Marketing Enablement and The Technology Stack

“The Stack” is being written about quite a bit lately and with good reason. More and more technology is used on a daily basis in marketing and it doesn’t look like it will slow down, ever. In fact, it looks like even with consolidation by larger vendors, the different technologies will continue to increase in number and the rest may just fall under bigger umbrellas in the future.

Marketing Technology landscape 2015I asked Scott Brinker, President, CTO and Co-founder of ion interactive, and the creator of the amazing and daunting Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic  (1,876 companies as of January 2015) approximately how many technologies does the average marketer use on a daily basis in a mid-sized organization?

The answer came in the form of a great story where a CMO in a meeting stated that they really only used two different technologies on their team – marketing automation and a CRM. Then a team member in the meeting put up the Marketing Technology Landscape slide and the room became silent. The CMO then started pointing out more and more technologies that they used. It was a lot more than two.

Marketers may feel like we don’t use many different technologies each day, but we do. Think about the different departments in marketing and the various core technologies they each rely on.  Take a look-I know this is only a partial list:

  • Content marketing: Content management applications, search/social media tools, video, influencer marketing solutions, email marketing, HTML and design applications
  • Demand generation: Marketing automation, CRM, HTML, analytics tools, content management applications, email marketing, mobile and interactive marketing applications, business intelligence/data applications and webinar applications
  • Web team: Web development applications, HTML, analytics, marketing automation, search/ social applications, creative, video and design applications
  • Public relations: Content management applications, social media applications, webinar technologies, communities and reviews
  • Product marketing: Sales enablement applications, project management, communities, interactive content, performance and attribution applications
  • Social media/ events: Social media applications, design tools, content management applications, event management applications, SEO, and email marketing

How well do we use those different technologies? The 2014 B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Study conducted by ANNUITAS reported that only 2.8% said they were very effective in achieving their  Demand Generation goals and 62.3% report that marketing governs their marketing technologies. Demand Generation is more than just technology, but technology powers the strategy and plays a big part in our success. As marketers, we are clearly responsible for using and managing the technologies–it’s up to us.

This makes me question if we are proficient in all the essential applications or just a few? What would happen if we became experts in most of the application we use instead of just a few? Wouldn’t marketers become more productive, more effective and efficient? Wouldn’t we save our organizations time and resources if we could better utilize the tools we pay to use? This is why marketing enablement is important.

Marketers and our organizations need to ensure we have the skills needed to be successful in our jobs, so we can perform optimally and so our organizations can thrive. An organization wouldn’t let their sales team be anything less than effective (reaching only 2.8 % of quota) or possess only one or two skills required for sales. No, that would be foolish and that is what sales enablement is for.

Marketers need to do better and it’s time to think about marketing enablement. Not sure where to start? Listen to first part in the Marketing Enablement webinar series and work to become better marketers every day. The Stack isn’t getting shorter and that daunting Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic will surely become more complex in 2016.

Author: Erika Goldwater, CIPP/US @erikawg is VP, Marketing for ANNUITAS

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