G2 Data Reveals Latest Martech Trends

The martech industry is fast-growing, fast-evolving, and a bit overwhelming. A new tool crops up constantly.

G2 data shows the number of products in the marketing software category grew by 15% in 2023. The famous martech map touts over 14,000 martech tools. There’s just too much tech and not enough time to explore.

But how do businesses decide which tools to use, how many they buy, and how many their marketing teams actually use? To discover the major trends in the martech landscape, G2 fielded a survey of digital marketing technology users. Combined with original data from our marketplace with 65 different marketing categories, here’s what we found.

Trend 1: Seamless integrations reign supreme

Our survey shows integrations are no longer a nice-to-have but a mission-critical factor for marketers building their martech stack.

  • About 51% of marketers admitted integration challenges had hindered them from adopting new technologies.
  • A resounding 29% of marketers prioritize integration capabilities as the most important aspect when evaluating new marketing technologies.

This emphasis underscores the need for tools that seamlessly connect and share data across the entire martech ecosystem. Marketers are seeking a unified tech landscape that streamlines workflows, eliminates data silos, and maximizes the value of their martech investments. Also, businesses want to build a robust martech stack without breaking the bank and determine if their investment paid off. Take a look at the numbers.

Top martech selection criteria

  • 1 in 4 marketers view cost as the critical factor influencing their martech purchase decision.
  • ROI measurements are a key consideration for 19%of martech users.
  • 14% regard ease of use as a crucial factor, while another 9% regard the tool’s data capabilities as a decisive factor when deciding on a new martech tool.

Our data also reveals a clear distinction in priorities based on company size.

  • For enterprise companies, seamless integration with their complex martech ecosystems is the absolute deal breaker. Cost isn’t a significant factor for them.
  • For smaller and mid-market businesses, cost is a primary concern. They prioritize affordable and easy-to-integrate solutions. Budgetary constraints necessitate focusing on tools that deliver the most value for their investment.

Another surprising statistic is that only 1% of businesses prioritize security compliance as the top selection factor. The immediate needs of integration, affordability, and ROI overshadow the critical importance of data security. Furthermore, another G2 finding shows that 54% of software buyers purchase software that’s not vetted by the IT team. Now, this is a bit concerning.

The G2 take

Businesses use different platforms like customer relationship management (CRM) software, customer data platforms (CDP), content management systems (CMS), and more. However, for these platforms to be truly effective, they all need to work together seamlessly. This is why it’s no surprise that martech users rank integration above factors like cost, ROI, and ease of use.

Here are our recommendations to marketing professionals and businesses seeking martech products with seamless integration and cost-effectiveness.

  • Focus on open application programming interfaces (APIs). Look for marketing platforms with well-documented APIs that allow easy connection to your existing tools. This will minimize integration headaches and ensure a cohesive martech stack.
  • Don’t keep security as an afterthought. Whether a vendor is established or not, prioritize data security and privacy. Ensure the martech tool you select has robust security features like encryption, access controls, and regular security updates.
  • Move beyond features and focus on ROI. What gets measured gets managed. So, prioritize tools demonstrating a clear ROI. Look for vendors who offer robust measurement capabilities and case studies showing how their tools have helped businesses achieve marketing goals. You can even use marketing attribution software to this end.

Trend 2: Marketers take the wheel of the martech stack

Who controls the martech stack in an organization directly impacts its efficiency and effectiveness. While there have been some struggles in the past between the IT and marketing teams on ownership, our survey shows that most businesses now have marketers run the show.

  • Nearly 60% of companies give martech ownership to the marketing head or the marketing operations team.
  • 39% say marketing department heads control their martech applications, and 20% note marketing ops control their tech stack.
  • 24% say C-suite controls their martech stack.
  • Only 11% say IT teams own their martech stack.

Who owns the martech stack
The G2 take

Marketing teams now control martech, but strong partnerships with IT are still crucial. Think about it: a digital marketer whose primary job is to promote a company cannot be working on providing access to tools, nor can they look at glitches in their toolsets day in and day out. Instead, they can use their expertise to chalk out strategic goals, select the most suitable martech tools, and work to get the most value out of them.

The IT department can provide vital technical expertise. They can help quickly adopt software, integrate them for better use, and maintain the tech stack. This includes maintaining critical infrastructure like data warehouses central to marketing efforts.

So, communicate regularly via meetings with IT counterparts, take joint decisions for easy adoption, and ensure optimal utilization of the marketing stack.

Trend 3: Less is the new more in the martech stack

Our survey reveals a shift from companies getting bogged down by a bloated martech stack towards optimization. Businesses rapidly adopted all kinds of martech during the peak pandemic years as customer interactions shifted dramatically online during the lockdown.

However, the recent economic uncertainty has ushered in a more strategic approach to managing the stack. Most companies are optimizing their SaaS sprawl to have the right tools rather than blindly adding them.

  • 40% of organizations have a lean and focused marketing technology stack, with subscriptions to 1-3 tools.
  • Around 38% have opted for a stack with 3-6 tools.
  • Only 10% of businesses have a wider selection of 6-9 martech tools.
  • Just 12% of businesses manage a martech stack of 10+ software.

Average number of martech tools subscribed by business

Martech stack size varies by company size:

  • Smaller businesses tend to buy fewer martech software, with 53% subscribing to 1-3. Most mid-market companies (55%)  have opted for 3-6 tools.
  • Nearly 40% of enterprise companies have bought 10+ martech software. While the number of software subscribed increases with company size, usage tells a different story.

There’s a disconnect between the number of martech products subscribed to and the number actively used. Specifically, the utilization rate dips slightly for those with more options.

  • Nearly 70% of marketers with subscriptions of 1-3 tools report using 2-3 tools on a weekly basis.
  • Half of marketers subscribing to 3-6 software use three or four weekly, and 55% with 6-9 tools in their stack use just four or five of them.
  • Among those subscribing to 10 or more products, a whopping 73% only utilize 5 or fewer tools every week. This suggests a high potential for underutilization in complex stacks.

3

The number of martech applications used by an average marketer on a weekly basis.

Source: G2 

Similarly, martech usage varies by company size:

  • Smaller businesses tend to utilize fewer tools, with 54% of marketers using just 2-3 tools weekly.
  • Mid-market companies show moderate usage, with 48% of marketers relying on 3-4 martech software programs each week.
  • Conversely, 92% of marketers in big companies use just 3-5 marketing software, despite most of them subscribing to 10+ tools.

Trend 4: Martech utilization is rising, but challenges remain

To be fair, our survey reveals that martech utilization has increased in the past three years. Marketers are actively working to reduce underutilization.

  • Around 68% say their organization will eliminate underutilized martech tools from their stack.
  • About 1 in 2 marketers note that underutilizing the marketing tech stack in previous years has impacted their impending marketing budgets. This is particularly true in enterprise companies, where 92% observe this behavior.

The community is open about problems like a lack of skilled martech professionals, neglect of martech over other marketing goals, and IT constraints that hinder them from getting maximum value from digital marketing technology products.

  • Roughly 51% note that other initiatives or projects precede exploring new or existing martech solutions. This stems from not aligning martech with overall marketing goals so that tech supports – not competes with – existing marketing strategies.
  • Over 63% cite a lack of talent with strong martech skills within their organization as a limiting factor.
  • Nearly 43% note IT policy constraints limit their use of emerging marketing technology. This could be because of marketers moving in quickly on a new tool before IT approval, leading to problems and limits. In fact, G2 data shows that 54% of software buyers admit to buying software that their IT team has not approved or vetted for security.
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The G2 Take

Businesses are on the right track in terms of auditing and eliminating unused and underused marketing software. However, it is important to discover the reasons behind underuse before eliminating any tool that gathers dust.

So, conduct deep dives before ditching tools. Is there any goal mismatch? A lack of training? Integration challenges? By pinpointing the issue, you can potentially address it and salvage a valuable tool from your martech stack, maximizing your ROI. Here’s how you can address specific issues impacting usage:

  • Align martech with marketing goals. The marketing team should clearly define overarching marketing goals and objectives.  Then, they can select martech tools that demonstrably support those goals.

    For example, if the aim is to increase traffic to your website by 30% from millennial audiences within the next three months, the most suitable tool would be social media marketing tools targeting sites like TikTok and Instagram and website analytics to analyze and tailor future content accordingly.

  • Bridge the skills gap. Businesses should allocate a budget equal to or more than the budget kept for buying a martech to train and coach marketing team members with the necessary skills to use the tools. Develop clear individual career paths for marketing teams and incentivize them to develop martech expertise.  If needed, explore external resources such as martech certifications, hire freelance martech specialists, or turn to martech consultancies to fill any skill gap.
  • Work with IT. As mentioned earlier, marketing teams should partner with IT. Both should communicate openly and collaborate throughout the martech selection, implementation, and maintenance process. If specific IT policies hinder martech adoption, advocate for a review and present their case while hearing the IT side’s opinion. The teams should focus on finding a balance between both needs.
  • Audit, audit, and audit. That’s the mantra to avoid underutilization. Conduct regular audits to ensure your martech stack remains aligned with your evolving marketing strategies and avoid the pitfall of technology for technology’s sake.

Related: Learn more about marketing objectives and how to assign key performance indicators to each objective.

Trend 5: Automation rules the roost of martech tools

The martech landscape is witnessing a surge in demand for automation tools, as evidenced by the top 10 marketing software categories on G2 in 2023. Marketing automation software is most looked for as marketers look for ways to streamline their workflow and make their teams more efficient.

Marketing automation leads all marketing categories in traffic

The digital marketing landscape throws a lot at today’s marketers – social media, email campaigns, website optimization, and the list goes on. The sheer volume of tasks and channels necessitates marketers to move away from manual processes.

Automation tackles this head-on, freeing up valuable time for marketers. It handles the heavy lifting of repetitive tasks like email blasts, scheduling social media posts, or populating lead data on CRM throughout the customer journey.

Expert quote

With AI and machine learning (ML) technology also thrown into the mix, you can expect even more sophisticated AI-powered workflows. It allows for smarter marketing campaign management and hyper-personalization with real-time data collection and analysis. It’s no wonder marketers are looking for automation tools.

Beyond marketing automation technology, the presence of CDPs alongside marketing automation platforms highlights a growing focus on customer-centric marketing. CDPs unify customer data from various sources, providing a holistic view of each customer. This allows marketers to make data-driven decisions and personalize campaigns and experiences based on individual needs and preferences.

Additionally, the inclusion of email marketing tools and SMS marketing software reinforces the importance of personalized communication across different channels.

The variety of tools marketers seek indicates the prominence of multi-channel marketing strategies. Marketers are looking for solutions that cater to various channels, including search engine optimization (SEO) tools for organic search visibility, affiliate marketing solutions for broader reach, influencer marketing platforms for brand partnerships, and event management platforms for engaging audiences through live experiences.

This demonstrates a desire to create a cohesive marketing presence across diverse channels, reaching customers wherever they are in their journey.

The G2 take

Marketers love automation. But it is only as effective as the data feeding it. So, don’t just automate for the sake of automation. Focus on building a data-driven marketing strategy that fuels your automation engine with the right information.

  • Gather high-quality customer data. Collect data from various sources like CRM, website analytics, and social media platforms. Ensure seamless integration between your marketing automation platform and other tools (CRM, email marketing) for a unified data flow.
  • Segment your audience and personalize your automated messages. Leverage data on demographics, interests, and past behaviors to deliver targeted communication.
  • Invest in a CDP. Centralize customer data and simplify audience segmentation for powerful automation.
  • Establish clear data governance. Ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.
  • Foster a data-driven culture. Maintain a culture within your team that values data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement based on data insights. This will give you success in the data-rich marketing industry.
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Trend 6: The future is now for AI in martech

The survey would not be complete without discussing AI, thanks to the hype surrounding it since the release of ChatGPT in late 2022.

G2 data shows marketing software categories like CRM, email marketing, and SEO tools have most products with AI functionality embedded in them. This has translated to more marketing teams infusing AI into their stack.

However, the rapid advancements in large language models (LLMs) and natural language processing (NLP) have fueled a craze for generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Gemini. This has sparked genuine excitement among marketers, leading to a surge in the adoption of AI products within their martech stacks.

Look at our findings that show marketers’ enthusiasm for AI in the martech stack.

  • While a quarter say they have not adopted AI, it mainly comprises small businesses (64%) and mid-market companies (31%). Only 5% of enterprises have not adopted AI in their tech stack. This gap could be due to cost, lack of awareness, complexity, and data concerns. 

Further, marketers are interested in generative AI software. Here is some data from our generative AI in the workplace survey that illustrates the point.

  • About 8 out of 10 marketers have used generative AI tools for their work.
  • Roughly 9 out of 10 marketers who use generative AI tools for work use the tools for content creation. 

marketers ready to pay for AI

  • 45% of marketers use them to generate images, graphic designs, artwork, logos, etc. Marketers also mention editing and optimizing marketing collaterals, as well as video generation, as use cases for generative AI tools.
  • ChatGPT is the most used generative AI tool among marketers, followed by GPT-4 (paid version), Bard (now Gemini), and Dall-E.
  • About 7 out of 10 marketers note generative AI tools save time, and 41% cite improved productivity.
  • Nearly 59% of marketers say their company either has a formal policy or is currently debating on using generative AI tools for work.

marketers don't fear job loss due to AI
The G2 take

Marketers are ready for generative AI tools and want their benefits now. And given how easy it is to access these tools, businesses cannot “wait and watch.” Expedite integrating generative AI capabilities into your martech stack. But with caution. The technology is still in its infancy and requires careful consideration before getting deployed into the martech stack. Here’s how businesses and marketing leaders can go about it:

  • Focus on business value. It’s so easy to blindly fall for “shiny object syndrome” when there’s literally an explosion of AI apps in the market. G2’s State of Software report shows AI categories grew 44% in 2023, with AI writing assistants alone seeing a 170% growth in newly added products. Marketers should resist the urge to buy the fancy AI app. Instead, businesses should look for AI tools that directly address their marketing needs and provide a clear ROI.
  • Start small and scale up.  For businesses new to AI, consider starting with a pilot program using a single, well-defined application. Track results and refine for broader implementation. 

    Say, for example, you want to try AI writing assistants for emails. Try A/B testing of personalized email subject lines written with different AI writers for a small email campaign. See how each performs—track metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate. If the pilot program is successful, scale it up as you deem fit and create guidelines on how your team can adopt it. 

  • Develop an AI policy.  As AI integration progresses, establish clear company-wide frameworks to ensure responsible and ethical use of AI tools. The policy should spell out what data marketers can input into AI tools and set a bar for verifying outputs.

Click to chat with G2s Monty-AI

Level up

Our survey shows how to navigate the booming martech landscape. Assess your marketing needs, select the right tools, partner with IT to build and maintain your stack efficiently, train your people, audit and eliminate underutilization, embrace automation, and try AI. Remember, a powerful martech stack isn’t about having it all; it’s about having the right tools for you.

Research Methodology

In March 2024, G2 conducted a survey of professionals who left reviews on G2.com in software categories relevant to marketing. The data above reflects responses from nearly 100 marketing professionals representing companies of various sizes and sectors.

Want to know how to build high-performing marketing teams? Read insights from Quantive CMO Casey Carey

منبع: https://learn.g2.com/marketing-technology-trends