Whether you’re a small B2B tech company or a large, sophisticated enterprise, your martech stack integrations are too complicated. That’s a problem because inefficient marketing technology (martech) stacks are a massive barrier to innovation and agility.
In this post, we’ll explain why most martech stacks have too many integrations, explore the myth of the perfect stack, and advise how marketers should reset their approach to building an effective and efficient stack.
What is a Martech Stack Integration?
Today, you can choose from thousands of technology tools to help execute your strategies and deploy critical campaigns. Meanwhile, integrations help you connect tools and software such as email marketing, content marketing, social media, commerce, and more. And most marketers agree less is more. The right stack uses automation to save time and money; however, too many tools can have the opposite effect.
The customer relationship management platform sits at the heart of many sales and marketing technology stacks; it’s the primary tool for managing customer relationships. For digital marketers, though, the customer data platform (CDP) provides an analytical solution to unify data from marketing and other channels. As marketers seek to extend their capabilities across the customer landscape, they can integrate their CRM and CDPs with third-party applications and software.
As your martech stack grows, things can become overly complicated quickly because the integrations don’t always perform as expected, and too many tools can be costly to maintain. Ease of use is a concern for digital marketers, too.
Why Are Martech Stack Integrations Important?
Of all the challenges associated with assembling a martech stack, deciding on fragmented product offerings is a glaring pain point for marketers. Thousands of similar products flood the market annually, all of which help various aspects of your sales and marketing process.
Each martech platform offers a slightly different perspective on what a workflow should be, how data should be managed, and how teams should be structured. The platforms also place their bets on which integrations they should build.
For example, SugarCRM integrates with the marketing automation tool Marketo, which recently launched an integration with Salesforce and also plugs into SAP, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. Marketers can connect their CRMs to data warehouses such as Amazon S3 or Redshift or create internal CDPs through integrations with Segment, Klaviyo, or other solutions.
This complexity can lead to too much analysis and even paralysis as marketers try to build that perfect stack of tools. The average company uses an estimated 120 martech tools. But we’re here to tell you that there is no ideal stack. They’re all missing something. And the integrations themselves can go sideways, leading to problems accessing or activating data.
At NetWise, we’re familiar with these challenges from firsthand experience. We hired an experienced contractor to help us set up our martech stack many years ago. We budgeted for three months, and a year and a half later, he’s still working with us because the process is complicated and there is so much to build. However, the lessons we learned along the way are priceless.
Practical Advice for Martech Integrations
Many CRM platforms are robust and valuable, but as soon as you stray from how they’re built, you’re asking for trouble. Cue your engineers!
Contrary to popular belief, we suggest you use a platform exactly how it was designed and don’t try to add custom capabilities, no matter how tempting it seems. The opportunity costs are too high. You can’t get your time back, nor can you recover the thousands of dollars spent on fitting a square peg in a round hole. Instead, get your marketing program humming along with what you have out of the box, and resist the urge to customize something into existence.
Don’t take on too much technology when choosing which channels to use. Instead, simplify your approach by testing the channels you want. Find what works best, which ones your team is best equipped to execute, and which can integrate with your tools. Being in front of every customer is difficult and requires a massive group. Try not to stretch yourself thin.
The cold hard truth about integrations
Only build what you need. Whatever you build today will be reimagined continuously. For example, great engineering teams are constantly refactoring their software and reassembling what they’ve already made from scratch.
Marketers need data that can move with them, not another integrated platform. At some point, unwieldy martech stacks become too expensive to maintain and too complicated to change, hindering innovation and agility. Marketers get locked into a platform, which may be suitable for the platform, but not for the marketer.
Can your data as a service provider (DaaS) help you optimize your stack? If not, let’s talk. The NetWise team can review your current platforms and help you do more with less.