Tech Stack Tumult: B2B Brands Face Integration Hurdles

B2B brands are planning to spend more on technology in the coming year. And that’s a good thing, given that many of them are dissatisfied with their current stacks, judging by The 2022 Outlook on Data and Technology: A Year of Herding Cats and Black Holes, a study from Anteriad, conducted by Ascend2.  

Of the companies polled, 85% expect to increase their spend, in part to address these issues within their tech stacks: 

  • Data isn’t normalized across systems — 35%
  • My tools don’t talk to each other, so everything is manual — 33%
  • We have features we don’t need or utilize — 33% 
  • We have technology we don’t need or utilize — 29%
  • My data is old/outdated — 26%
  • I am missing key parts of my tech stack — 24%

In addition, 52% have a formal data strategy only in some places, while 34% have a comprehensive policy Another 12% have plans for a formal strategy, and 2% are not at any level.  



And there are challenges. Enterprise companies, those with 1,000 or more employees, cite: 

  • Design — 38% 
  • Analytics — 30% 
  • Orchestration — 28%
  • Delivery — 40%
  • Data collection — 19%

The numbers are different for brands with 500-1,000 employees:

  • Design — 43% 
  • Analytics — 40% 
  • Orchestration — 35% 
  • Delivery — 27% 
  • Data collection — 17%

What tools do B2B marketers have in their tech stacks? They list: 

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) — 61%
  • Marketing automation platform — 35%
  • Customer data platform (CDP) — 33%
  • Marketing database — 32% 
  • Data management platform (DMP) — 31%
  • Webinar event platform — 28% 

The list does not break out email platforms, but presumably they would be part of marketing databases. 

Overall, 19% say their stacks are “more complex than a black hole.” But only 14% in the U.S. agree.

Moreover, 40% in the U.S. say their stacks are “Too complex, we need fewer solutions to deliver on marketing.”  A minority feel that their tech stacks are not complex enough. But 23% in the U.S. say they are just right, exactly what they need to meet their marketing objectives, versus 18% overall. 

Data integration is critical, with 72% who have their fully blended in saw more revenue growth last year, compared to 55% who were not fully integrated.  

Moreover, 72% of those who are fully integrated feel extremely confident in in their data privacy compliance and security, compared to 43% overall.  

In contrast to B2C firms that focus on first- and zero-party data, 46% of B2B companies are concentrating on between one and five data sources, 32% from one to five, and 15% from one to 10. 

In general, B2B companies have set the following priorities for the year ahead:

  • Data centralization/unification — 43%
  • Developing their data strategy — 43% 
  • Adopting a data-first culture at their organization — 42% 
  • Updating their tech stack — 41%  

But these goals vary among management levels. For 48% of the C-suite respondents, updating the technology stack is the top priority. But 56% of VPs prefer to focus on adopting a data strategy, and 47% of managers and directors prefer to centralize/unify data.  

Ascend2 surveyed 370 marketing leaders at mid-market and enterprise companies in the U.S. and U.K. 

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