Breaking: Technology Marketer Seeking Marketing Technology Map Gets Ambushed by Other Tech Maps

Boston, MA – Searching the most recent Marketing Technology Landscape graphic for a promotion hub solution, Demand Gen Marketer Nicole Dunshire was repeatedly blocked and lured by other devious martech landscape graphics. Impeding her progress by continually taunting “Look at how many there are!” and “Come this way! I’ll show you more maps!”, the marketing technology maps led Nicole not to the right promotion hub solution for her but to a state of increased confusion, fatigue, and cloudy indecision. They seemed to enjoy it, those martech landscape graphics.

Or so a possible post at The Onion may go if its subject was niched enough to cover the trenches of modern marketing technologies. Because, have you noticed? There’s, like, a lot of marketing technology out there.

The mere topic of navigating the marketing technology landscape seems to be an issue wonderfully befitting for a John Oliver styled news-desk joke:

John Oliver: “Tonight’s story is about Marketing Technology…

an industry so brimming with new tools, that you didn’t realize the above picture is not their company logos, but just a bunch of legos.”

#legomylogo #success.

Laughter and applause.

Not only is there a veritable explosion of marketing technologies to explore and identify, there seems to be an equal size explosion of illustrative graphics pointing out that, yes, indeed, there’s a great number.

Exhibit A: Chief Martech

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A tricky read, right? But, exactly. This graphic was assembled before the 2016 MarTech conference. You can zoom in a few times here to make out the logos in each category, but you get the idea – there are so many!

Exhibit B: The Subway Map

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Finding your way around the London Underground or Paris Metro can be a daunting task in person, and displaying martech stack tools in the same format compares to the circuitous environment.

I think you take the Gold Line from Product Design, then switch to the Baby Blue Line to ride around Web Ops for a while, then three stops on Yellow Analytics and you end up… closing your laptop.

Exhibit C: Spacey Campus/ Galaxy Map

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We are all at the center, like the sun – that white dot. And these various branches orbit cyclically around us collecting energy to power our… wristwatches – I mean marketing campaigns.

But we need these graphics!

Well, yes and no.

In a recent post by Gartner, they reported that their “2015-2016 CMO spend report found that 71% of marketing leaders have a dedicated budget for innovation, up from 64% last year.”

With more budget for investing in new approaches and services, marketers do have a wide variety of options to pursue, and not every option is right for every marketing department.

Looking to these types of graphics for guidance can very quickly leave marketers with this feeling:

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So, before immediately turning outwardly to begin the search, or hitting panic buttons with choice paralysis, be sure to look inwardly first.

Identifying pain points

The first step to finding the right marketing tool is to know exactly what the specific problem is you’re looking to solve.

Whether it be production scalability, web analytics, lead generation, brand promotion, or smaller fragments within those categories, you should be able to say “we need a technology that does x,” and then go find that solution.

Simply browsing technologies and signing contracts without proper alignment can create what are sometimes called Frankenstacks.

Make Sure You Have the Basics Down

Before looking at layering on a bunch of complicated technology, make sure you’re solid on the basics. A successful marketing program needs marketing automation, customer relationship management, a content management system (website), and some kind of analytics platform.

Beyond that, it becomes about how your technology enables you to serve your prospects and customers better. Whether that means delivering better experiences, helping sales have more relevant conversations, or serving up context-based content, technology can help you.

Finding Example Martech Stacks

If you’re re-evaluating your whole martech stack, or think you’re missing a key component but can’t put your finger on it, look to real examples of other companies’ martech stacks.

Reach out to partner companies or browse through sites like G2Crowd to get insight into how one specific marketing department leverages technology compared to others. Another handy tool for martech exploration is Siftery, which lets you explore what technologies other companies are using (and share your own stack).

For a shortcut, check out some contenders for the 2015 Stackie Awards.

Keep Calm, Carry on

Now that we’ve collected ourselves, ready for another marketing technology graphic?

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Had to do it. All jokes aside, navigating the current martech experience seem overwhelming, but it is key to remember all these tools are designed to make life better for marketers not worse.

So instead freezing in the headlights at the prospect of finding new technology solutions, get excited about it!

Think of what you’re doing well and see what’s out there can make you doing better. Consider what your weaknesses and pinpoint exactly where they need improvement and then go forth in search of that specific platform – and make sure it really addresses your need and not just kind of addresses it.

For a quick starter course, check out our post about 47 martech tools that all marketers should at least be aware of.