As marketing leaders, technology is a large part of what our teams manage and use day to day to execute our go to market. Over the course of the past couple of years there are certain trends that have been accelerated by en masse remote work. Here are 2 that will certainly impact the way we go to market in the upcoming year.

The Bane of App Sprawl

According to Productiv’s recent study on “the State of App Sprawl” marketing and product marketing app use is over 100 apps per firm. This means marketing teams are switching between multiple stacks, interfaces, and experiences to manage marketing day-to-day. This leads to team fragmentation, high costs for training, and higher costs for data and technology management.

One approach that is successful at herding the marketing tech stack is a bi-annual audit of marketing and sales tech. I encourage all clients for their marketing and sales operations team to develop this rigor do ensure multiple marketing teams are not duplicating workflows, datasets, tools, etc. Also, a best practice selection process for all tools will be helpful for the marketing team at large to use to identify the impact a tool will have on the stack.

The Rise of Big Marketing Operations

App sprawl is the key reason for the need for more robust and strategic marketing operations. This is BIG marketing ops. As we know, generally ops has three areas of focus to improve effectiveness or efficiency: Process, Technology and Data. As your marketing technology stacks get more sophisticated, integrated and numerous, your marketing ops team must become a center of excellence for marketing ops. It is a strategic imperative.

Larger marketing teams should have (or create) a VP, Marketing Technology role to harness the marketing operations function and drive operations excellence across marketing and IT. This role will have a seat at the planning table and understand the toolsets that support various types of marketing functions, lead marketing technology selection processes and own the contracts for vendors to ensure continuity and cost-savings across their marketing stack.

All to often I walk into marketing organizations that are using tools that are not appropriate for their business. Those poor decisions are made usually because of budget issues, or lack of knowledge about what tools are available to support their business needs. While SaaS-based marketing tools make it easy to get going: swipe a credit card and go. Marketing leaders need to reign in the app sprawl and let the experts help make these important marketing technology decisions.