Automation, email, CRM among major marketing tools replaced in the past year

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A new article on Martech.org reports that data showed marketing organizations replaced a large range of tools, some very central to marketing activities.

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MarTech’s Replacement Survey shows just how bullish marketing organizations were to make changes to their marketing technology stacks during the pandemic. It looks at the kinds of solutions replaced and the reasons marketers swapped them out. The data showed that organizations replaced a large range of tools, some very central to marketing activities:

  • Marketing Automation and Email. The most widely replaced solutions surely reflect the intensified need for digital engagement we’ve witnessed over the past year to 15 months. Marketing Automation (24%) and Email Distribution (23%) head the list. CDPs/DMPs showed growth, but it wasn’t quite as strong (15%). The solutions listed in the 2019 survey were slightly different (the space, of course, changes fast), but marketing automation has topped the list two years running. In contrast, only 6% of respondents reported replacing email solutions in 2019, signaling the greater importance of email in pandemic times. Of course, for many businesses, marketing automation acts as their email solution.
  • CRM. The number three solution replaced was CRM (23%), which was surprising because while B2B businesses especially had good reasons to acquire a CRM in 2020, it’s not as clear why existing CRMs needed replacing. The most likely explanation relates to the increasingly digital nature of the B2B purchase journey and the need to execute data-driven engagement at the right touchpoints. The results suggest that a lot of the CRMs previously in place didn’t support that need. It’s also possible that the replaced CRMs were not playing well with execution solutions like Marketing Automation.
  • Virtual and remote. Predictably, there were upgrades for virtual event management (16%) and for those kinds of workflow tools that might not strictly be marketing-specific but which help distributed marketing and marketing operations teams get their work done (15%). It will be interesting to see a year from now whether those solutions will still be valued; we’re guessing that in a hybrid real/digital world, the answer is yes.
  • E-commerce and CMS. With so many B2B organizations compelled to offer digital support for the purchase journey, and even self-serve options in categories previously strongly driven by in-person contact with sales, we might have expected to see more focus on e-commerce solutions or the CMSs that support e-commerce and other digital content. 17% did replace their CMS, 11% their e-commerce solution. Digital asset management (12%) is also tent, this might be taken as an indication that organizations were largely happy with what they had.
  • Audience and intelligence. Other replacements hitting double figures were Attribution/Performance Tools at 19%; Analytics/Business Intelligence (17%); and SEO Tools (16%). With the pandemic leading to more digital focus, businesses with the budget focused on digital advertising. So it is not surprising that marketers replaced performance tools. SEO also became hugely important for companies as digital presence became the only storefront that mattered during the height of the pandemic. And with increased emphasis on digital activities, we suspect organizations sought more robust analytics platforms to monitor ROI. However, Customer Journey Orchestration/Analytics (9%) might have been expected to rank higher. That’s something that must play a greater role as channels continue to proliferate.tent, this might be taken as an indication that organizations were largely happy with what they had.
  • Audience and intelligence. Other replacements hitting double figures were Attribution/Performance Tools at 19%; Analytics/Business Intelligence (17%); and SEO Tools (16%). With the pandemic leading to more digital focus, businesses with the budget focused on digital advertising. So it is not surprising that marketers replaced performance tools. SEO also became hugely important for companies as digital presence became the only storefront that mattered during the height of the pandemic. And with increased emphasis on digital activities, we suspect organizations sought more robust analytics platforms to monitor ROI. However, Customer Journey Orchestration/Analytics (9%) might have been expected to rank higher. That’s something that must play a greater role as channels continue to proliferate.
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