Current State of MarTech #3

Welcome MarTech professionals, experts, and executives!

This week we welcome subscribers from the US, Norway, India, and Australia  

What's going on today in MarTech in the enterprise? 

Let me try to distill some of the more important topics as I see them.

Read on, and let's talk about:

  1. The Underutilization misconception
  2. MarTech for SMB: Case Study
  3. The Enterprise Architect in the world of SaaS MarTech
  4. A Composable MarTech use case: RTIM & RTDXP
  5. The CMTO
  6. Read the paper: The Customer Engagement Stack and the Engagement Fabric
  7. Macro MarTech
  8. More tools for the experts.

The underutilization misconception

I’ve been discussing the underutilization of MarTech capabilities in the enterprise for quite some time in the past few months.  The current economic environment forces MarTech leaders to think about efficiencies and ways to reduce operational costs.

Most consider underutilization a parameter indicating where costs could be reduced, but this could be a dangerously misleading metric.  Most MarTech ecosystems are composed of multiple software solutions that range from homegrown applications to SaaS solutions and even combinations of manual processes with ad-hoc spreadsheets and other hacks.

The fact that many of these elements may have overlapping capabilities doesn’t guarantee that they’re interchangeable.   The most common example of this is platforms that can host content for email or digital experiences.  Suppose you have a CMS or a DAM. In that case, you might directly think that any other platform has a percentage of underutilization in the content hosting and management side only because you have a main content platform. Still, the reality is that, in most cases, the overlap is negligible when contextualized in terms of platform responsibility.

In any case, when there are genuine underutilization cases, these generally originated from the fact there was not a clear strategy when onboarding a new technical capability or where active management of the ecosystem has been neglected.

Remember, software is someone’s opinion on how to solve a particular problem with technology. I recommend forming a strong, informed opinion that helps guide adopting new technology in your MarTech ecosystem.

MarTech for SMB: Case Study

I have worked for the past two months with an exciting start-up with a great mission.  They work with children aged four to twelve to help them be the best football players they can be.  They are also an exciting business mixing a subscription business model with a franchise structure, helping them spread football worldwide!

The Director of Digital contacted me after early this year's Customer Engagement Engines presentation at the Marketing Live conference. He asked to help them build their “Player Engagement Engine,” and we immediately boarded.

We recently wrapped the project's first phase, and here are the first results of a new way of thinking about building MarTech capabilities around your customers and their needs.

  1. An agnostic definition of the ever-evolving customer-to-business relationship and the information structure required to support it.
  2. A quick assessment of required capabilities and current state vs. future state
  3. Fast-tracking technology adoption to avoid incurring unproductive technical debt
  4. An introduction to a data-driven culture that starts with the customer and spreads across marketing, technology, and operations.

Though I’m preparing an in-depth case study that will be shared in the knowledge hub, there’s one clear winner for me, even at this early stage of the project: skipping technical debt.

Most large enterprises face enormous challenges that are derived from technical debt.  Small businesses have a big opportunity today in MarTech; they can skip the technical debt that big businesses had to acquire to adapt their operations.  Small businesses can acquire advanced capabilities without incurring complex environments and processes.  If done with the right approach, this can lead to leapfrogging their competitors.

Keep an eye on the Case Studies section for more details. 

The Enterprise Architect in the world of SaaS MarTech

In a recent conversation with the professional services and engineering leader of a global MarTech software company, the question about the need for “Enterprise Architecture” in a world of SaaS solutions came as an insinuation that EAs are an “old school” way of seeing martech architectures.

Another MarTech leader from a bank institution told me the same week my preference is a SaaS ecosystem.

As a MarTech architect, I’ve been proposing in the past years a more agile and different way of approaching technology architecture for MarTech; you can read that in the CX-Led Architecture e-book and the Engagement Fabric paper.

The reality is that most known EA practices are based on frameworks established when technology solutions are large on-prem deployments and certainly not as agile as the marketing needs and operations.

I can attest enterprise architecture in today’s business environment is way too strict and rigid for MarTech needs. Moreover, it’s too disjointed from the main element of the ecosystem, the customer.

However, even entertaining the idea that we can skip enterprise architecture to make MarTech more agile or better integrated is a far-fetched and misinformed opinion.   We need to modernize EA with new frameworks and more strategic thinking.

The most advanced MarTech solutions are evolving to accommodate more agile and flexible patterns, and that requires even more carefully planned and managed MarTech strategies; these are Enterprise Architect responsibilities, and we need to equip them with the best tools to achieve them.

A Composable MarTech use case: RTIM & RTDXP

Speaking of complex and advanced architectures, this week, I had the privilege to connect as a technology partner with two companies that are offering complementary solutions in the world of Real-Time Interaction Management and Real-Time Digital Experience Platforms.

Let me touch again on a couple of topics, composability, and overlapping capabilities. 

At first glance, both solutions have common features: 

  1. Real-time recommendations.
  2. Real-time experience management. 

Now, let me tell you where the differences are:

  1. One platform is engineered for decisioning and orchestration of customer interactions
  2. The other one is engineered for decisioning and orchestration of digital experience rendering.

You could immediately think, why do you need both?  In a composable architecture, you stop thinking about vendors, platforms, or solutions and think of capabilities that can be connected to produce more value than each solution.

I’m in the early stages of developing a value-demonstration proof-of-concept with these two technologies.   Keep an eye on our blog and reports section of the knowledge hub.


One of the most noticeable gaps I have noticed over the years in MarTech is the absence of the Chief Marketing Technology Officer.

There is the CMO, who is in charge of understanding markets and customers' needs, and there is the CTO, who is in charge of harnessing technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and competitive advantage.

However, the overlap of these two big parts of the business is a complex environment that needs strategic attention.

MarTech is not a cloud of vendor logos on a slide deck that links “customer buying journeys” with SaaS platforms.

MarTech is a connective system that allows organizations to push their products and services through their communications and distribution channels and, at all times, is in touch with the customer across the lifetime of the customer's relationship with the business. 

Investments in MarTech are expected to increase by most estimates and forecasts.  This means businesses are expecting an ROI and trying to find ways to innovate, gain a competitive advantage or simply differentiate from the rest.  All these factors can’t be left half attended by CMOs and CTOs.

The introduction of the CMTO is not just a structural change; it's a strategic move towards a more integrated, efficient, and successful enterprise. In the digital transformation era, the CMTO is not just an option; it's an imperative. By bridging the gap between the CMO and CTO, the CMTO can drive cohesion, alignment, and growth, leading the enterprise to new heights of success.

Keep an eye on The CMTO, I’ll be hosting CMTOs from around the world, asking the important questions that impact MarTech today and into the future.  Exciting times are ahead!

Read the paper: The Customer Engagement Stack and the Engagement Fabric

In the past weeks, one of our closest advisors and contributors, Aarron Spinley, released his paper, The Customer Engagement Stack.  We can’t recommend this reading enough.  This paper explores fundamental knowledge for anyone working in customer, CX, data, and technologies, which is crucial for anyone in MarTech.

In Aarron’s words, this report returns to the basics whilst maintaining a contemporary context. Readers can expect to learn about the following:

  • The historical context
  • The critical elements of the modern Customer Engagement Stack (c)
  • Key characteristics separating Service from Experience - and their component parts
  • The roles of choice architecture, customer journeys, and individualization
  • Case studies & operating principles

It’s a FREE report, click here to read the Customer Engagement Stack 

The Engagement Fabric

I have mentioned the Engagement Fabric a couple of times in this email.  This is a paper released to our subscribers that can be found here: The Engagement Fabric  

Enterprise marketing technologies have evolved tremendously in the past ten years. We have gone from home-grown solutions through packaged software suites to composability and headless paradigms.

We live in what some people call the exponential age, where networks converge, and consumers of products and services are inundated with information with few tools to discern the signal from the noise.

In this context, MarTech in the enterprise has become an indispensable system with an intrinsic level of complexity that leaves most businesses paralyzed, struggling to keep pace and fighting to innovate and lead.

Within this environment, customer experiences and Engagement have become multi-dimensional elements businesses must manage effectively. Still, most lack the concepts and frameworks to define, document, connect and communicate this element across business departments and functions.

This paper explores the Engagement Fabric, the concepts, frameworks, and approaches required to build advanced capabilities to allow businesses to model, cultivate and activate modern human-to-business relationships.

Download the paper here The Engagement Fabric  

Macro MarTech

As fascinating as MarTech is in the enterprise, we must not forget that as an Industry, MarTech is also complex and ever-changing.

Though we’re only bringing you one stat today, we’re building an entire section of our content dedicated to exploring the macro trends and insights that shape and impact the industry and what they mean for our day-to-day but also for the future.  We'll let you know as soon as this section is available on the website.

Now, let's talk about global investments in MarTech capabilities.

The global marketing automation market

In a trend that has been confirmed year after year, the Marketing Automation global market is set to grow for years to come until it passes US$10 Billion by 2030.

With the increasing fragmentation and proliferation of channels and touchpoints, automation is one of the most useful tools in MarTech. Automation and new technologies are expected to support marketing initiatives for the next generation of strategies.

Tools & Templates

We continue to publish our tools and templates to help all the MarTech experts deliver quality architectures and analysis more consistently and efficiently. 

We recently uploaded the sought-after MarTech Maturity Model, where you will find a reference to assess capabilities and the functions they enable in MarTech in a five-stage model.

Download the MarTech Maturity Model here.

Don’t forget to check other templates:

  • The Information Fabric of Customer Engagement
  • The Encounter Anatomy
  • Modern MarTech Capabilities

Know and Share

At Enterprise MarTech, we're continuously developing our Knowledge Hub to support every individual in their journey as a MarTech actor in the enterprise. Check out our library of resources.

The current state of MarTech poses many challenges but also fascinating opportunities. MarTech in the enterprise has the privilege to impact the customers' lives directly, and this impact should be a positive one.

We're working hard to provide more tools and simplify complex topics to accelerate the learning and application of technologies in this space.

Drop us a line for any comment or topic you want us to explore.

Please forward this email to a friend or colleague that needs to read it and spread the knowledge.