With thousands of marketing technologies at your disposal — 5,381 at last count — it can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming to try to make sense of it all. Use this simple ARKE roadmap to chart an actionable course for your business.

Why … Do We Care About MarTech?

As Simon Sinek so accurately suggests in his 2009 bestseller, “Start With Why.” Why does your company do what it does? What’s its mission?

“Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it … But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do.”

Once you answer the “why,” you can more clearly assess what marketing technologies you need, how you need to integrate them and who you can turn to for help transforming that vision to an efficient, effective, repeatable process that scales as your business grows.

How … Can We Make Sense of MarTech?

Start by thinking about ways to harness the power of marketing technology innovation to deliver better brand experiences — for your customers, employees, partners, distributors, and even your vendors.

1. Gain better insight from data and analytics

Rapid increases in the volume, variety, and velocity of data make it more important than ever for marketers to have a strategic plan for using it. The 2017 CMO Survey, sponsored by The American Marketing Association, Deloitte, and Duke University’s Fuqua School, found marketers are using barely a third of available data to drive decision-making in their companies.

  1. What technologies can help you turn data to insights?
  2. How can you integrate those technologies with your existing marketing stack?

2. Focus on an audience of one

We all know spray-and-pray marketing is obsolete. But today’s marketers also need to go beyond traditional visitor segmentation — the process of discovering groups of individuals with a common, yet broad, set of characteristics. Now the goal is extreme personalization: delivering highly relevant content at the right times on a very personal, individual level.

  1. What forms of personalization techniques are you using to deliver 1-to-1 marketing?
  2. How are you maximizing the use of both implicit and behavioral personalization?

3. Measure your MarTech investment ROI

Marketers are heavily investing in technologies and techniques to personalize customer experiences, and improve customer engagement and conversion, Gartner found. In addition, marketing now is also responsible for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems, and applications.

According to Forrester, marketing technology now commands one-fifth of overall marketing budgets for B2C marketers. What’s more, Forrester expects it to climb quickly because 41 percent of these marketers concede they “still lack the technology they need to grow their business.”

  1. What metrics are you using to measure the return on your MarTech investments? Increased acquisition of new customers? Higher sales? Something else?
  2. How have you aligned your KPIs to your overall goals?
  3. How have you integrated your CRM with your marketing automation and content management system to provide a holistic view of your efforts?

What … Is the State of MarTech?

Scott Brinker is co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, editor of chiefmartec.com and chair of MarTech: The Marketing Tech Conference. Just last week, he revealed his 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape graphic, which showed another mind-boggling year-over-year growth in solutions.

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Anand Thaker, CEO of Atlanta-based IntelliPhi and a former ARKE employee, collaborated with Brinker on this year’s graphic. He cautioned those intimidated by the visual representation to “embrace the possibilities.”

“While the landscape can be overwhelming at first, a marketing leader should view the choices through the lens of their problem definition and set goals. Being more ‘self-aware’ as an organization narrows down the choices and improves the conversation while evaluating across the landscape.”

Who … Can Solve Our MarTech Challenges?

In a blog post about the newest Marketing Technology Landscape, Brinker explained:

“The spectacular scope explosion of marketing — and the rate at which new disruptions and innovations continue to roil marketing and business at large — has made it impossible for any one vendor to deliver everything that every marketer needs in a digital world. Almost all of the major providers now acknowledge this, and they’ve shifted their strategies to embrace the ecosystem — becoming true ‘platforms’ that make it easier for marketers to plug-in a variety of more specialized and vertical solutions.”

While Brinker acknowledges these distributed architectures offer a number of benefits, he also notes they’re “conceptually more complicated than a centralized platform.”

But here’s the good news. You don’t need to travel this uncharted road alone. We’re happy to help you maximize your marketing technology and drive your digital transformation.

ARKE is a brand experience consultancy specializing in strategic implementations of marketing technology solutions.

We’re building on our roots in technology and experience design to drive the next generation of experience focused businesses. By leveraging the right people, processes, marketing technologies and data, we produce measurable results.

ARKE: Experience, Results.

Noreen Seebacher is the content evangelist at Arke, where she researches, writes and continues her long career in news reporting as a brand journalist. Noreen lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, her dog and four formerly homeless cats.