improve results and simplify everyone’s life. This is a win-win. As I recently shared in a case study session at B2BMX, here is my stack, in case you are curious:
So, after you finish that garage, take an honest look at your martech stack and do some spring cleaning of your own. You won’t be sorry!
About the author: A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Jeremy Middleton approaches every role with an eye on improving marketing and sales results. Jeremy has a proven track record uncovering, using, and analyzing data to creatively and consistently support change management and improve business processes. He joined Pramata in 2017 after eight years in strategic marketing, sales operations, and business planning roles at HP Enterprise. A graduate of William & Mary, Jeremy holds a Master’s degree from University of Kentucky and an MBA from the University of New Mexico.