Avoiding Martech Waste in The Age of Austerity

The five big tech companies collectively lost $3.9 trillion in market value. In the same vein, marketing teams are being asked to deliver more with less. Martechvibe spoke to industry experts about how to trim the fat without compromising business goals in the year of efficiency The tech industry witnessed one of its worst years […]


  • The five big tech companies collectively lost $3.9 trillion in market value. In the same vein, marketing teams are being asked to deliver more with less. Martechvibe spoke to industry experts about how to trim the fat without compromising business goals in the year of efficiency

    The tech industry witnessed one of its worst years in 2022 since 2008. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta – the big five – collectively lost $3.9 trillion in market value. Against this backdrop, many tech firms are adopting austerity measures as part of their business strategies to ride the tide of uncertain economic conditions. Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has dubbed 2023 the “year of efficiency,” a signal the social networking company plans to reduce spending and increase speed. 

    In the changing market dynamics, sales, marketing, and martech teams are being asked to deliver more for less, improve their efficiencies and productivity, increase ROAS, cut down marketing acquisition costs, and gain a better return on interest. Decision-makers must analyse their marketing planning, automation and tactical rollout for advertising and promotional campaigns. 

    Martechvibe spoke to Mike Wittenstein – Founder of Storyminers,Paul Wright – General Manager of Western Europe and MENAT at AppsFlyer; Fraser Hay – a global Martech consultant and Gonzalo Garcia Villanueva – CMO at GfK on how to navigate the waters. Here’s what they had to say; 

    Diversify Channel Mix

    In uncertain times, the end goal remains growing the business, and the bottom line stays the same. Paul Wright, General Manager of Western Europe and MENAT at AppsFlyer, suggests, “In times of an economic downturn, diversifying the channel mix is crucial as it allows app marketers to reach their users more effectively.” Wright indicates businesses should connect with customers through email marketing and social media platforms.

    Broadening the channel mix can unlock new opportunities. Wright advises enterprises to work with trusted partners, rely on accurate data, and use technologies that work. “These budget cuts should be the by-product of an optimised approach,” adds Wright. 

    Tools: SSoT and ROI

    Speaking about the ideal tech stack, Wright says it’s not a great deal if enterprises save a dollar today and it costs them two dollars tomorrow. Enterprises should focus on tools accurately measuring and aggregating data into a single source of truth and enabling constant optimisation of advertising activities. 

    He emphasises optimising the martech stack—it is as important as measuring the ROI on campaigns as it guides marketers in deciding where to continue investing and cut their losses. “Marketers should measure the ROI of each tool, eliminating those which don’t sufficiently justify the investment,” he adds. 

    A significant factor affecting the ROI on a solution is its underutilisation, says Wright. A solution could often be held back from its full potential if the team using it isn’t trained well for effectiveness.  

    Simplify MarTech to Maximise Returns

    Linking team development to martech stacks, Fraser Hay, a keynote speaker, author and Martech consultant, says investment in personnel’s professional and personal growth is necessary for a good run of the technology. 

    Hay says, with changing times, enterprises must simplify their martech and reduce the financial, technical, legal, and emotional impact on all involved in running, managing and scaling marketing in 2023.

    To maximise returns, he says many organisations need to revisit four critical areas in implementing austerity and cost-cutting initiatives;

    • Business Model: Reduce costs, add new revenue streams and improve cash flow
    • Customer Journey: Reduce bottlenecks and improve automation, customer experience and lifetime value (LTV)
    • Martech Stack: Minimise complexity, investment, and expenditure and maximise return on investment and refund on ad spend (ROI/ROAS)
    • Sales & Marketing Strategy: Reduce operational and marketing acquisition costs and churn to achieve revenue targets and quotas while fine-tuning a systematic, proven sales approach

    Focus on Delivering More Value

    Inflation causes many firms to jump into using the fire extinguisher—hiking prices. However, this might not be the best measure in the service industry.  

    Mike Wittenstein, Founder of Storyminers, says raising prices to combat inflationary pressures can be counterintuitive. Instead, customer experience designers and managers should consider the strain and study their customers to determine which service, product, and support combinations best meet their needs. 

    Customers rebalance their spending with the various groups they work with, and marketers can position themselves to deliver more value and increase their chances of keeping and gaining customers.

    Improve ROI Measuring Capabilities

    Gonzalo Garcia Villanueva, CMO at GfK says that in an era of sudden disruption, it is more important than ever for marketers to look at data and tech and how it can help them be adaptable and agile. He says CMOs have massive opportunities to embrace the marketer’s front by focusing on cost-cutting factors to prove ROI without wasting martech dollars.

    Contrary to this, 73% of surveyed CMOs say that one of the top barriers to data access is insufficient technology (i.e., MarTech), and 3 in 5 marketers need more data management processes. This was revealed in the GfK CMO Survey 2022 conducted in partnership with CMO Council.

    Highlighting another challenge that marketers face today, Villanueva says, “Another challenge that marketing leaders face today is to measure, justify and maximise ROI. With the right data and technology and using the correct targeting tools helps marketers to improve the measures as they move forward.” Organisations need just a handful of relevant data sources and tech to help democratise and visualise it. And then skilled people who can interpret it and convert it to real-world actions. Making it accessible to the right people. He adds, “To overcome the risk of MarTech waste, organisations must ensure that their tech investments are smart, selective, and aligned with strategy. CMOs must drive sustainable growth and be the catalyst to witness the positive impact and correct usage of tech and data simultaneously. “


    The right assortment of successful strategies includes simplifying martech solutions, optimising each tool in the martech stack and thoroughly analysing their ROI. Experts say enterprises investing in people, embracing adversity and managing austerity will look forward to prosperity in 2023 and beyond.

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