When martech isn’t martech

If a tool is used by marketers, is it part of the martech stack? Where do we draw the line?

Here’s a question I’ve been asking people for the past few days: “Where do you draw the line with Martech?” This may seem like an unnecessary question – it’s easy to define martech as a technology that helps marketers with marketing. But is it really true?

My question was raised in part by a new StackInsights report from CabinetM, the martech management platform that allows subscribers to monitor, locate, manage and develop their martech stacks. CabinetM first collects data from these users (anonymously of course) and publishes results showing that hundreds of Martech batteries have been assembled in practice. In the list of the most popular tools in the B2B and B2C stacks, one thing immediately came to the fore. CabinetM users apparently don’t mention Martech tools: YouTube, Sharepoint, JIRA Software, GoToWebinar, Zapier, Zoom. Obviously, marketers can use all of these tools, but they are not designed for that and can be used by almost any team in the organization. For example, JIRA is designed for developers.

Travel support and customer experience

I asked Anita Brearton, Founder and CEO of CabinetM, what the obvious difference is. “It’s interesting to see what our users call martech,” he agrees. “We created this definition: any technology used to create or support experiences and pathways that drive customer acquisition, engagement, and retention. Finally, it includes adtech, the sales tech, web optimization, collaboration tools, and more. The industry likes to have clear boundaries between categories, but the reality is, marketing teams, don’t care. They are involved in creating the best collection of tools to achieve their business and marketing goals.

This makes sense, of course, but it’s still not correct to say that some of the tools in a marketing stack, while useful, may not be Martech tools.

The free approach for everyone

The Brearton definition aims to identify at least one relationship between tools and results that are clearly related to marketing. But some of the answers I saw to my question are much more laissez-faire. Martech, for example, is any technology used by a retailer.

Even with the sober term “for commercial purposes” it seems unlikely. Is Google Calendar Martech? What about Evernote (notes) or Calendly (appointment scheduling) or Citrix Workspace (virtual workspace) or Microsoft Bing? It’s easy to find the solutions marketers use to get the workday you would never expect in a Martech scenario.

There are, of course, more difficult cases. Prezi offers virtual presentation software, again something almost any team can use. But after meeting Dreamforce’s CEO, I do not doubt that marketing teams are an important market for Prezi. It can also be applied to Slack and Workfront. All this can lead to the conclusion: it is martech if the supplier sells to traders.

I needed different perspectives, if a tool is used by marketers, is it part of the martech stack? Where do we draw the line?

Here’s a question I’ve been asking people for the past few days: “Where do you draw the line with Martech?” This may seem like an unnecessary question – it’s easy to define martech as a technology that helps marketers with marketing. But is it really true?

My question was raised in part by a new StackInsights report from CabinetM, the martech management platform that allows subscribers to monitor, locate, manage and develop their martech stacks. CabinetM first collects data from these users (anonymously of course) and publishes results showing that hundreds of Martech batteries have been assembled in practice. In the list of the most popular tools in the B2B and B2C stacks, one thing immediately came to the fore. CabinetM users apparently don’t mention Martech tools: YouTube, Sharepoint, JIRA Software, GoToWebinar, Zapier, Zoom. Obviously, marketers can use all of these tools, but they are not designed for that and can be used by almost any team in the organization. For example, JIRA is designed for developers.

Travel support and customer experience

I asked Anita Brearton, Founder and CEO of CabinetM, what the obvious difference is. “It’s interesting to see what our users call martech,” he agrees. “We created this definition: any technology used to create or support experiences and pathways that drive customer acquisition, engagement, and retention. Finally, it includes adtech, sales technology, web optimization, collaboration

The need to draw a line

Frans Riemersma is the founder of Martech Tribe and the driving force behind the European martech supergraphs, a schematic representation of approximately 2,500 solutions. “There is an event in London every year,” he said.

Using the free definition for everyone – any technology used by marketers – opens doors. “That’s when you see everything like Trello, Slack, and everything.” The question, said Riemersma, is not just where we draw the line: “And if we don’t draw the line, does it confuse people?” Take the Shleep Productivity app, for example (help with sleep habits). ‘Is it Martech? I don’t think so, “said Riemersma,” but it’s a corporate program, not a personal one. This is a very extreme example, it could be martech because it benefits your productivity.

Riemersma also points out that instruments that are not commercialized can be adapted for marketing purposes. “Campaign management is essentially very similar to project management,” he said. “Why not use Trello or Asana? They are not marketing tools, but very useful.”

The distance effect works

Personally, I think one of the reasons why communication and collaboration tools are more important to marketers is the remote work environment that has plagued so many of us for almost a year. Of course, videoconferencing and solutions like Microsoft Teams were in use before the pandemic and were potentially important tools for dispersed teams. But for teams that work together in a physical office, their days were not just Zoom and Slack.

Now that you can work with this type of tool as a marketing team, you can easily think of it as part of the martech stack. I think it is misleading because it is part of the sales pile, the customer success pile, and so on.

I presented these ideas to Scott Brinker, VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot and editor of the blog Chief Martec. He adds an example: “Training, whether in-house or in learning management systems to educate customers, is part of marketing. The HubSpot Academy lives in the marketing organization. The technology of the learning management system is not clearly designed exclusively by Martech, but it is actually an essential part of the martech stack. ‘

Brinker recently researched the use of tools without code in marketing organizations. “It’s the same,” he said. These tools were not designed specifically for marketers, but they are changing the way marketers can do many things on their own that they previously couldn’t, or would have to get a ticket and wait for the IT department. Reach them.

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