Stacking Up: Email Marketers Now Make Their Own Martech Buying Decisions

MarTech salesmen better get ready: A poll of 300 marketers by Walker Sands Communications shows that 27% are making email marketing purchases this year, and that 39% have done so over the past three years.

Email outranks mobile marketing – only 15% plan to buy mobile solutions this year, and 15% have made purchases in the last three years. But both are shaded by social media (a channel for which 32% are springing this year) and AdTech (28%). 

Overall, 90% predict their companies will purchase at least one new martech tool in 2017, and 70% say their technology budgets will increase. The most commonly purchased solutions will be those with the lowest switching costs.

But who is making these decisions? It’s not who you think. Martech spending is no longer controlled by IT—the tools are is owned by the end users 87% of the time, Walker Sand states.  And they’re owned by traditional marketing departments in 41% of the cases.



This proves that  “the democratization of marketing technology has shifted ownership of the stack away from IT and toward end business users, giving rise to the role of marketing technologist,” the report states.

When it comes to email, 38% of the respondents say it’s a VP/director who calls the shots within the marketing group. Second is consultants, who make 29% of the decisions. CMOs are next, with 26%.

They’re followed by creatives (13%), coordinator/specialists (12%) and managers (11%).

Of those planning to buy email marketing tools, 61% have purchased in the past three years, compared with 62% of those acquiring social media tools and 58% shopping for content marketing solutions. Email is among the most commonly purchased technologies of the past three years.

Why the heavy purchasing over the three-year period?

“In many cases, marketers will be making repeat purchases—meaning they plan to purchase a solution in 2017 that their companies have already purchased sometime in the past three years,” the report explains.

Whatever the logic, marketers have a plethora of choices: There are 3,874 martech solutions, 84% over last year.

The obstacles to martech adoption? The respondents cited budget (50%); internal resistance to change (25%); difficulty of implementation/integration (24%); lack of information (13%); and lack of executive buy-in (12%).

In addition, 10% indicated they don’t need marketing technology, 10% mentioned lack of interest and 7% said nothing meets their needs.

The keys to fully leveraging a martech stack? Better strategy (39%); better analytics (36%); more training; (33%); more employees (23%)’ better defined KPIs (23%); more data (20%); better stack integration (20%); results displayed in more actionable ways (14%); more time to learn the tools (11%); and “nothing: we are currently getting full value” (3%).

Not all decisions are made in the marketing department. But they often reside in units that “fall under the marketing umbrella,” like marketing operations (12%), customer experience (9%) and digital strategy (8%).

However, the study suggests that “traditional marketers may not be best suited to be technologists.” Of those polled, 59% rate their firms’ ability to  leverage their tools as “excellent” or “good.”

Of the marketers surveyed, 71% have made a purchasing decision, up from 62% a year ago. “This includes more than half of entry-level marketers (55 percent) and creatives (60 percent), indicating that companies are empowering marketers of all stripes to decide which tools they will use to do their jobs every day,” Walker Sand observes.

The report continues that 19% of marketers have led a social media buying decision, compared to 18% who ran one for email, 16% for analytics and 16% for content marketing. However, executives, usually make decisions about data management and database marketing platforms.

Walker Sands adds that since its first report last year, “more than$1 billion in venture capital investment has flowed into the space, and marketing technology budgets surpassed advertising budgets.” 

Next story loading loading..