The rising need for MarTech for SMBs and mid-market companies: What does it signal to marketers?

Published: March 06, 2023

min read

The 2023 edition of the marketing technology landscape is underway.

Scott Brinker, HubSpot's VP of platform ecosystem, and Frans Riemersma of MarTech Tribe publish the MarTech technology landscape edition every year.

The release usually falls on May 2, International MarTech Day. While the release of the 2023 edition is still a few months away, the VP of HubSpot’s platform ecosystem gives an overview of what to expect in the upcoming edition.

The MarTech Landscape includes all vendors who develop and sell marketing-specific software.

In 2023 and beyond, more MarTech and sales technology innovation appears to be focused on the upper-SMB and mid-market.

Scott Brinker

The marketing technology landscape has grown significantly in recent years. Marketers now have a plethora of options to choose from. It also makes it more difficult to find the exact MarTech app or platform that does the job and provides good value for money. Enterprises are encountering an increasing number of niche use cases that their legacy platforms are unable to address.

Scott adds that the weekly number of MarTech -related product launches on Product Hunt and new funding announcements on TechCrunch remains completely unchecked.

To back up his claim, he shares some fascinating data released by IDC.

The data shows,

  • This year, 53% of mid-sized businesses intend to increase their spending on new marketing technologies. Almost one-fifth intends to significantly increase their investment in new marketing technology.
  • 31% of SMBs intend to reduce the number of apps in their MarTech stack.
  • Another 24%, or one in every four, intend to change MarTech vendors. The size of their stack, as measured by the number of apps, may not change, but the composition of which MarTech products they use will.
  • 28%, or nearly one-third, intend to fundamentally restructure their MarTech stack.

The data shows that even in these uncertain economic conditions, SMBs and midmarket companies seek to invest more in MarTech technology because they find it crucial to their growth.

What causes SMBs and mid-market firms to keep shifting from one set of MarTech stacks to the next?

On the face of it, the statistics may be misleading, showing that brands are experimenting with MarTech platforms. However, we believe that may not be the case.

Ever thought about why, among two different brands having access to the same MarTech stack, one generates tremendous value whereas the other finds it incredibly challenging to put the stack to use?

There are three key reasons why we believe in this gulf, and those could well be the reasons why brands keep shifting from one stack to another.

Implementation Gaps:

It is critical for businesses to understand what technology is needed to meet their marketing goals and what is not. More importantly, integrating the standalone platforms, connecting data sources, and maintaining them on an ongoing basis will assist businesses in finding their way. The wrong choices and poor integration with appropriate data sources and surround systems will lead to slow systems. As a result, businesses will not be able to reap the expected ROI from MarTech investments.

Business gaps:

Before investing in any MarTech apps, businesses must be clear on the marketing goals and outcomes they want to achieve with their MarTech investment. But, at times, even after making the right choice, businesses fail at it. The key reasons behind it are poor product mastery and a lack of grasp of transforming a marketing objective into an actionable activity on the tool so as to get expected results. As a result, businesses end up wasting several thousand dollars and are forced to restructure their MarTech stack and switch vendors.

Process gaps:

Errors in introducing the relevant tools into the workflow cause process gaps. Most businesses have multiple systems handling various functions. However, not everything is linked, and everything is handled in silos. It, in turn, prevents businesses from converting business goals into actionable plans. Correspondingly, it leads to the underperformance of MarTech tools and businesses inability to extract full marketing value from their MarTech investment.

On top of all, businesses must find the right experts to manage their MarTech platforms. Be it identification, implementation, integration, or management of MarTech platforms. The reason for this is that businesses may develop incorrect perspectives of the MarTech platforms in which they have invested if they make poor choices in the technicians who handle their MarTech tools. This may cause businesses to waste money and move on to the next set of MarTech tools without fully understanding the potential of the stacks.


Pete Johnson

Pete is a MarTech expert guru with a knack for getting diverse MarTech solutions work for brands. He has a wealth of experience in working with a plethora of MarTech platforms that dive Personalized Omnichannel Experiences. When he's not at work, you can find him playing basketball or listening to jazz.


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