The B2B marketing technology (MarTech) segment has been growing and innovating fast and furiously over the past several years. Larger companies are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on technology, creating a huge demand for marketing technology solutions. It has become big business, with more than 3,400 MarTech companies and $134 billion in venture funding. By 2018, IDC estimates that CMOs are anticipated to buy $32.4 billion in marketing technology.
At the same time, we have seen a slew of mergers and acquisitions, creating consolidations in the industry. In 2016, there were several important mergers and acquisitions, including Salesforce buying the data management platform, Krux. Another important development was Adobe buying TubeMogul, allowing true omnichannel marketing where advertising and marketing are done in a holistic and coordinated way, with improved integration.
Amidst all the excitement and new technologies, companies have adopted solutions ravenously, making today’s MarTech stacks a bit on the heavy side — and yes, in need of some serious slimming and trimming. New workflows and data streams have emerged that are disrupting marketing and sales at big and small companies alike.
Because B2B marketing technology stacks have gotten so heavy, the many mergers/acquisitions of 2016 and those ahead for 2017 are critical since they will shape the landscape for the next decade and beyond.
B2B marketing and sales teams have reached a critical mass when it comes to “siloed” new technology adoption and they are tired of having dozens of overlapping and competing technologies to wrangle in one stack. Those in demand generation seem to feel the pain the most as they inhabit the intersection of the two departments.
Overall, B2B marketing and sales teams are starting to shape up their technology stacks so that they can address the inherent problems of inefficiencies and redundancies. B2B companies realize they are losing time and money because of these issues. Additionally, as they begin to consolidate, they should consider the following:
- Platforms must be able to communicate for the most accurate reporting
- Cross-departmental functionality strengthens both communication and collaboration
- Combining different technologies can actually be a force multiplier
- Every new technology addition should strengthen and streamline the stack, not bog it down
As businesses evaluate their options to move forward, they have a choice of single vendor marketing and sales solutions or “best of breed” stacks — which are preferred. In this new ecosystem, the leading “best of breed” marketing and sales tools are becoming multi-purpose rather than point solutions. For B-to-B companies, integrations are key and teams should be looking for tools that give them an edge, not slow them down. It is important to make buying and renewal decisions based on the following four key considerations:
Companies have invested significantly in marketing and sales technology, and this is the year that the consolidation of MarTech will deliver benefits to B2B organizations, with improved integrations enabling solutions to work better together, resulting in marketing and sales efforts becoming more efficient.