With Ken Lordy
Senior Vice President, Product Management, True Influence
(In part 1 of this series, I looked at the consolidation underway in martech. Now let’s examine the real value of the evolving marketing technology scene.)
Survey after survey shows that marketers value ease of use above all else in their martech stack. Usability was the only attribute that scored better than 50 percent in a wish-list survey early this year. Integration with other tools was second at just 38 percent. I’d argue those two traits are really one in the same, but more on that a bit later.
Clearly, marketers are sick of juggling all those log-ins. They want to spend most of their time in a core system that encompasses their daily work, and occasionally are willing to log into a more specialized system for certain tasks like content management. They also are willing to trade a ton of low-impact “differentiators” for simple tools that get the job done.
And, this is critical, they want a continuity of data and UX that follows them wherever they and their teammates are working. Because it’s all the same customer sales journey. The emerging popularity of the “revenue ops” concept is proof that B2B sellers are trying to break down the silos that impede marketing and sales cooperation, and the tech they use should reflect that continuity of purpose.
I believe this is the trend that will define the coming wave of martech consolidation.
The Ideal Post-Consolidation Martech Stack
The ideal post-consolidation martech stack will include a core central ops / management system where marketers do most of their work – much as it does today – that features close integrations with three to five additional tool sets that are optimized not for a specific task, but a broader operational discipline, like demand gen.
Many niche players I discussed earlier will partner or merge to grow these “helper” platforms to encompass a range of closely related functions, such as audience segmentation, market sizing, and campaign reporting, all within an easy-to-use, consistent UX. Each of these “helper” platforms may cover the functionality of three to five of the hyper-specialized systems employed today.
Data and analysis will flow seamlessly into the core ops / management system for routine daily tasks and monitoring. Specialized tools for advanced audience segmentation, campaign projections and similar tasks will be available in the secondary platforms, but won’t necessarily require daily logins. The tools will be there when marketers need them, but won’t create clutter in their daily lives.
That’s certainly our vision for the True Influence Marketing Cloud. Marketers can log in directly to manage all their demand generation services – from audience management to contact data augmentation to content syndication programs we execute for our customers – within the platform’s UX. We also can integrate intent, contact data and generated leads into the leading marketing automation systems for daily operations. We believe it’s powerful and usable, and focuses on the truly important levers for B2B marketing and sales success.
I think this is the path that will bring those 10 or 20 logins down to a manageable number that lets marketers focus on engaging and nurturing customers.(See Ken Lordy in a live conversation with Forrester Principal Analyst, Kerry Cunningham, at the True Influence Summit: Truth Matters: How Data Accelerates Revenue on July 14.)