What Is Martech and Why Is Marketing Technology Important?

Once a buzzword, now a standard part of our vocabulary. Martech or marketing technology has been praised as the thing that will enable you to achieve more with less, and the believers might not be wrong. But, there are still a lot of misconceptions and different meanings attached to the term Martech. Here, we break down marketing technology and take a look at what it really means, and why it’s important for your business.

What is Martech?

Martech, short for marketing technology, refers to the range of digital tools and systems that helps organizations fulfill their marketing or business objectives, whether that is to optimize digital marketing campaigns, gain leads or manage customer data. Really, any tool that assists you in your work to be more customer focused could be considered a Martech tool.

However, as much as Martech is about different technologies, it’s also about people. It’s about the people who see opportunities and challenges, who set goals and implement strategies to reach their objectives. But also about the people those strategies are created for - the customers and potential customers. 

Thus, Martech refers to different business strategies that merge with different technologies, in order to reach different goals in regards to expanding or maintaining the customer-base. 

What is a Martech stack?

Different marketing technologies combined form a stack. Consequently, a Martech stack is a collection of different Martech tools that work together to achieve your marketing and business objectives. 

Scott Brinker, editor at ChiefMartec defines a Martech stack as a number of different technologies from a number of different companies that’s meant to attract and retain customers in the most efficient way possible.

Exactly which technologies and tools that “should'' be included in your Martech stack is of course very situational. It depends on your organization's objectives and your unique brand attributes. Add to that the over 10 000 different Martech tools that exist in the market and the decision doesn’t get any easier.

But, Scott Brinker, gives us some advice as to where we should begin. He means that a Martech stack could be divided into three stages:

  1. Attraction
  2. Engagement
  3. Analytics & Optimization

So let’s look at a simplified example of a Martech stack:

1. Attraction: 

This stage focuses mainly on lead generation. Martech tools for this stage could for example be tools for:

  • SEO (Search engine optimization)
  • SEM (Search engine marketing)
  • Content Creation

2. Engagement: 

This stage focuses on keeping your customers engaged and interested. Martech tools for this stage could for example be:

  • CRM-systems
  • Email marketing
  • Retargeting softwares

3. Analytics and Optimization

This stage focuses on data analyzation and continuous optimization of your implemented strategies and campaigns. Martech tools for this stage could for example be:

  • Web analytics softwares
  • Brand tracking tools
  • Business intelligence platforms

Regardless of the composition of marketing technologies you include in your Martech stack it's important to continuously manage the set of tools you decide to go for. Keeping your Martech stack in harmony is what will enable you to attract, engage and understand your customers, as well as drive conversion. 

And a well-managed Martech stack tailored to your company’s specific needs will ensure that you are connecting with the right audience at the right stage of the purchase funnel, and thus give you a greater return on your investments.  


What is the difference between Martech and Adtech?

A common mistake is to lump together Martech and Adtec, and see them as the same thing. But, just as marketing and advertising is not entirely interchangeable, nor is Martech and Adtech. While Martech is more concerned with the technology that helps to create, implement and manage marketing strategies, Adtech is concerned with the technology that helps to influence buyer behavior through promoted offerings.

In other words, Martech has a more holistic approach, focusing on executing your business strategies from start to finish, while Adtech has a much more atomistic approach, focusing only on a secluded part of the sales funnel, namely on buyer behavior. 

Why Martech is important for all businesses

In our digitalized world, where technology takes a progressively larger share of the marketing landscape, the need for sophisticated solutions that support efficiency and automation is becoming increasingly important. When implemented correctly, Martech can be just that solution, as it enables brands to keep up with customer journeys in an ever discontinuous world.

Moreover, as Martech considers the execution of business strategies from start to finish, it provides marketers with the means to scale their efforts holistically. Rather than dealing with strategies individually and losing track of their performance, marketing technology instead increases possibilities to see the bigger picture. 

And as we touched upon earlier Martech also gives organizations better opportunities to connect with the right audience at the right time of the purchase funnel, which will ensure greater return on investment.

Lastly, the importance of data-driven decision making can’t be understated. The time of gut-feelings and not-so-very-calculated guesses in the marketing industry is over, and the time for data-driven marketing and informed decision-making is here. And it looks like it’s here to stay. Because, wherever we move these days, we leave digital footprints of some sort, footprints that we need to use to our advantage in order to stay relevant. Because if we don’t, someone else will. With marketing technologies tailored to our specific needs and objectives we can get that advantage, which is why Martech probably will play a pivotal part in the future of digital marketing.

Want to know what it takes to succeed with Martech?

Every year, with our partners we release the European Martech Report, where we highlight the main success factors when it comes to succeeding with Martech investments, so you can understand if your organization has what it takes to get the job done.

Through the input from sales, marketing, tech and CRM managers, we also guide the readers on how to develop better Martech strategies, and give advice on what to develop further within the different perspectives: people, processes, technology and data.

Here you can read the European Martech Report for 2022. And soon, you’ll be able to read the European Martech Report for 2023, keep an eye on your feed.

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