This article will look at the marketing and technology (MarTech) landscape among small to midsize enterprises (SMEs), along with the benefits it offers and the challenges faced by businesses.
In this article
Marketing and technology might be becoming essential components for modern-day businesses. Companies today are possibly using MarTech solutions like marketing automation to boost their sales and business growth. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the market size for marketing automation software is expected to be worth US$11.46 billion by 2027, registering at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.67% through the forecast period 2021-2027. In this article, we will try to understand what MarTech is, its adoption among SMEs, and the benefits offered by it.
What is MarTech?
MarTech —also known as marketing technology stack— can be described as a collection of software solutions used by marketing teams to manage and execute their marketing campaigns, and acquire and retain customers. Some of the areas in which MarTech is likely to be used are content and customer experience, advertising, direct marketing, marketing management, and marketing data and analytics.
Although part of the same ecosystem, MarTech is potentially different from advertising technology (AdTech). MarTech refers to technology that may aid in the creation, communication, optimisation, and promotion of digital marketing campaigns while AdTech is possibly used only to influence buyer behaviour by launching campaigns in the marketplace.
Is MarTech seeing a rise among SMEs?
A report by Moore Global states that the MarTech market was worth US$344.8 billion in Dec 2021, calling it ‘explosive growth’. The report also states that 61% of respondents expect their marketing technology spending to increase in the next 12 months. These numbers may indicate the broader acceptance of MarTech solutions among SMEs.
In the UK, the scenario looks promising. An article by Martech Alliance states that the MarTech market will be worth US$149.7 billion in the UK and North America in 2021 as per their market size estimates. The article also states that Scott Brinker’s ‘Marketing Technology Landscape’ exemplifies how the MarTech business has continuously grown over the years. More than 8,000 merchants were listed in a version published in 2020. Talking specifically about the UK, the 2020/2021 annual UK Martech Landscape contains 714 vendors.
What are the benefits offered by MarTech solutions?
According to a Gartner study, chief marketing officers (CMOs) who use 70% of their MarTech capabilities will have a 20% higher marketing return on investment (ROI) —a metric used to evaluate how well an investment has performed— than their counterparts by 2022. In this section, we will look at some of the benefits offered by MarTech tools that businesses can use to their advantage.
1. Offers customer insights
One of the ways businesses can possibly make better decisions is by looking at historical data to have a holistic view of their past performance. Doing this may require them to use tools that can be integrated with spreadsheets to provide customer insights via reports and data dashboards. Marketers can potentially use these customer insights to make better business decisions and plan and execute meaningful campaigns targeting the right set of potential customers.
2. Provides low-code/no-code options
Low-code/no-code MarTech tools may be becoming more popular and adaptable. Low-code/no-code platforms allow developers and designers to create apps by writing little to no code. No-code technology could enable business-to-business (B2B) marketers to develop innovative ideas on their own.
According to an article by MarTech Alliance, no-code/low-code products are used by 33% of marketing teams regularly, stating that ‘inflexible and non-user friendly tools’ are holding their teams back from reaching their potential. The article also mentions that this would mean that marketers would be able to control and customise the tools they use daily.
3. Helps achieve marketing automation
The business landscape could be a rapidly changing one. In the era of social media, the way marketing is done may also change. Influencer marketing is possibly picking up and it may still be labour intensive without the involvement of marketing automation tools. According to an article from Sky News, influencer marketing is expected to be valued at US$13.8 billion in 2021.
Marketing automation tools can potentially help with automating parts of influencer marketing like vetting through lists of influencers to find the most relevant ones, setting up automatic campaigns and launching them etc.
What are the challenges of using MarTech solutions?
Although MarTech platforms have the potential to offer new ways of launching, executing, and managing marketing initiatives, they can also —at times— pose some challenges. We discuss some of them below.
1. Underutilisation of full MarTech capabilities
As per a survey article by Gartner, marketers are not able to fully utilise their MarTech capabilities with respondents citing utilisation of only 58% of their MarTech tool’s full capabilities. The article also states that exploring features like tailored marketing messages and experiences and delivering them may need more than just combinations of marketing technology elements.
2. Concerns about personal data security
MarTech tools possibly collect data which can be further used for analysis, and this may raise concerns over the use of such data. Although consumers may want companies to utilise their data to understand their needs better and enhance their experience, they may not necessarily trust them with their personal data, creating a conflicting situation for SMEs.
What’s the key takeaway?
Technology probably lies at the heart of digital transformation among businesses and combined with marketing solutions, it may potentially help businesses decrease costs, increase ROI, and exploit new development prospects. With some companies possibly shifting their marketing processes to digital methods, the importance of integrating marketing technology that enables these methods will probably increase.