Why Martech Sucks: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Why Martech Sucks: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Modern Marketing is Not Easy

Sometimes you really miss the 1960s Mad Men era, when the marketing world was a simpler yet elegant chessboard. Billboards, print ads and catchy jingles ruled the day, each piece moving in a predictable rhythm. Fast forward to today’s digital era, where the marketing landscape resembles a kaleidoscope rather than a chessboard. You have 8+ mainstream social media channels, and over five digital advertising ecosystems and a large portion of the content is user-generated. In reality, the modern marketing landscape resembles a kaleidoscope rather than a chessboard.

In the complex world of marketing, marketing technology or Martech promises integration, clarity, efficiency and innovation. However, the reality often falls short. This article explores the practical issues plaguing Martech, from the vantage point of a practicing ‘marketer’.

According to Chief Martec, there are over 11,000 martech companies as of 2023, a 11% increase compared to the previous year. Even more interesting, over 7% of the total Martech companies churned out – they were that were acquired, pivoted out of Martech, or went out of business.

Despite these big numbers, the complaints and pain points of everyday marketers remain the same. They think the current Martech stack sucks – and with valid reasons as to why.

Cost Escalation

The Martech landscape is replete with tools, each promising unique benefits. However, teams frequently overspend on either overly expensive tools or on multiple tools with similar functions. Also, most of the products are too entrenched in their respective channels or domains – such as SEO, social media management, or advertising automation. This is an issue for most marketing agencies and SMBs since they don’t have the extensive budgets to splurge on a suite of marketing tools.

Therefore, it is no surprise that for most of the leading Martech products, over 70-80% of the total user base is Free Users, who do not pay for the services.

Feature Overshoot and Complexity

The legendary Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton M. Christensen once wrote, ‘The pace of technological innovation, almost always, outstrips the ability of customers in a given tier of the market to absorb it’ This is a foundational pillar of his famous Disruptive Innovation theory. Modern Martech is not immune to this.

Marketing teams are often faced with deficiencies in knowledge and expertise when bringing on new technology, this is understandable – most of the marketers are not techies. As Gartner suggests, “prioritizing marketing generalists who can help meet quick demands, rather than individuals who mainly specialize in one technology” can be more beneficial.

Limited Integration Between the Tools

A significant challenge in Martech is the lack of effective integration. When tools don’t communicate well, the result is inefficiency and duplicated resources and efforts. The data speaks volumes: according to a recent study by the market research firm Ascend2 “52% of marketers say MarTech stack integration is the most challenging barrier”.

Therefore, effective integration is crucial for leveraging the full potential of marketing technologies.

We are just scratching the surface when it comes to the shortfalls of the modern Martech. We didn’t even touch on how disconnected these tools are from some of the new emerging channels and platforms such as TikTok.

The challenges faced by Martech are significant, impacting both the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing strategies. At Momentro, we are extensively working on bridging the gap between technology and the expectations of marketing practitioners. Striking a fine balance between data, technology, user experience and ROI (yes, that is also important) is a tall order – a worthy pursuit nevertheless.