I spent time at MarTech West the other week listening to keynote speakers and visiting all 80 of the exhibitors at the show.
I talked with each of these exhibitors to learn directly from them about the trends and challenges and opportunities they are facing – as well as the challenges facing marketers in this space.
While the growth of broader-reaching MarTech solutions has slowed (only up +3% in 2019 versus 2018), there are still 7,040 MarTech solutions available to marketers and marketing agencies.
In 2011, there were barely 150 firms.
What this conference revealed to me (and my recent study of the space has revealed to me) is that there are a number of things that Marketing Agencies need to be aware of as they work to stay current and move their own business and their clients’ businesses forward.
Marketers Marrying MarTech
Marketers like McDonald’s are buying MarTech companies and turning themselves into technology-driven marketers.
McDonald’s recent purchase of Dynamic Yield puts into their hands the ability to customize and better personalize the experience for their customers.
So instead of hiring an agency to optimize that part of their business, they are bringing the expertise right in-house.
Key Marketer/Martech Stats
-52% of marketers state that integration of different MarTech platforms is limiting to their success.
-56% of organizations report under-utilizing their MarTech stack. 21% have bought and don’t use what they buy.
-Only 9% of companies surveyed state they they fully use their full-on stack.
While I don’t expect Marketing Agencies to become MarTech stack consultants, being knowledgeable about platforms and helping save your marketing partner from the pains of limited utilization can go a long way in building a solid long-term partnership.
Marketers can be Techies Too
There are a growing number of no code/low code tools being dropped into the market today.
There are now open APIs that allow users to extend usage and create customization much easier than ever before.
So don’t assume that your Marketing partner automatically needs you to build platforms to enhance their business…as they can now do it on their own.
Lastly, there’s the coming of “ecosystem specific MarTech” and niche vertical solutions for industries.
So while the growth of broad-reaching MarTech tools is slowing, the number of platforms that address specific niches in specific industries are growing.
Products like loyalty platforms specifically designed for the dental industry and CRM platforms tailored to religious communities are examples of where companies are carving out homes in areas that were once dominated by agencies.
The bottom line is: Marketing Agencies need to know what’s out there and know what’s happening in and around the MarTech world. Clients will demand it if they aren’t already.
If you operate in a particular vertical, know what’s being developed so you can be the firm that brings the ideas to your clients (possibly as a white label), versus having a MarTech firm beat you to the punch and carve out parts of your business.