Why Your Marketing Stack is Killing Your Business

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If you’re a B2B marketer, you have probably heard about the marketing stack and how it’s made up of different solutions. There’s a high chance that you have one in your company. But what does it look like and are you getting the insights you need from it?

According to Scott Brinker, Co-founder and CTO at Ion Interactive and Founder of, the 2015 marketing technology landscape includes 1,876 vendors represented across 43 categories. But this may not even be a comprehensive representation of the actual number of vendors.

To illustrate this point, Scott had recently invited marketers to share a single-slide image of their marketing technology stack, which includes the different marketing software products they use in their businesses. The results were then reviewed and the winners and honorable mentions of the the “Stackies” award were announced.  Most companies listed in this event have deployed 15 to 20 unique solutions within their marketing stack.

Why are we bringing all this up? (Other than our inherent love for the name the “Stackies”)

Because the marketing stack has become too complex!

Most companies employ a marketing technologist to manage and support their marketing stack. This is clearly reflected in a study by Gartner, which shows that 70% of companies have a Chief Marketing Technologist.1436432754_twitter

Now, while each of these niche solutions within the marketing stack is deployed to support one part of the marketing business process, each solution also captures relevant lead data and in some cases provide analytics based on the data that it captures.

But in most cases, companies end up needing to deploy an analytics platform to integrate these different marketing solutions. These analytics platforms require you to map the fields from different datasets flowing from different marketing solutions and users then build custom analytics on top of it. And we’re not even talking about the effort around data management to ensure de-dup, data cleansing efforts, or changes to mapping based on upgrades or changes to source solutions within the marketing stack.

The point is: All of these marketing solutions take considerable effort to maintain on an ongoing basis in addition to the time it takes to manage the analytics platform. This means you need a BI analyst and a technical specialist just to manage the analytics portion of your stack.

Let’s look at the numbers

MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM Institute for Business Value published an analysis based on the results of a survey conducted to understand how organizations are applying analytics today, prioritizing their future investments, and transforming insights into action. Here are some interesting insights from the survey:

Top-performing companies are

  • 3x more likely than lower performers to be sophisticated users of analytics
  • 2x more likely to say that their analytics use is a competitive differentiator
  • 5.4x more likely to use an analytic approach over intuition

Yet within the same study respondents identified the following 3 reasons as the primary obstacles towards adoption and use of information and analytics within their organization:

  • 38% – Lack of understanding how to use analytics to improve the business
  • 34% – Lack of bandwidth due to competing priorities
  • 28% – Lack of skills internally in the line of business

So the question is:

  • If you are a marketer, what would be the ideal scenario for you as far as analytics are concerned? This includes the definition of the analytics as well as the mode in which you want to consume the analytics.

Share your answers in the comments below. We will be providing free trials of our Data Analytics as a Service (DAaaS) solution to the most insightful answers.