How Auditing Your Tech Stack Can Unlock Your Marketing Potential
By Daniel Eisenhut, Group Vice President, CRM. For marketers, efficiency and effectiveness are two sides of the same coin. It’s crucial to invest in technology that’s a good fit for your use cases, organizational maturity, and that aligns with the goals of those operating it.
A recent Gartner survey of 405 marketing leaders revealed they’re only utilizing 33% of their martech stack’s capabilities, marking a second consecutive year of decline (42% in 2022, and 58% in 2020). This not only indicates that businesses are paying for dormant functions, but that their stacks are a lot more complex than necessary.
This tips off a disastrous domino effect. In addition to being a waste of time and effort, low adoption rates can lead to low return on investment. Low ROI leads to difficult questions as to why your team is spending so much on software that no one is using.
To unlock the full potential of your marketing, you want to be sure to align the sophistication of your tech stack with your marketing organization’s level of maturity. The system of checks and balances ensures you maximize the value of your tech investments without incurring unnecessary costs.
In this post, we’ll uncover why your organization’s maturity should be driving your technology decisions and how to get the highest ROI for your marketing dollars.
Why Maturity Matters
Your organization’s level of maturity plays a huge role in how you should be adopting technology. Marketing maturity at a rudimentary level can be identified by a shift from a seller-centric to a buyer-centric approach, with clear use cases in mind. They tend to be more project-focused, whereas those that are more established focus on holistic strategic growth.
Increasing levels of maturity are commensurate with levels of digital marketing sophistication and expertise. Marketing maturity is not synonymous with revenue, employee count, company age, or how many campaigns are being created. It’s based on how you interact with your customers and how central their needs are to your strategy.
Although marketing maturity is fluid, there are indicators and pain points you can identify to figure out where you fall on the spectrum. This framework from Marketing Profs is a great starting point:
- You don’t have a defined digital strategy.
- Tools are not connected or integrated.
- Campaigns are sent on a one-off basis with basic personalization.
- Reporting is siloed by channel and is limited.
- You use different types of marketing technology, like segmentation and automation, to create more sophisticated campaigns.
- You leverage basic customer profile data to personalize communications, but the data might not be integrated into a CRM.
- Campaign reporting is more robust but still siloed and typically done per campaign.
- Messaging is connected across channels and is personalized based on individual customer data.
- You send targeted multistep campaigns that lead to a specific action.
- You take advantage of real-time analytics but are still siloed by source.
- Digital marketing efforts include targeted campaigns and personalized interactions.
- Brand experience and messaging are consistent across all digital channels, including email, website, e-commerce, and social media.
- Data insights from all channels are pulled into one holistic view.
By understanding where your organization falls on the maturity spectrum, you can better evaluate your needs and understand where your growth is coming from.
Matching Your Technology to Your Maturity
At a basic level, marketers have two choices when selecting technology investments—an all-in-one solution or a variety of point solutions. An all-in-one solution might look enticing because of easy implementation and quicker time-to-value, but the reality is often that organizations use only a fraction of the features they pay for, which leads to lower ROI.
On the flip side, point solutions, while more focused, might have features that will go unused by businesses at a lower stage of marketing maturity and require more effort to seamlessly integrate with each other. So, how do you make the right choice?
Evaluate Your Needs
The first step is getting a sense of your marketing maturity, might we put you onto the 60% rule? The rule states that if you plan to use 60% or less of the features that a particular point solution offers, then an all-in-one solution will likely meet your needs. This is an easy way to determine where you sit on the maturity spectrum and avoid superfluous software.
During your evaluation, break your needs into major software categories (outlined below) so you can figure out where you need point solutions and where an all-in-one platform will suffice. Ask yourself how you will utilize each category when building campaigns, and most importantly, be honest. There’s no value in needlessly overcomplicating your stack.
- What types of customer data do we currently use and what will we need to use in the future?
- Can we ingest and process both structured and unstructured data?
- Can our data storage scale with our growing marketing needs?
- How will enrichment help us deliver more effective campaigns?
- How does our tech enhance the quality and depth of our customer profiles?
- Are there gaps in our current data enrichment processes?
- How sophisticated is our current automation and what are our automation goals?
- Can our tools handle larger and more complex campaigns?
- Which repetitive tasks can be further streamlined to free up resources?
- Does our tech stack allow us to deliver tailored experiences to individual users?
- How well does it adapt to evolving consumer behaviors and preferences?
- Can we measure the impact of our personalization efforts?
- How consistently do our tools facilitate customer experiences across touchpoints?
- Are we able to adapt to new communication channels quickly?
- Do we have a seamless integration between different channels for a unified customer journey?
- Do our analytics tools provide actionable and comprehensive insights?
- Can they integrate data from various sources without friction?
- As our campaigns grow in complexity, are our analytics tools scalable to meet these new challenges?
Think Long Term
By carefully parsing each category you can better understand where you are more mature and where you leave room to grow. This is important because opting for a point solution in an area where you are less mature might mean you’re paying for advanced features you don’t need or won’t use.
As your business grows and your marketing demands more sophisticated functionality, branching out to a point solution might become inevitable. Make sure you understand where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow so that you can invest in technology that will meet your needs in the long term.
Pay For Only What You Need
At Zeta, we acknowledge the unique challenges businesses face in their technological journey. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t always the best, we’ve created an incredibly flexible integration framework to help marketers get the functionality they need to be successful.
Rarely does a single system account for all your use cases, which is why Zeta wraps around your existing tech stack and seamlessly fills all the necessary gaps. Not only does Zeta come with many pre-built integrations and connectors, but it also offers the flexibility to easily create custom connections that meet your business requirements. This ensures that you’re not backed into an all-or-nothing corner.
Unlike some platforms that bundle numerous features into a license – whether you need them or not – we emphasize flexibility. Our goal is to make sure that you get the highest ROI for your marketing dollars. If a specific tool offers something we don’t, we advocate for integration, ensuring you spend wisely and get the functionality you genuinely need.
See If the Zeta Marketing Platform Fits for You
It’s essential to align strategy with technology. By auditing your tech stack against your marketing maturity, you can make informed decisions, optimize your investments, and ultimately, drive better results. At Zeta, we’re committed to partnering with you in this journey, helping you build the best possible experience for your customers.
Curious to learn how Zeta can help you match your maturity to your tech stack?