What is martech and marketing technology?
Martech (a.k.a., marketing technology, marketing software and platforms) is technology employed in the service of marketing. Martech software is used to create, execute, manage, orchestrate, and measure the performance of online and offline content, campaigns and experiences. “Marketing technology” and “marketing software” are also terms frequently used as well.
It is difficult to imagine marketing that is not technology-powered. So, with no discernible separation between campaigns and the tools used to execute them, concluding that “martech is marketing” isn’t a stretch.
Others define martech even more broadly. Some definitions incorporate applications used by sales (salestech) and customer success.
- What is a martech stack?
- Number of martech software applications growing rapidly
- Popular martech applications
- What’s the history of martech? A (super) long view
- Martech: the industry
- Venture capital investment more than doubled in 2021
- What are martech professionals responsible for?
- What applications do martech professionals use most?
- Is a career in martech lucrative?
What is a martech stack?
All of the software applications used to create, execute, manage, orchestrate, and measure the results of marketing activities is known as a martech “stack”. Stacks can comprise commercial, off-the-shelf applications and/or homegrown software.
The number of applications in any given company’s stack varies widely, but for enterprises to have more than 100 is not uncommon.
Visual representations of a martech stack
Number of martech software applications growing rapidly
The Marketing Technology Landscape, published by chiefmartec.com and its editor Scott Brinker, is the most frequently cited source of the rapid growth of martech. The 2022 edition lists nearly 10,000 applications in 49 categories.
Growth has been rapid. Nearly 2000 new marketing software applications were identified in the 2022 edition compared to the 2021 edition. In its maiden year, 2011, just 150 solutions were listed on the Landscape.
Growth in martech software, 2011-2022
Popular martech applications
Here is a summary of popular martech applications being adopted today:
Marketing automation uses software and web-based services to execute, manage and automate repetitive marketing tasks and processes to more effectively market through multiple channels (i.e., email, mobile, social media, and websites). Marketing automation focuses on defining, scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns, allowing the marketing and sales organizations to nurture leads with highly personalized content aimed at attracting and retaining customers.
A customer data platform, usually called a CDP, is a marketer-managed system designed to collect customer data from all sources, normalize it and build unique, unified profiles of individual customers. The result is a persistent, unified customer database that shares data with other marketing technology systems.
Customer journey analytics and customer journey orchestration software let marketers connect real-time data points from across channels, touchpoints and systems, allowing users to gain insights into the customer journey over time. This allows marketers to explore the customer journey using data.
Marketing performance management (MPM) platform employs statistical modeling and machine learning to evaluate the performance of a company’s marketing initiatives on bottom-line impact. Its purpose is to help marketers allocate future spend and bring it in line with business goals.
SEO platforms offer numerous capabilities that range from keyword research and rank-checking to backlink analysis and acquisition, as well as competitive intelligence, social signal integration, and workflow rights and roles.
Enterprise-level platforms may also provide more extensive link and site audits or analytics that include predictive scoring systems to identify potential opportunities to improve page performance or link authority. Vendors differentiate by offering more frequent or detailed data updates or content marketing features that sometimes require additional investment.
Identity resolution platforms enable marketers to “close the loop” of customer marketing, analytics and compliance with a comprehensive holistic view of activity across all of an organization’s customer touchpoints and channels. Such identifiers can and should encompass both online (device, email, cookie or mobile ad ID) and offline (name, address, phone number) data signals and attributes.
Email marketing platforms offer features for email creation and sending, but consolidation and integrations have added to what one might have once expected. Common capabilities of these platforms include:
- Message design and creation
- Workflow automation and collaboration
- Message previewing
- Email sending
- Deliverability management
- Data management
- Ecommerce capabilities
- Analytics and reporting
- Third-party integrations
- Automation and landing pages
Digital asset management software, often called DAMs, store, organize and make useful an organization’s library of digital assets. A DAM is the “single source of truth” where marketers can find every relevant version of the media assets (a.k.a., marketing asset management) that have been created for the brand — images, PDFs, photographs, audio, video and even virtual reality or other cutting-edge formats.
A digital experience platform, also called a DXP, enables the creation, management, delivery and optimization of digital experiences in a variety of channels and contexts. A DXP differs from a content management system (CMS) in that it delivers to multiple digital channels, has commerce built-in and scales, among other things.
Call analytics platforms are one of the few martech applications that can track both online and offline leads. Call tracking — following a call from source (i.e., website, click-to-call search or display ad) to sales representative (i.e., based on geographic location or product line) — has been a core use case.
Account-based marketing software, or ABM, enables the implementation of B2B marketing strategies that align sales and marketing efforts on high-value accounts. This customer acquisition strategy focuses on delivering promotions — advertising, direct mail, content syndication, etc. — to targeted accounts. Individuals who may be involved in the purchase decision are targeted in a variety of ways, in order to soften the earth for the sales organization.
Digital events platforms enable event marketers and organizers to plan, deliver and measure the results of digital event experiences that serve geographically distributed audiences live or on-demand presentations.
What’s the history of martech? A (super) long view
It’s tempting to think that martech began somewhere around the time of Brinker’s Landscape, given that there were only 150 marketing software applications identified in the first edition in 2011.
The timeframe was expanded in this view of martech, created by another marketing technology pioneer and CDP Institute founder, David Raab. Raab traces marketing technology back about 37,000 years to when the first signs began appearing.
The Marketing Technology Timeline chronicles significant developments in three categories: marketing channels; the tools marketers use to manage those channels; and data available to marketers. The yellow highlighting demonstrates the volume of technology available during each period.
Raab’s main point: Marketing technology and using data to enhance campaign performance didn’t emerge in any significant way until computers were applied to list management in the 1970s, and expanded rapidly with the adoption of the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s.
The number of marketing channels proliferated throughout the industrial and computer ages. Proliferation also accelerated with the advent of the internet. The yellow areas represent the volume of technology available during each period.
Are martech and adtech the same thing?
Advertising technology or adtech is a category of martech that enables marketers to buy, deliver and measure digital advertising campaigns.
Martech: the industry
Martech is an industry in addition to being a variety of platforms or software. Thousands of companies, large and small, offer a variety of marketing software solutions to aid marketers in their quest to identify potential buyers, close sales and provide customer service.
Spending on marketing software is expected to exceed $20 billion in 2022, up 14.3% compared to 2021, according to a recent report.
B2C will account for two-thirds of martech spending in 2022. They’ll spend $13.4 billion, compared to only $6.6 billion that B2B companies will spend.
Venture capital investment more than doubled in 2021
Investment in martech industry companies is increasing in lock-step with the number of solutions available. Investors poured $28 million into marketing technology companies in 2021, up 180% compared to the previous year, according to industry researcher Venture Scanner.
About half of 2022 investments were made in what Venture Scanner deems “early stage” companies.
Since 2017, nearly $60 billion has been invested in martech companies.
Investment in martech companies increased 180% in 2021 compared to 2020
The categories of martech software companies getting investment are also changing rapidly, as illustrated by research conducted by martech management platform CabinetM.
Web performance and security, analytics and business intelligence were categories getting notable levels of investment in the period from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2022.
What are martech professionals responsible for?
Researching/recommending marketing technology, designing and managing workflows, acting as a martech administrator and executing campaigns were the top four responsibilities of marketing technology professionals, regardless of their seniority.
Responsibilities diverge in more budget-related tasks. Selecting marketing technologies, negotiating contracts and conducting privacy/security reviews were much more likely to be in the purview of management.
Here’s a comparison of responsibilities for martech management and staff:
- Recommending new marketing technology products was top responsibility for marketing management; 70% of managers said the recommended martech applications.
- Designing and managing workflows and processes (69%), operating marketing tech as an administrator (60%) and training and supporting staff in their use of marketing technology (60%). The fact that most in marketing management use technology as an admin shows just how hands-on directors and above are in this age of tech-enabled marketing.
- In addition to orchestrating marketing campaigns (58%), many in marketing management are also responsible for budgeting for marketing technology (59%). About 53% said they have the authority to approve or veto technology purchases.
- Marketing staff also listed recommending new marketing technology either personally or through their teams (68%) as their top responsibility.
- Other top responsibilities were designing and managing workflows (62%), operating marketing tech products as an administrator (59%), designing and running marketing campaigns (58%) and training and supporting staff in their use of marketing technology (57%).
- Only 29% of marketing staff said they negotiate technology purchases and 25% reported having approval authority.
Tasks martech professionals are responsible for
What applications do martech professionals use most?
Marketers from staff to executive levels reported using a host of technologies to power their activities. But the tool at the top is anything but a shiny object.
When it comes to platforms/tools being used by marketing management, spreadsheets (77%), project management tools (60%) and marketing automation platforms (53%) reigned.
Martech professionals spend more than 10 hours per week using spreadsheet, marketing automation and project management applications
Is a career in martech lucrative?
Salaries for individuals who identify themselves as working in marketing technology are substantial and growing rapidly, according to the 2022 edition of the MarTech Salary and Career Survey.
Average salaries for marketing professionals surveyed were nearly $142,000 in 2022, up 23% from 2019. The median salary was $125,000.
Marketing management made 2.5 times what staff made. SVP and C-level executives reported making about $250,000 annually, while average staff salaries were about $100,000. Directors make about 60% of SVPs, or on average about $150,0000.
Summarizing the findings of the report, martech pioneer and chiefmartec.com editor Scott Brinker, said:
“A decade ago, people would have looked at you strangely if you called yourself a marketing technologist. But just 10 years later, marketers… have blossomed as one of the hottest careers. Competitive compensation packages, fast and frequent promotions and overall satisfaction for professionals in the field are a testament to how highly valued these roles are.”