Why You’re Still Behind on Martech, and What You Can Do About It


Despite businesses increasing their spending on martech, it is quite disappointing to know that most of them cannot make the most out of their solutions. While this situation persists, vendors and developers keep adding to the number of marketing solutions in the market. The increasing market value of martech has contributed to this influx as well. While this is commendable as it forces the minds behind these solutions to create even more innovative marketing technology solutions and gives businesses numerous options; it is one of the main reasons why martech ROI continues to confuse. The market is saturated by a broad range of marketing software, and businesses are often unable to make the right choices for their dynamics. Consequently, they end up adopting solutions that aren’t aligned with their objectives and goals. Of course, there are other issues like automation of flawed or already outdated marketing processes, and the inability to adapt to transformational changes efficiently. Steve Lok is particularly interested in the latter, and is concerned about how current work dynamics are poorly fit for younger generations of brilliance. Steve is the former Global Head of Marketing Technology at The Economist, where he brought in tremendous success including a coveted DMA Grand Prix for Best Advertising Strategy. He, as one of the few experts in martech known today combining more than two decades of work as a developer, Scrum master, and business development pro, set the standards for companies that want to achieve the best value out of the integration between marketing and technology.

Traditionalism Means You’re Behind

Whether you’ve been marketing for years or are new, it’s important to know that we are already in the martech era. Marketing technology is integral to every aspect of marketing, and if you’re not leveraging its power, you’re falling behind. Everyone is warming up to the idea because there is real benefit to it, the ideal being setting up a martech team outside of the existing department with its own budget and flexibility in terms of investment, adoption, and management of new technology vs. legacy systems. However, companies often do not know where to start with marketing technology. 

Few senior managers or even CMOs have a clear vision of how data can support the business beyond one-off initiatives, and, as a result, are reluctant to invest in ‘plumbing’ (i.e. the data supply chain and management technology) outside of IT, and controlled by marketing. This reluctance curtails the adoption of sound martech solutions, which results in the entire company lagging behind in almost all its growth and retention operations. Steve notes that with a solid foundation in place, it is possible for marketers to be in a better position to know how to use technology to refine the customer experience while also managing to tie up online and offline touchpoints.

Steve is no stranger to the technical challenges posed by new solutions when it comes to linking them with other existing technology as well as hesitance in adopting change by internal stakeholders. However, he strongly believes in the power of difference being our biggest strength and weakness. 

Bring About Change and Support It

Although huge companies are already implementing enterprise-level technology that integrates with lots of other existing platforms across the business, it is important to note that martech is not just meant for big companies. As a medium and small-sized business, you should also be using martech to manage your customer profiles, optimize web properties and deliver various communications-based interactions that customers and prospects have with your brand.

Begin by developing a basic framework for martech and integrate it to what you’re doing in a bid to take advantage of technology in advertising, customer experience, back office and analytics. In the end, you’ll notice that the more insight you generate, the more effective you will become.

While Steve acknowledges that change can be costly, he is also of the view that training your current team and bringing in a martech-savvy professional, which might not be a walk in the park for your bank account, will be for a good cause in the end. So, instead of viewing your marketing team as a cost-center, consider it a profit center. You can achieve this by investing sufficient resources to audit your business for the martech you need, and what you don’t, to enable your marketing team to evolve – failure to do so means you will end up like the many entities that invest in costly martech only to fail.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here