Additional pressures from the pandemic have prompted marketers to take a close look at the value of their tech stacks and weigh the benefits of the new features.
“Over the past 18 months, you know, during this COVID period, many organizations have seen their budgets frozen or have been asked to cut their marketing costs,” said Anita Brearton, CEO of the CabinetM technical management platform. “So there was a lot of analysis going on around the tech stack. “
With 70 percent of the companies we surveyed having done some sort of marketing technology replacement in the past year, we asked Brearton to share some thoughts on the results of the MarTech Replacement Survey during our recent MarTech conference.
“They have the ability to evaluate new products, and they find they are getting more features for the same money or less, so that’s a motivation to move forward,” Brearton said.
Here are some other considerations that weigh heavily on organizations.
As organizations, or their marketing operations, continue to grow, they must consider other options.
“They’re running what is probably a simpler, smaller platform and need to move to a bigger platform,” Brearton said. “And so we see that a lot.”
It is less likely that a business will replace a large system integrated with so many marketing functions.
“It’s pretty unusual because these big systems cost a lot of money, and they require a lot of skill to run them,” Brearton said. “There is therefore a cost in terms of employee skills when replacing them, especially in marketing automation. And then these marketing automation platforms are connected to so many other platforms.
Because of the work involved in replacing a larger hub system, like the one that runs marketing automation, these replacements are often planned a year or more in advance.
Especially when budgets are tight, it is difficult and potentially risky to replace a “anchor” system that is the basis of marketing strategies and operations.
This includes marketing automation, email automation systems, CDPs and CRM, according to Brearton.
“These are the central part of everyone’s tech stack,” she said.
That said, Brearton said CabinetM replaced their CRM during this time. This has helped the company to streamline some of its automation.
“We were able to combine our marketing automation and our CRM and do a lot more,” she said. “So I think it’s a functionality issue. It is a problem of scale.
An advisory tool for other marketers, this approach has led CabinetM to rethink the CRM category by taking into account all the players who have entered the scene.
“We are streamlining the CRM category on Cabinet M,” said Brearton. “Right now there are hundreds of platforms in this category. It’s extraordinary, so I have to imagine that the sellers of all these platforms are busy knocking on doors and finding takers.
Workflow and event tools
The popularity of adding workflow and event management tools to many stacks has reaffirmed what many of us (including MarTech and the evolution of our virtual conferences) have been through over the years. Last 18 months.
To get the real work done virtually, organizations are upgrading their workflow platforms.
“I’m really encouraged to see this emphasis on workflow, because I think it’s been too easy to rely on spreadsheets,” Brearton said. “And when you work remotely, it doesn’t give you a picture of tasks and task flow. So, I’m happy to see people adopting different workflow tools.
For organizations that had an e-commerce business model before the pandemic, it would be a great demand for them to replace their main platform, especially when business through that channel increased. But that didn’t mean marketers weren’t considering ways to improve the performance, experience, and services of their ecommerce customers.
“I think people aren’t necessarily replacing their core e-commerce platform,” Brearton said. “But I guess they add and swap all kinds of stuff around it to improve their connection with customers, to improve personalization, or to improve loyalty and engagement.”
She added, “I think if someone answered a black and white question, did you replace your ecommerce system, they would be likely to say no. But if asked if you have replaced ecommerce tools, you might have gotten a different answer.
Data and CDP
Implementing a CDP remains a big project, especially for small organizations. With all the other fires to put out, this might not have been something high on many lists. In many cases, organizations are currently using other anchor platforms.
“There is the classic CDP platform that stores all customer information, cleans it and adds it, and serves as a single source of truth,” Brearton said. “Other companies use one or more of their anchor platforms that serve this purpose. So, a marketing automation platform might, for some businesses, serve this purpose. “
She added, “We are seeing the adoption of CDPs. We think it’s broken through the chasm of the hype to actual adoption, and I think the numbers (for CDP adoption) are higher for larger companies.
Watch the full presentation of our MarTech conference here.