2024 State of Martech Launch: Fifth Edition

In the five years since Clevertouch’s State of Martech report was first launched, marketing trends have changed significantly. 

In 2019, for example, marketers were battling through a War for Talent and implementation challenges as marketing leaders tried to find the right balance of inhouse Martech platform skills versus outsourcing support to specialist consultancies. Then came the pandemic which brought with it an increase in budgets, but less resources than before. 

In the years since then, one of the notable trends has been the emergence of the ‘Nextopia’ mindset, where marketers have been encouraged to acquire more and more technology, without necessarily considering how those technologies best integrate and complement one another. In light of this, there has been a rise in simplification software (complementary platforms that seamlessly connect with Marketing Automation tools to speed up their adoption and time taken to create and execute campaigns) over the last 12-18 months, as marketers struggle with the vast amount of platforms at their disposal. 

So, what will influence the State of Martech in 2024? 

On Thursday 25th April 2024, we hosted an exclusive event for marketing leaders at London Stock Exchange, where we gave attendees an early look at some of the key headlines that have emerged from our latest research with The University of Southampton Business School. 

Speakers included Adam Sharp, Clevertouch co-founder and CEO, Rob Angell, Associate Professor of Marketing Research at the University of Southampton, Stu West, CRO at Clevertouch, and Kelly Atkins, Head of Digital Marketing, BT Business. 

The State of Martech Research - Validity & Reliability 

Kicking off the event, Rob Angell outlined the robustness of the State of Martech research, covering how the sample of the 600 respondents (from the UK, US and Europe) are qualified to ensure high quality in the data (avoiding the old mantra of “rubbish in, rubbish out”). 

Rob highlighted how the research provides marketers with an important set of benchmarking data to compare how they are performing outside of their immediate peer group. 

The ‘Nextopia’ mindset is a phrase coined by Rob in the analysis of the 2022 State of Martech research. This year’s data shows a significant shift in Martech buying behaviour, with a slowdown in tech acquisition and more emphasis given on platform training and enablement – is the ‘Nextopia’ mindset giving way to a new ‘Nowtopia’ outlook instead?  Marketers are now focusing on what they already have, and the efficiency and return of those investments. This is something the 2024 State of Martech explores in detail. 

ROI – which is always front of mind for marketers – is also key. In fact, Clevertouch, the University of Southampton and Innovate UK are beginning work on a new MROI (return-on-marketing-investment) benchmarking project. Watch this space! 

Love it or loathe it?

Adam Sharp then took to the stage to remind attendees that marketing is very much like fashion – marketers buying behaviour and priorities are often driven by what the market is telling them. The State of Martech research focuses on the trends rather than the use of particular tech or popular software vendors. 

But when it comes to Martech, how is it being perceived by the marketing department and elsewhere in the organisation? Do marketers and other platform stakeholders love it or loathe it…? 

Over 90% love it! Whereas marketers used to have limited passion for Martech, that trend has now shifted. Marketers are asked to do more with less, so they need tech that can have repeatable processes, whilst at the same time being revenue-driven. 

But, on the other hand, there are still so many platforms at play. According to chiefmartech, marketers, on average, have 80+ platforms at their disposal, so they need a Martech Spine that is scalable. A standardisation initiative needs to take place, focusing on existing platform utilisation rather than always looking to add to what you already have. 

“The positive perceptions of martech highlights its critical role in enhancing marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Continued investment in and refinement of martech strategies are essential to sustaining these positive perceptions.” 

Budgets are also strong, and – as more organisations have key platforms in place – these budgets are being spent on meaningful integrations, training and development. There’s also a movement away from ‘emotional’ decision-making (whereby a CMO would always choose the same platform wherever organisation they were) to more rational decision-making (which sees them be much more considered when choosing platforms that are right for their organisation). 

Mastering Migrations

Migrations are also up, with many likely to be migrating their platforms within the next 2-3 years. And there’s an increased reliance on outsourced consultancies to help them do this successfully (an increase from 30% to 50%). Most marketers are building solid internal capability and increasingly co-existing with specialist partners to ensure Martech is being properly implemented, adopted and utilised to maximise effectiveness and help prove ROI. 

“Organisations should prepare for continual adaptation in their martech stacks to keep pace with evolving technologies and market demands.” 

But what are the next challenges that CMOs are likely to face? There will be more focus on revenue centricity and insight. On top of this, only 42% of organisations are doing dashboarding or benchmarking. This is better than it was, but still not quite where it needs to be. 

Mission Critical Martech

This year’s research shows a new trend on the wider impact that Martech is beginning to have across the organisation. Martech is increasingly seen as a mission-critical component, integral not only to marketing but also to broader business operations. The spread of marketing automation capabilities across various business areas suggests a broader operational impact, supporting the assumption of Martech's expanding footprint. 

“As Martech becomes increasingly embedded in core business processes, organisations must ensure it is managed as a central element of strategic planning and operations. This approach will solidify Martech's status as a mission-critical asset and drive significant business value.” 

With budgetary control of Martech spreading across multiple departments, highlighting its importance beyond traditional marketing roles, organisations will need to ensure that Martech investment aligns with broader business objectives to enhance its strategic value and impact – and CMO’s must own this vision and ambition.   

The Martech Migration & Transformation Story: BT

Before Kelly Atkins from BT took to the stage, Stu West of Clevertouch briefly set the scene.  

BT Business is currently midway through a mega migration project. The aim of the migration is to enhance the value for B2B customers, strengthen the company’s market position, and create a single interface for BT’s corporate customers.  

Five core businesses under the BT Enterprise umbrella were all using a highly customised instance of Adobe Campaign, but it didn’t fit BT’s future needs. Kelly identified Adobe Marketo Engage as a fit for purpose long-term investment to help the organisation scale efficiency, enhance customer experience and increase marketing-generated revenue.  

BT needed a partner with multi-faceted know-how, experience and platform expertise to help them. They wanted to work with a consultancy that would work across Marketing and IT functions to internalise knowledge and establish a strong infrastructure to enable easier ownership of how their Martech needed to be used and adapted in the future. 

Kelly and her team chose Clevertouch to support them on this complex project, due to our agility to fit into BT’s way of working, our internal project management capability to take ownership and accountability, and our deep technical understanding of the platforms that BT were migrating from and to.   

The project is split into three distinct phases:  

  • Phase 1: Migrate from Adobe Campaign to Marketo Engage. 
  • Phase 2: Migrate Eloqua and Unica to Marketo Engage. 
  • Phase 3: Focus on the future state with scalability, activating investments and brand presence.

N.B. At the time of the event, the project was in Phase 2.

Q&A with BT's Kelly Atkins

Kelly gave an overview of the scale of the migration project, covering the number of platforms from different software vendors that BT Business had acquired over the years (including 13 separate instances of Salesforce CRM!) Naturally, part of Kelly’s initial vision was to streamline the number of platforms being used, creating numerous efficiencies. 

Creating a more unified approach to tech utilisation is also key, as Kelly mentioned that the business had around 375 different lead-routing rules in place, when the reality was only a handful were being utilised. 

We will share the full interview with Kelly over the coming weeks.  

The State of Martech 2024

Martech is in a good place and with a growing influence on RevOps. We’re seeing coherent adoption across the organisation and now is the time for CMOs to truly own their marketing vision, ambition and prove ROI. 

The 2024 State of Martech research will be launched in early May. If you are already subscribed to our emails, you’ll be the first to receive a copy of the report. If you’re not and would like to be, email marketing@clever-touch.com and we’ll ensure you are added to the list. 


To see photos from this event, click here