Marketing leaders view on Martech: 1. Strategy – an enabler or disabler?

Charlotte Banning - Head of Marketing October 19, 2018

Market leaders’ strategic work with Martech

There are 4 key areas to take your digitalisation initiative to the next level.

Martech (Marketing Technology) has begun to establish itself in the marketing business. Martech is often described as the combination of marketing and technology, with ‘Martech stack’ being various technical solutions that enable customer dialogues. Today’s marketing is completely technology-based. Compared to just a few years ago, both planning and processes look completely different. ‘The market plan is dead’ is heard more than ever before. Marketing now focusses on a direction rather than a detailed plan, and the challenge for many is timing. That is, to harmonise their own messages in line with other communication in the market.

Successful marketing communication today is a dialogue, not a monologue. To create a good dialogue, you must be able to follow and analyse the ongoing communication with customers and prospects, and to understand their needs. Only then will you be able to predict events and quickly take the next step.

Wiraya and Odyssey, suppliers in Martech, have interviewed market leaders on four key areas of Martech to investigate their digital maturity in strategy, organisation/processes, data/analysis and systems.

How do market leaders work strategically with Martech?

Things are happening fast nowadays and new factors are constantly being taken into account. The survey showed a clear difference between those who have come a long way in using Martech and those who are more likely to be in the starting pit. The larger companies analysed, especially those in regulated markets, tend to have come a long way in terms of strategy. These companies know where they’re aiming and most are insightful in what needs to be done to achieve this goal.

The companies that have come far with implementing a Martech strategy are often tech startups. They seem to have the knowledge and act on the basis of upcoming business opportunities. However, when the company grow to larger sizes, the challenges increase, with unclear organisations and undefined processes.

Among the interviewed companies there were only two who clearly have been able to transform strategy into action. In both cases, the martech initiative was driven by an external facilitator.

A clear mandate is mentioned as a leading success factor, and if it’s missing, it’s an inhibiting factor. Another way to cope with the inertia of existing heavy organisations is to override IT or previously defined processes, and seek support when results or solutions are already in place. At the same time, it is likely to lead to the same ambiguity in the organisation and processes that startup companies express as key issues.

The management and board are important to achieve change.

The common success factors includes:

– An overall agile strategy that is clearly communicated by the board and management

– You start from the customer journey instead of your own organisation

– Goals and key kpis are clear and drivers throughout the entire company

Recommendation:

A strategy is needed, as a form of a direction that can adapt as the world is changing. It should be clearly communicated by top management and the board, and then translated into clear goals and KPIs. These should be based on defined customer journeys.