Day 1 - Why Marketing Software Is Failing
Being in marketing is a very exciting place to be in.
Lars and Niklas, the co-founders of Stackbeam, have been here for over 20 years now. During those years we've seen the marketing software landscape go through a lot of phases and shifts. Shifts that have been organizational, cultural and social but above most technological.
The current world of marketing software is broken
Marketing software, marketing technology or "martech", as it's referred to, has exploded in size and complexity over the last 10 years. Scott Brinker illustrates this growth through the "Marketing Technology Landscape" graphic. Brinker's overview has gone from 150 vendor logos in 2011 to 8 040 in 2020. That's an increase with a whopping 5 233% from 2011 to 2020!
Digital marketing has evolved rapidly during the last decade. We need tools and technology to support all type of new communication channels coming out. We see brand dollars moving away from the last bastion of offline publishing - linear TV. In 2016, total digital ad dollars overtook traditional TV in the U.S. for the first time.
For people in digital marketing the future looks extremely bright. But the context that marketers and people around marketing (IT departments, salespeople, procurement, management) is working in has changed. It is a very scattered and dispersed area to understand. And it's not getting easier.
Things in marketing needs to be fixed
From our experiences and roles as founders and consultants we see a lot of things going wrong in this new world of marketing technology. Some of those things are:
- Marketers have a tendency to want the next shiny thing before we've learned how to use and optimize the tool we currently are using. Often because a competitor is using a different technology stack or because we heard about it in a conference or on an industry blog. Not because there is a real business need for it. How many companies do you think have a need for real time capabilities in the end?
- People's over usage of buzzwords and three-letter acronyms they don't fully understand. If the people who use these buzzwords don't know what they mean, how can the receiver then understand?
- Martech vendors promising "360 degree view of the customer" no matter the tool they're selling. Trust us, a 360-degree customer view is no small task to achieve. Would you agree?
- It's just an extremely complex environment. Connecting the customer data you have in your systems with your CRM or your email marketing tools and all the way through to activating this data in the different acquisition channels, is a long and complex journey. Buyers of marketing tools and technology need to be educated on the pros and cons of the tool they're considering. And also if they already have a tool that overlaps. Otherwise, the expensive cloud license will become shelf ware which is bad both for the customer and the vendor.
- In general, marketing people are not technical and it makes it harder for them to understand and leverage technical platforms in general.
What's next for marketing?
We truly believe this needs to change. Too much time, frustration, money and effort goes into navigating, using and debating the marketing tools in use in companies today. It's easy to forget that there is also an implementation period that can take months depending on the complexity of the tool and the company size.
The reason we started Stackbeam is that we feel that marketers can do better than this. We can simplify with the right tools, right information, right mindset and the right expectations. Both before and after the purchase of a new marketing technology tool.
That's what Stackbeam is about. This is what we are building. Glad to see you here and hope you join us for the ride.
Niklas & Lars