MarTech: The Rise of Marketing Technology Investments & 7 Key Marketer Tools In 2021

Published September 03, 2021·Written by Halle Dang, Lucia Manetti

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The global MarTech landscape is fast evolving. But what does that really mean? Find out here what is MarTech, including key trends to consider before making new marketing technology investments. Plus, 7 key solutions in 2021 for every ‘marketer stack’ to conquer CX.


The global MarTech landscape is continuously evolving, making decision-making more challenging for marketers. Because of this, modern companies must ensure that they are investing in the right marketing technology solutions that will allow their brand to scale. 

But first, just what the heck is “MarTech”?

Is it even a thing? Is it the new cool term in business?

How do I access whatever it is? 

Whatever your doubts are concerning the field of MarTech, this article helps to explain the term, who mainly adopts it, and what the market growth is like, and some major marketing predictions or trends to consider before going crazy with your marketing budget.

Plus, 7 must-have software solutions in 2021 to complete every MarTech stack.

MarTech = Marketing: What is it? Who Mostly Leverage It?

MarTech, or in its plain form – marketing technology, refers to:

“A range of software and tools that assist in achieving marketing goals or objectives.”

The main purpose of MarTech solutions is to help optimize digital marketing campaigns. Although, the specialized tools can further support any marketing-related efforts across any promotional channels. 

Individuals who benefit the most from using the advanced suite of communication-tailored software are marketing professionals. Hence, it also being their “marketing technology (MarTech) stack.”

Marketers who leverage, or invested in, the ‘right’ MarTech stack are most likely to be:

  • Data-driven people – their knowledge in advanced analytics can drive new creative campaigns and higher conversion rates
  • Business-oriented people – their deep understanding of their company’s needs can help choose the most cost-effective MarTech solutions to adopt
  • Open-minded people – by including all sides, these marketers mostly value hybrid models, such as the integration of marketing and IT solutions, to produce more impactful results
  • Flexible people – their openness to easily forgo traditional marketing practices when necessary in order to adapt to new ones make them rightful owners of the perfect MarTech suite

The Rise of MarTech Investments

Back in 2012, Gartner forecasted MarTech investments would increase year after year and that by 2017, CMOs would invest more in technology than CIOs. 

The prediction became even more accurate in 2019 when the global MarTech market grew by 20% from 2018. Thus, causing significant growth in a relatively short time. 

A 2020 study of the same market found that 35% of North American companies expected their MarTech spending to grow by six to 10%. 

2021 is particularly seeing a sharp rise in MarTech investments. 

For example, the Portada Insights Report, which details a year-long analysis of investment behavior changes, revealed that in 2021 companies have significantly increased their MarTech spending by 150% since 2020. 

But why is there a recent surge in new MarTech spending? In other words, what are many companies focusing more on to make these kinds of investments?

Let’s find out in the next section.

New Shifts in Priority in 2021: The Increased Focus on Customer Experience (CX) and Data 

For decades, companies are having to constantly shift their marketing priorities as a result of unexpected market changes, particularly as a result of COVID-19.

After digging deeper into the useful Portada report, we uncovered two increasingly popular areas of priority in 2021 – customer experience and data.

Below is a page (3) of the report, which may better explain the (2020 vs. 2021) shift in organizational priorities for MarTech investments:


2021 Portada Insights into MarTech

Briefly looking at the table, spending on CX-related MarTech solutions went up to 27% (vs. 11%).

The other emerging priority concerns data. 2020 saw an 8% adoption rate of data-related MarTech solutions, which rose to 12% in the next year. 

So, what does that all mean for marketers?

Find out in the next section.

Top 2021 Trends for Marketers to Consider Before Increasing MarTech Spendings 

Tieing in the insights found in the prior section with other related trends, here are some of the key predictions for marketers to consider before adding more to their MarTech stack or upgrading its existing solutions.

  1. An increasing value for customer retention (vs. acquisition): As a result of the pandemic creating a surge in online (vs. offline) shopping, thus more digital ad spending to attract new customers, acquisition costs are becoming more costly. Yet, in some ways, the increasing acquisition costs reinforce the value of existing customers. Thus, causing many brands to prioritize customer retention over trying to gain new ones.
  2. Less ad-focused spending, more CX- and data-driven investments: As said, marketers are more focused more than ever on CX-related and data-related spending. Because of the favorable adoption in these areas, it also means that there’s been a substantial drop in advertising-related MarTech investments. Why? One of the main reasons is because there have been heavy marketing budget cuts as a result of the pandemic, according to Gartner. This has a great impact on advertising. In addition, the Portada report (or see again image 1) showed that in 2020, 57% of companies invested more in ad-related MarTech solutions than in 2019. Then, 2021 saw only 36% of brands investing more in ad-related MarTech tools than in 2020. So, the reduced budget within many companies is causing those like marketers to be more frugal in their investments and to switch priorities.
  3. Higher demand for more modern and innovative MarTech solutions: The growing competition between older tech enterprises and new or emerging start-ups to adopt cloud-based technologies will result in a higher need for more MarTech innovations. Additionally, developments in emerging fields like loT and AI will enable B2B software companies to design more robust MarTech solutions to support customer engagement and increase ROI.

7 Must-Have MarTech Solution Types in 2021 for Modern Marketers to Improve the Customer Experience

After being more aware that there is growing importance in improving CX and being more data-driven, your marketing team can now look to your current MarTech stack and consider whether it’s time to invest in new modern software or upgrade existing ones. 

It also makes even more sense when you find that the ‘modern MarTech formula’ consists of six major topics to help marketers build or improve their stack.

The topics are transformation, data, operations, experience, performance, and management (see image below).

With all that said, there are at least seven essential types of MarTech solutions that every marketer must own in their stack, now and forever. They include:

1. Social Media Management Solutions

As a modern business, your marketing team must be actively engaged with your audience. Thus, communication through social media is vital for success. 

With various platforms out there, your brand may own more than one social media account since your customers can differ by channel preference. So, this management of multiple channels gives way to a marketer’s need for effective social media management tools.

Additionally, such tools extend beyond advertising and content strategies support but also benefiting customer acquisition strategy. Your team can gain insights into prospects’ research.

2. AdTech Solutions

Although recent marketing priorities are more geared towards other areas, advertising and promotion are still a major part of marketing. With the ever-growing digital consumptions, advertising tools using advanced analytics are forever essential to your MarTech suite. 

Although, it should be noted that MarTech is not exactly AdTech for the latter is a sub-type of MarTech. MarTech is the general term encompassing supportive technologies in creating, communicating, and delivering, a company’s offerings. Hence, AdTech tools being the “communication” part.

Advanced advertising analytics platforms can greatly complement the other five MarTech essentials because they mainly help monitor and track data from all your online ads, no matter where they’re placed. In fact, about 55% of the whole digital ad space belongs to Google and Facebook campaigns. 

Additionally, leveraging data allows marketers to know which ads went right and wrong. In turn, the right ads can be in front of the right people at the right time, in the right place. Plus, better management of your advertising budget. 

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Solutions

Compared to traditional forms of business competition, companies must now race against one another to rank their digital content highly on search engine sites. 

After all, these platforms are usually the starting point of the online customer journey because consumers are increasingly leveraging the internet for all kinds of research, including your niche offerings.

Therefore, SEO becomes another critical focus for marketers. By investing in SEO-oriented MarTech solutions, businesses can better understand how to rank their content on popular databases like Google. 

An everyday use case of SEO tools is to discover and track popular phrases entered by people regarding any relevant topics. Then, leverage the keywords in marketing and sales copies to attract current buyers and new prospects.

4. Voice of the Customer (VoC) Analytics Solutions

All tech-centric marketing departments can further benefit from investing in more data-driven VoC programs. Rapid advancements in the design of these consumer-feedback analysis tools have led to their integration of AI. 

For example, text analytics is a common form of VoC analytics tools, particularly in helping businesses to improve CX. Its AI-driven capabilities require using a specific AI technique called natural language processing (NLP) to automatically gather (‘scrape’) word-based content from nearly anywhere online. 

Text analytics can scan (‘comb’) through any massive public to private feedback data collection. Simultaneously, highlighting specific keywords used by the brand’s reviewers and sorting them into different feedback types (mainly ‘positive, negative, and neutral’).

Based on the integration of VoC data and technology, marketers and CX professionals can better understand consumer behaviors, even predicting new trends.

5. Content Management System (CMS) Solutions

Instant knowledge is now at the tip of everyone’s fingers. Whether it’s gained from blogs, landing pages, community forums, social media, news feeds, and much more, customers can seek product, service, and brand information anywhere on the web. 

Therefore, an effective content marketing strategy is vital for your company’s success, and the right CMS tools will only help propel that growth. 

By thinking of your brand’s main website as the heart of your entire digital marketing strategy, you’ll then understand the value of having quality CMS solutions as part of your MarTech stack. 

All those B2C communications and advertising essentially drive your audience members to your site, where all content elements (texts, images, infographics, videos, audios) must adhere to high-quality standards. 

6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions

Since marketing and sales usually overlap, CRM solutions are an essential MarTech software and useful in aligning both teams’ goals, especially for B2B services. CRM platforms allow both units with shared access to all customer data to help successfully manage new and existing relationships.

Additionally, the unified and comprehensive presentation of all client information within a single dashboard can benefit internal stakeholders. The more seamless user experience promotes employee productivity and satisfaction.

7. Email Marketing Solutions

Interestingly enough, despite our digital age, emails have been and will continue to be, a popular B2C and B2B communication method. Therefore, email marketing tools prove necessary for every marketer’s tech suite. 

What’s more, the increasing integration of analytics and email automation reflects modern marketing best practices. Companies can leverage email marketing software to automatically send a mass email while more than likely targeting the right audience to increase conversion and retention numbers. 

Wonderflow, the Essential VoC Analytics Tool for Your MarTech Stack

As an advanced and unified customer feedback analytics software, Wonderflow can help complete and enhance your MarTech stack.

Our AI-driven capabilities help you collect, analyze, and report granular insights on your reviews and ratings, sourced from nearly anywhere online. In turn, it can empower the entire marketing team to improve CX. Even other departments have easy access to our dashboard, the Wonderboard, where all VoC data is in one place and very easy to comprehend. Thus, promoting employee satisfaction and user experience.

Learn more by booking a free demo with us. It may be worth your investment.

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