When is a martech stack too complex?

Shira Smolko
Martech Complexity vs. Martech Maturity

At a lot of providers — but not all — their martech stack has turn into also sophisticated.

Apart from the anecdotal evidence that I regularly hear on LinkedIn and Twitter threads, Gartner’s most current Promoting Technology Survey frames the issue quantitatively: on average, the 324 organization advertising and marketing technology leaders they surveyed described that only 42% of their martech capabilities are currently being used.

Which is down from 58% utilization in 2020.

You only want two factors to draw a line, and this line is headed in the improper direction.

Martech Utilization (Gartner 2022)

I’ll set aside my regular rant about martech stack utilization being a misguided metric and just just take this at facial area price. Whatsoever these respondents imagined they meant by utilization, the reality is that most of them feel it is a lot less than 50 % of what it must be. And they feel it’s dropped appreciably over the past two yrs.

That just cannot be great.

Now, it is easy to understand how this could be trending in the mistaken way. The pandemic enthusiastic an monumental investment decision in digital transformation for corporations, including a ton of new technologies in all corners of their tech stacks. But primarily in advertising and marketing. Just acquire the 3 huge martech innovation themes that I predicted for 2022 — all of which appear to be to be on-keep track of, I’ll humbly note. These encompass a ton of new instruments and ways that have expanded the scope of martech functions at lots of organizations.

Recalling Martec’s Legislation — technological innovation alterations speedier than companies do — we shouldn’t be shocked that all this accelerated pull-ahead of new martech would be difficult for advertising and marketing groups to take up quickly. But the extra pandemic items of The Excellent Resignation and silent quitting have exacerbated this challenge even extra.

So is the reply for every person to cut their martech stacks down by 58%?

For some corporations, certainly. They’ve obtained way extra tech than they are prepared to productively use. They need to simplify and focus.

Offered the economic belt-tightening that a lot of marketing groups are likely to face in 2023, it’s surely a superior time to overview your stack and get rid of any resources that are not introducing meaningful value. That may well not be mainly because of flaws with people equipment, but constraints in your potential to productively harness them, at least at this minute. Both way, if you are not obtaining impactful outcomes from them, they are ballast.

As Very simple as Possible, But No Simpler

But I want to caution towards swinging that pendulum also far.

Martech is advanced, particularly at companies that are even bigger than a compact organization. This generally is not the fault of martech distributors, even if it could make you feel much better to blame them at times. It is a purpose of the complexity inherent in our ecosystem right now. Digital almost everything, digital in all places has exploded complexity.

Looking through a the latest report from information system provider Adverity, What Is Shaping the CMO’s Roadmap?, this chart of “external factors impacting marketing” stood out to me:

External Factors Impacting Martech Complexity

The raising variety of platforms/channels = improved complexity.

The unpredictability of globe situations (black swan activities) = increased complexity.

The developing complexity of audience conduct = elevated complexity (it is in the label!).

GDPR and privateness rules = greater complexity.

Choosing the appropriate people/workers retention? Elevated complexity from the growing variety of abilities that we’re trying to get to deal with the complexities higher than. But if we’re not successful at this tricky task, our martech organizational maturity can really drop rather of improve — at a time when we most need to have that progress.

All these matters are “complex” in the sense that they don’t just have a ton of difficult transferring elements. They’re complicated in the sense that there’s a ton of interaction outcomes involving them.

Most martech solutions are really striving to minimize — or at least help handle – this complexity.

This is an important point since simplifying your martech stack does not simplify the external setting. Simplifying your martech stack may possibly nevertheless be a terrific thought for a bunch of legit reasons, a lot of of which boil down to martech organizational maturity: if you’re not prepared to extract additional value from a a lot more complex stack, then the complexity of your stack is carrying out extra harm than very good.

Balancing Martech Simplicity & Martech Complexity

Martech Simplicity vs. Martech Complexity

Occam’s Razor — other issues getting equivalent, the most basic explanation is typically right — is a nugget of wisdom adaptable to so many things. Tactic: the simpler the improved to present conclusion-producing clarity. Prioritization: do much less points nicely. Customer knowledge: easier is just about generally simpler and a lot more delightful.

This truism certainly applies to martech too.

Martec’s Razor: other issues getting equal, the most straightforward stack is best.

But other things aren’t always equal. Connecting siloed advertising and marketing and gross sales details and actions generally raises complexity — extra going pieces, far more entangled. But for the sake of increasing the efficiency of the small business and the continuity of buyer interactions throughout a broader established of touchpoints, that amplified complexity can be truly worth it.

The very same applies to adapting to shifting consumer preferences, experimenting with emerging technologies, and establishing new organizational funds by encouraging groups to access over and above the old means of carrying out matters. All of these points incorporate complexity to martech operations, intermingling the outdated and the new. But that is essential to expansion.

The balance of martech management is to be continually simplifying while steadily developing your organization’s potential to control bigger complexity in situations in which it can include value.

Aligning Stack Complexity to Martech Maturity

This provides me to the diagram at the top rated of this submit, which I’ll redraw listed here:

Martech Complexity vs. Martech Maturity

A sophisticated martech stack is not inherently great or bad. It is great or poor in the context of the martech organizational maturity of the organization managing it.

A elaborate stack in a experienced martech corporation, which has thoughtfully architected it, built-in it adequately into their setting, and created the appropriate enablement and governance to help teams properly leverage it, can be an surprisingly effective asset.

That correct same stack, in the arms of an group with significantly less martech maturity, is a recipe for disaster.

It is alright if your group is however early in its journey of building your martech maturity. Most corporations are almost certainly in the remaining fifty percent of the above chart at this stage. Developing strong martech maturity usually takes time. But if you enable the complexity of your stack get forward of your maturity, it will very likely sluggish down your progress as an alternative of accelerating it.

Brian Halligan, HubSpot’s co-founder and executive chairman, has generally said, “Companies are far more possible to die of overeating than hunger. They are inclined to do much too quite a few issues.” This unquestionably applies to martech abilities.

Keep the complexity of your stack in look at with your organization’s martech maturity.

And when in question, remember this:

Martec's Razor

Get chiefmartec.com instantly in your inbox!

Subscribe to my e-newsletter to get the most recent insights on martech as shortly as they strike the wire. I generally publish an write-up just about every week or two — aiming for top quality over amount.

Next Post

B2B Reads: Lead a new team to success, master conscious conversations, tips for a game changing positive attitude and more

In addition to our Sunday App of the Week feature, we also summarize some of our preferred B2B income & advertising and marketing posts from all-around the internet every week. We’ll skip a ton of fantastic stuff, so if you uncovered a little something you consider is really worth sharing […]
B2B Reads: Lead a new team to success, master conscious conversations, tips for a game changing positive attitude and more