Technology integration is a huge priority for most companies who are moving forward with martech in 2019 and beyond, according to the latest State of Martech Report from DemandGen, released in May 2019. The report focuses on what B2B buyers look at when purchasing solutions for their tech stack, and the key takeaway this year is that marketers are prioritizing integration.
This is particularly true on the B2B front, with 65% of B2B buyers indicating they evaluate how a new solution will integrate with existing partners and technology during the first few months of their buying process.
An overwhelming 80% of marketers stated that they want to use integrated marketing and advertising technology from a single vendor.
With more than 7000 vendors across a variety of martech categories, seamless integration is a challenge for many companies.
B2B buyers focus on integration for optimal content activation
Enterprise businesses utilize an average of 91 solutions, which can reduce their tech stack’s overall efficiency.
The report profiles industry leaders like Extreme Networks, a networking company based in California, that have begun approaching tech purchases with integration in mind.
Paul Green, Extreme’s Director of Marketing Technologies, considers himself more of a systems integrator than a marketing technologist. Extreme Networks has roughly 20 solutions which are directly or indirectly integrated with Marketo, a powerful marketing automation tool.
One of the main purposes of integrating all of these systems and solutions in one place is to help streamline content activation, a fun new buzzword that refers to distributing content to the right people at the right time in the buying cycle.
Nearly 70% of B2B buyers prefer researching a product or service online rather than speaking with a sales rep. This has fueled a huge boom in content creation and furthered the need for technology that can help catalog and distribute content appropriately.
Martech budgets currently focus on capturing — not keeping — buyer attention
Currently companies are focused more on creating content when they invest in content marketing. However, deploying content intelligently is equally important. This is particularly true for B2B companies versus B2C. The report notes that content activation is the most desirable attribute when B2B companies are shopping for a content platform:
- Content activation
Additionally, 80% of B2B buyers expect the same buying experience they’ve enjoyed as B2C consumers (curated content, intuitive search, personalized recommendations and more).
Platforms that can provide marketers with ways to create these kinds of expected content experiences — namely, distributing content that is targeted, personalized, and current — are poised to help companies streamline their martech stack.
Integration drives acquisition and the rise of the CDP
The push for businesses to integrate multiple systems beneath the umbrella of a single vendor is driving a trend towards martech company acquisitions. The report cites several examples of this including Oracle’s acquisition of DataFox and DataScience.com. Salesforce has also recently acquired Datorama and Tableau, and Adobe has acquired Marketo.
Technology integration is only as good as the data powering it. This is why companies are investing in tools that will help them integrate all of their customer data into one place—e.g., a customer data platform (CDP).
This gets us into the realm of account-based marketing (ABM), a strategic approach that forces sales and marketing teams to work together to target a specific set of accounts. Thus, they say the formula for the perfect tech stack is:
Content + Content Activation + CDP = ABM
DemandGen reports that 46% of B2B businesses plan to deploy or test ABM technology in 2019, 38% plan to test and deploy multichannel lead nurturing tools and 34% plan to test or deploy content planning, syndication, and measurement tools.
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