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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - “Martech - the New Buzzword Affecting B2B Marketing”

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “Martech - the New Buzzword Affecting B2B Marketing” discusses the state of B2B marketing and technology aimed at understanding which marketing solutions and automation platforms should be integrated with existing point solutions. According to Marketing Technology Landscape’s 2017 supergraphic, there are roughly 5,281 solutions, a ginormous increase of 39% over 2016 numbers. In addition, marketing automation also saw a notable rise of 36% growth year over year.

Make no mistake. These 2016 martech numbers are growing exponentially at a rate that is difficult to keep up with, and most notably, presents B2B marketers with challenges of selecting and prioritizing which marketing technologies should be a added first and moreover, to what degree will these new solutions perform best in a seamless manner with the current in house technology stack.

What is Martech?

We’ve now graduated from ad tech to martech, which is the buzzword that now represents marketing technology, or better yet, the intersection where marketing meets technology and they proceed to stroll down the proverbial marketing road, hand in hand, offering a better marketing solution experience in a digital world.

PitchBook, a venture capitalist firm focused on private equity data and venture capital stated that “capital investment in mar tech was predicted to total a whopping $2 billion in 2016.” With those projection numbers on the radar, one would assume that industry marketers and media pundits have already made the jump to investing in martech solutions. As with any new technology solution, the basic understanding of martech 101 continues to baffle potential clients from both small and large business organizations. Challenging the know-how to correctly determine which martech solution is best suited for a particular marketing environment, actually raises more questions than answers.

Martech Can Be Overwhelming

Leadspace states that the average number of martech products per company is 16. In addition, 25% of marketers surveyed use more than 20 tools, with the highest being 98. Obviously, from the massive amount of available martech solutions, it’s no wonder that B2B marketers may feel a bit overwhelmed with questions, options and, quite frankly, where to begin the selection process. Integration with current business goals and other in-house point solutions can be tricky, which further exacerbates the decision process.

For starters, the martech experts state that prior to getting into the martech investment game, marketers should table their hankering for the latest greatest shiny new  object(s). Conversely, marketers are being advised by martech experts to look inwardly at current operations. Here is where the discovery of issues ranging from challenges and problems, to even whether or not they already possess martech capabilities, prior to investing in more solutions arise.

In addition, Morgan Stanely’s 2016 "Software Eating the CMO Suite" report uncovered five technology implementation challenges marketers are facing by percentages:

  • 39% - Complexity of technology integrations
  • 30% - Reliance on legacy systems
  • 30% - Inadequate budget/cost to implement
  • 30% - Inadequate resources/time to implement
  • 26% - Inadequate executive understanding/ownership

In looking at technology implementation from yet another perspective, Steve Nakata of the Pedowitz Group states, “Marketers must know what they actually have and how well it’s integrated with the rest of the different areas of the organization before they go out and start looking for new technology to bring into the house.”

Point Solutions and Backbone Suites

As many marketers combing the marketing landscape are beginning to understand, having a backbone solution such as having an “all-in-one-suite” that addresses particular goals is the preferred way to go. In addition, marketers are also leveraging the backbone suite solution with the idea that adding on point solutions to ensure that areas not covered by the backbone solution, which in some cases may not be an efficient investment, make up the difference.

For example, as opposed to selecting a suite of tools from a single vendor, or a best-of-breed collection of products from multiple vendors, marketers are progressively selecting a suite and best-of-breed approach.

Leadspace research uncovered that the top tools marketers gleaned the most value from are the following:

  • 47% - CRM
  • 37% - Marketing Automation
  • 28% - Content Marketing
  • 27% - Web Analytics
  • 20% - Social Media Marketing Tools

Looking at the aforementioned list as the backbone plus point solutions requirements leads us to the next steps in figuring out an effective martech implementation.

To begin with, selecting a marketing automated solution that can be seamlessly integrated with a CRM platform is effectually the first step. These two marketing tools must be able to operate in lock step and not in a silo fashion. Most marketing experts would agree that marketing automation and CRM tools are the core systems behind martech. Further, these two components must work together for sales and marketing efforts to enjoy successful outcomes.

Once a backbone system has been chosen and integrated, and depending on the goals of the organization, then steps can be taken to identify ‘long tail’ solutions that can integrate with the core backbone system.

What ends up happening in regard to adding more ‘long tail’ components to the backbone system is the creation of a stack. A stack in generally referred to as the overarching number of marketing components being used in conjunction with the core backbone system.

For example, let’s look at a hypothetical company that has invested in a best-of-breed marketing automation system that also has elevated CRM capabilities. The core system has now been integrated and tested. However, the company’s sales division is noticing that there are far more website visits that fail to show up in the CRM capture process for those website visitors who fail to fill out a form or engage.

After a sales and marketing meeting the decision is made to investigate a third party, ‘long tail’ single point solution that can capture company information of all website visitors regardless of whether or not these visitors engage while visiting the company’s website.

It is important to keep in mind that this new website capture tool must be able to be integrated into the core backbone system. Therefore, the investigative process for a third party component of this magnitude must be able to integrate with the core stack, while functioning as a website visitor capture point solution.


As new solutions enter the marketplace, it is incumbent upon every marketer and B2B brand to be able to justify and prioritize technology integration. These decisions should be based on which of these martech offerings will produce the biggest bang for the buck. Naturally, most marketers and brands already commit time to focus on these challenges, and for those of you who may be failing to address these topics, you should start today.

After a brand/marketer has made the decision on what is affordable and what the internal capabilities are, the next step is to set aside a budget for experimentation. The experimentation aspect is similar to R&D in a sense. Being able to identify new technology solutions that can add to the foundation of the core backbone system is a huge deal, particularly when these new technologies can boost performance of core backbone systems. Typically, marketing experts agree that a 10% budget set aside is the way to go for experimentation objectives.

The Net-Net

We contend the martech consolidation is not in the offing anytime soon. However, marketers and brands should be in the throes of making decisions on their core backbone systems which start with best-of-breed marketing automation suites and CRM integration. Then add single point solutions that help the business process for areas that the core backbone system fails to address. Hopefully, as martech continues to grow, more complete core backbone systems will become available with plugins that can cover almost any business goal. Happy Martech Solution Discovery and Implementation!

Let’s have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, June 28th, 2018, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com