How the pandemic has affected martech decisions

While some companies grind to a halt, others found new need for technology to support a work-from-home marketing team.

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Every industry has had to deal with the effects of COVID differently, and in the martech world that means record demand for some companies while others have seen business grind practially to a halt.

“When the pandemic broke out we saw people freeze in place and being asked not to spend money so there was not a lot of technology activity going on,” said Anita Brearton, CEO of CabinetM during a recent Martech Live session.

After the pause the outbreak placed on martech, two distinctly different groups emerged—those that experienced immediate revenue decline and those that have had to respond to a sudden increase in demand because of the remote work and home-based lifestyle.

“For the companies badly hit by COVID where sales have come to a halt, there was a mandate to rationalize the technology being used,” said Brearton. “There was a lot of redeployment to channels that were still open.”

Certain sectors like online education, alcohol and spirits, and grocery stores had to deal with a sudden increase in demand that lead to their marketing operations teams having to address both their martech stack and personnel.

“[Marketers] had to look at technology in its current environment,” said Brearton. “They had to see if it would support growth.”

The overnight digital transformation required by COVID made certain marketing tactics obsolete. Direct mail had been experiencing a resurgence in the B2B world until remote work reduced the impact of corporate mailing. Corporate IP addresses also become less relevant, so with both a surging tactic and a successful tactic being partly shelved, marketers are still facing how to work in a reality for 2021 and beyond.

“The digital transformation imperative that effects both types of companies have to be accepted into this changed world,” said Brearton. “I always thought that AI would be the catalyst in making digital transformation real, but in reality it is the business environment as a whole. People are looking at tech and how it can transform business.”

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Rodric Bradford
Rodric J. Bradford was an Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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