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 work to the next level.

Martech (Marketing Technology) has begun to establish itself in the conceptual world. Martech is often described as the combination of marketing and technology, with ‘Martech stack’ considered as the various technical solutions that enable customer dialogue. 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 often. We now focus 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 the other communication landscape.

Successful marketing 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 about four key areas of Marketing Tech to investigate their digital maturity in strategy, organisation/processes, data/analysis and systems.

How do market leaders work strategically with Martech?

The change is moving fast and new factors are constantly being taken into account. The investigation revealed a clear difference between those who came a long way in using Martech and those who are more likely to be in the starting pit. In the large-scale companies analysed, especially in regulated markets, the strategy has often come a long way. These companies know where they want to reach and most are insightful in what needs to be done to achieve this goal.

When the strategy is to be implemented, it is easily established, and when the permanent structure needs to be challenged it can be. In these instances new regulatory requirements need to be prioritised.

The companies that have come the furthest with implementing a Martech strategy are often tech startups, who have the knowledge running through their veins and act on the basis of emerging business opportunities in the creation phase. However, when the company has achieved some growth, the challenges arise in the form of an unclear organisation and undefined processes.

Among the interviewed companies there were only two who have clearly been able to transform strategy into action. In both cases, the increased turnover rate was driven by an external facilitator. In the first case this was down to a new owner and thus a new focus, in the second case an external person was brought in to identify opportunities and drive change.

A clear mandate is mentioned as a leading success factor, and if it is missing, as an inhibiting factor. Another way to cope with the inertia of existing 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 of directions are important to achieve a high level of change.

The common success factors includes:

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

– You begin form the customer journey instead of your own organisation

– Goals and key figures are clear and driving throughout the entire company


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