When Forces Collide: Unlocking the Potential of MarTech

MarTech is often described as ‘having a sports car sitting idle in the garage.’ But it’s really about embracing the challenges and looking internally to improve customer experience and business efficiencies.
March 22, 2023
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  • minutes to read

Whether it’s a Ferrari, Lamborghini or an Aston Martin, it’s an age-old comparison that MarTech is ‘the sports car sitting idle in the garage.’

But is this analogy still relevant? Or are there untapped opportunities in the industry to work together and share knowledge to ensure that potential doesn’t go to waste?

Let’s take a closer look at the state of the MarTech industry and five key contradictory forces that prevent businesses from fully leveraging the value of MarTech.

Automation vs Manual Labour

Automation is fundamental to businesses reaching the Nirvana state that MarTech promises. Reaching out to the right person, at the right time, with the right message requires automation. But doing this requires actual humans (apologies, ChatGPT) to align the tools and teams to get automation right. Therein lies an inherent tension between machine and its maker.

We need to embrace this. It’s not about reducing headcount. It’s about automating processes that shouldn’t be done by people and allowing you to re-allocate your team into areas that will drive business growth. It’s about augmenting human teams, not replacing them.

Staff Training vs Retention

With job vacancy rates in the technology sector 60 per cent higher than the national average, and forecast to grow at triple the rate, the challenge of managing multiple technology stacks has been compounded by a lack of critical skills within organisations. While this makes it critical for businesses to upskill their staff, tensions arise when competitors try to attract these now up-skilled individuals.

To retain staff, keep investing in technologies to allow people to do more exciting work – whether its delivering consumer experiences on digital workplace platforms, enabling work from anywhere, or automating the mundane tasks so staff can take on more engaging work.

It’s not all about digital skills; it’s about getting the basics right too. Remember the human element of leadership and engage with your team to determine what drives them.

Evolution vs Integration

The industry is constantly evolving and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choice. To put this into perspective, approximately 2,000 new MarTech technologies have emerged in the last year alone. Whilst new and shiny tools are often the go-to, integrating new technology with legacy systems can also create tension and in trying to move forward, you could move back.

Keep up to date with the latest developments by working with external partners, but don’t always assume that new technology is the answer. Look for ways you can integrate new technology within existing systems by making minor adjustments. This could save you time, money and maximise the full potential of your existing stacks, without the need for additional technology and added complexity.

Ownership vs Access

Silos exist in many parts of organisations, and MarTech is no exception. Having a central team manage tech can have benefits, but it can limit access for those not in that central team. On the other hand, if everyone has ownership over different tools, they don’t always talk to each other and share data. This results in inefficiencies, confusion and tension.

Wherever possible, split the team between those running the back end, and those delivering the technology for a business outcome. It’s vital you have the right resources in technology to unlock the benefits of MarTech because one can’t work effectively without the other.

How vs Why?

How do you connect one tool to another and integrate your MarTech stack? Whilst this is important, the critical question is why. If you can’t answer why you are building this tool and the need for investment, it can create a lack of overall buy-in and support from the business.

The solution is working from the customer-back, not tech-forward. MarTech is an enabler. Customers don’t walk around asking to be personalised. Identify the problem or opportunity you’re trying to solve so you can deliver the correct experience.

The sports car isn’t idle, it’s misunderstood.

Given the complexities and rapid industry growth, we recently released the new Stacks on Stacks-on-Stacks whitepaper in partnership with the Customer Experience and Insights (CXI) Research Group at Swinburne University of Technology. The new research represents the voices of MarTech, explores the key challenges, and provides a level-set for where the industry is currently.

The above insights were shared by panellists from Swinburne University of Technology, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Visit Victoria, and Telstra at our launch event last week, where they discussed the tensions and potential of MarTech with fellow Australian business and marketing leaders.

It’s clear that businesses are experiencing similar challenges, so the answer is collaboration. Now is the time for the industry to come together and share knowledge and experiences of this ever-changing landscape, to ensure we reap the rewards of our high-performance vehicles.

Download the Stacks on Stacks on Stacks whitepaper HERE to read more.

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When Forces Collide: Unlocking the Potential of MarTech
MarTech is often described as ‘having a sports car sitting idle in the garage.’ But it’s really about embracing the challenges and looking internally to improve customer experience and business efficiencies.