What’s Missing from Your Martech Stack? Q&A with Scott Brinker

Shannon Fitzgerald-Lussier
October 7, 2022
missing from martech stacks

Martech on the brain? Us too. As part of Uptempo’s Marketing Acceleration series, this blog covers highlights from a conversation with our CMO Jim Williams and Scott Brinker, editor at Chiefmartec and VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot. 

We’ll be covering a variety of topics related to martech and what’s missing to run the business of marketing more effectively. Keep scrolling for Scott’s thoughts on: 

  • Martech: is it consolidating or continuing to diversify? 
  • The importance of martech categories
  • Why aren’t marketers using something better than spreadsheets?
  • Marketing business acceleration
  • MRM vs. Marketing business acceleration

Let’s get started! 

Is Martech experiencing consolidation or diversification? 

Consolidation or diversification: which one is it? Well, the answer is both.  

In the Martech industry, consolidation occurs in both categories and platforms. There are always leaders that emerge who make acquisitions and begin to dominate ––these tend to be large publicly traded companies or high-growth companies well on their way to going public. However, because there are next to no barriers required to enter into the software industry (largely due to the various cloud platforms available), lots of new innovative martech platforms are developed every year. In fact, the number of solutions on Scott’s famous marketing technology landscape now hovers just under 10K.

Regarding diversification, Scott pointed out that while a few startups may look to become the next big disruptor in the martech space, many are solving a niche for marketers and doing it really well. There’s a ton of diversification happening in this industry, which continues to grow YoY. From 2020 to 2022 the number of solutions grew by an astounding 24%.

The importance of martech categories

Through his work at Chiefmartec, Scott has grouped the various innovative martech companies into different categories. As you can imagine, this is quite a difficult task. However, Scott always says the only thing worse is to have no categorization.

The reason it’s so tricky is because the creative solutions that martech products provide often don’t fit into a cookie-cutter box. They’re targeting various marketing pain points, and it just so happens that there are many to solve. That said, all companies need a category to root their business in. Without a business category, the positioning and messaging may fall flat, and it becomes hard to find the product through search.  

Why aren’t marketers using something better than spreadsheets?

Believe it or not, out of all the martech tools available, most marketers still use Microsoft Excel instead. It sounds crazy at first, but according to MarTech Today, 77% of marketers spend upwards of 10 hours a week working in spreadsheets.   

So, why is that? A large part of it is that it’s familiar; Excel has been around since 1985. And even digital spreadsheets still leave “the mechanics behind the scenes” as marketing operations very manual marketing operations processes.

With all of the innovation and new martech tools constantly hitting the market, why is marketing still using manual processes to run the business of marketing when so many other transformation have happened? Scott hypothesizes that the reason may be due to the epic amount of change that marketers have faced over the past 10-15 years. Adapting to these changes required a great deal of work and learning. With so many other things to learn, figure out, and adjust to, marketers were continued with the status quo of managing their marketing operations on spreadsheets. They opted to tackle other more pressing changes instead. 

However, now we’re at a point where marketers have figured out what they want to do and how they want to do it, but managing it from a marketing operations perspective can be difficult due to the limited capabilities of spreadsheets like Excel. Marketers need a better way to conduct their operations and run the business of marketing. 

Marketing business acceleration

On the activation side of marketing, there are plenty of frameworks available for marketers to follow. Need a content marketing strategy? An ABM playbook? How about a digital ads A/B testing guide? You’ll find tons of these resources online. Yet, frameworks are sorely lacking when it comes to the operational side, such as advice for actually running the business of marketing. Marketing business acceleration fills that gap. 

Scott echos that “things like demand gen, activation, and acquisition are the pieces of post-digital transformation marketers have got their arms around the most.” These are things that marketers understand deeply; they know what that work consists of and understand the scope of it. The less sexy part of marketing, operations, is still a black box to many marketers.  

The marketing business acceleration framework identifies the various components of marketing operations, showing marketers how they should all fit together. 

“The talk over the past 10-15 years in marketing from a tech perspective has been ‘we want the 360-degree view of the customer,’ which is a good thing to have,” Scott says. “Marketing business acceleration is how you get a 360-degree view of your marketing organization and the operational execution of how marketing runs.”

The new operating model allows CMOs to run marketing like a business with natural inputs and outputs that they can report on using language the rest of the C-Suite understands. No more explaining marketing acronyms mid-presentation! It allows marketers to provide tangible answers to the questions a CMO will commonly get asked by the CEO or board members. 

MRM vs. Marketing business acceleration

Is marketing business acceleration the same as marketing resource management (MRM)?

No—MRM is a product category while marketing business acceleration is an operating model. It’s how you use MRM products in conjunction with other martech to mature as a marketing organization. 

MRM systems focus on efficiency: how can you efficiently use your assets and content? Meanwhile, marketing business acceleration focuses on the thing that appeals to marketers most. Effectiveness. 

You can watch the full conversation about martech stagnation and innovation between Scott and Jim here. And don’t miss the rest of the videos in our three-part marketing accelerations series, where Jim dives into more about marketing business acceleration and running the business of marketing with other experts like Scott! 

marketing business acceleration

Marketing business acceleration: a better way to run marketing

Learn more about the new operating model in The CMO’s Primer for Marketing Business Acceleration.

Read now
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