How experimental marketers can drive martech utilization

Explore the role of experimental marketers in maximizing martech stack value.

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With martech utilization plummeting to 33%, CMOs and their teams must maximize their stack’s value before seeking budget increases or new additions. Several factors can lead to stack underutilization, including scope issues, viewing investments as costs or inadequately supported teams.

In my experience, another reason is that martech stack platforms are typically integrated with a company’s existing processes. This can be a missed opportunity since many of these processes are outdated or sub-optimal. 

To enhance efficiency, companies need to reevaluate marketing activities, revamp processes and eliminate unnecessary steps. Rather than simply aligning platforms with current processes, seize the opportunity to streamline processes across teams involved in customer activation and engagement, breaking down silos and boosting platform utilization.

Redesigning these marketing processes should follow three main criteria: 

  • Streamline and simplify the marketer’s life (CRM, brand, etc.) by eliminating low-value tasks, freeing time for more strategic tasks and experimentation. 
  • Ensure that the company wholly owns strategic customer data and decisions, not vendors. All customer data should be viewed by the company only and comply with data privacy and data security best practices and directives. 
  • Help (or, at a minimum, not negatively impact) the customer experience. 

Dig deeper: How to avoid the martech black hole and ride the crest of change

It is all about connecting the dots throughout the many marketing activities and the different teams inside a company. Enter the experimental marketer. 

What is an experimental marketer’s role?

The experimental marketer sits at the intersection of marketing and technology and has a strong customer activation background. And don’t worry, there are no certificates or classes needed to become one. It is a framework, a way of working that can be applied and adapted to a career to allow for more agility and flexibility. 

One major factor contributing to martech stack underutilization is a company’s siloed structure, especially in larger organizations. In such setups, marketers often have specialized roles and limited exposure to various aspects of marketing technology and data operations. The same applies to technical professionals who may not fully understand marketing activities.

The experimental marketer bridges this gap by having a strong foothold in both and being flexible enough to learn new concepts on the fly. For experimental marketers, it is not about having 50% in marketing and 50% in technical work/concepts but being flexible enough to focus more on one versus the other throughout a career as opportunities and challenges arise. 

They bring a unique perspective to best use the martech stack to improve processes that can decrease time to market for customer-related activations. This holistic view enables them to optimize, enhance, scale, and leverage their work within marketing activities.

Dig deeper: In this economy CMOs need to spend more on training, not tech

Becoming an experimental marketer: A framework

Here are the key steps to becoming an experimental marketer who helps improve processes and platform utilization.

Increase visibility

It may sound counter-intuitive, but to increase the visibility of the martech stack capabilities, you have to listen first. Listen to all the different stakeholders involved in communicating with customers. 

Listening helps you understand pain points and then connect to the platform’s functions to see how they could help. Sometimes, the fix can be only in the process — and the platform can help with the process itself. 

Demonstrate value

Providing specific examples and benchmarks to illustrate how these platforms address pain points is crucial. Experimental marketers go beyond the surface-level improvements for customers to uncover the significant benefits for teams communicating through various channels. 

Orchestrate simplification

How can these platforms help change the marketing processes in a meaningful way? Can it help create a sustainable approach that can be continued regardless of the platform itself (agnostic)? Can the martech stack help lead to the automation of such processes? 

Strive for clarity

In the end, tie the martech stack back to the overall business goals above siloed KPIs (IT-based and marketing-only KPIs). For example, if the business’s overall KPI is to get to know its customers better, then the martech stack platform utilization would all tie back to how it can help the company get to know its customers better. 

The experimental marketer can also engage project stakeholders (VPs, etc.) to gain support and to educate them on the benefits of adopting tech for business purposes. They are great counterparts to both marketing technologies and IT coworkers, adapting to different project structures.

Dig deeper: 5 tips to boost user adoption of new martech tools

Bridging the gap between marketing and technology

Experimental marketers play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between marketing and technology, with a focus on customer activation. They possess the flexibility to adapt and balance their skills in both areas throughout their careers.

By following the steps outlined above, experimental marketers can optimize martech stack utilization, break down silos and improve marketing efficiency within organizations.

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

About the author

Ana Mourão
Ana Mourão is an Experimental Marketer with experience in helping large, complex B2B2C companies make CRM and Digital Marketing decisions with incomplete data using an experimentation framework. She is currently Senior Manager for Global Customer Journey at Stanley Black & Decker.

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