How marketers make decisions on martech

walkersands june 2016

In the old days, CIOs put business technology through rigorous testing and due diligence. Any purchases needed their sign off. Today, the CIO might not even be involved in a martech purchase until after it’s been made.

So who’s making martech buying decisions? And how?

Our survey of over 300 marketers found that 53 percent of entry-level marketers have led a purchase decision within the last three years. More than half of millennials have done the same. A quarter of marketers say the typical martech decision is made by three people; 20 percent involve more than five; and 10 percent, more than 10. Two-thirds of marketers who use the product every day will have some input into the martech buying decision.

Related: 2016 Salary Guide: Marketing’s Captains, MVPs, Rising Stars, Emerging Roles – And What They Earn

There’s no question that the actual users of the technology—especially young professionals just starting their careers—have the greatest influence. And they have a different way of looking at products. Here are five characteristics of the martech buyer:

  1. A Dozen Touch Points. Our research shows that a martech vendor must make 15 touch points before a lead becomes qualified.
  2. Power of the Peers. Don’t underestimate the importance of not only frequency, but frequency across the right channels and with the right message, be it a white paper, feature in a business magazine, infographic on social media, etc. A third of marketers learn about new martech from their peers.
  3. Death of a Salesperson. Two-thirds of marketers say they are at least halfway to a decision before they contact a sales rep, and a quarter are already 80 percent of the way there. Only one in 10 marketers consider sales reps “very influential” while researching martech solutions.
  4. What’s the Holdup? A third of those surveyed cited internal resistance to change as the biggest obstacle to implementing new martech, behind budget and implementation challenges. This is followed closely by lack of executive buy-in for a given solution.
  5. Marketers are Individuals. While it can be tempting to group marketers together or draw conclusions, each age group and title is unique. Each member of the purchasing team must be armed with information tailored to their role to feel informed and persuade other stakeholders. Also, marketers vary in their preferred channel. For instance, CMOs are slightly more likely to check out a martech vendor’s website than a coordinator or specialist.

Sarah Dietze is an Account Director at Walker Sands Communications, where she leads the marketing technology practice area. Adept at translating complex topics into actionable steps, she leads a team of media relations specialists, advises martech clients on strategy, and helps to align programs with client business goals. Contact Walker Sands

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