Why Martech is the Key to Growth Hacking 

Most businesses that want to thrive focus on growth, and for many modern companies seeking fast returns, growth hacking has become the marketing model du jour.  
Wikipedia provides a good definition of growth hacking: 
"A subfield of marketing focused on the rapid growth of a company. It is referred to as both a process and a set of cross-disciplinary (digital) skills. The goal is to regularly conduct experiments, which can include A/B testing, that will lead to improving the customer journey, and replicate and scale the ideas that work and modify or abandon the ones that don't, before investing a lot of resources. It started in relation to early-stage startups that need rapid growth within a short time on tight budgets, and also reached bigger corporate companies." 
On a personal note, we find that the term used in isolation is problematic. It implies that there is a singular person or solution that can meet all requirements; it's unrealistic. However, growth hacking as a principle is a fascinating prospect - not looking for the one-size-fits-all solution but for the secret sauce that drives an individual organisation and brings its capabilities together. Ultimately, it's what we do for our clients at gigCMO - focus on innovation, scalability and user connectivity, then leverage a client's product developers, engineers, salespeople, and business leaders to deliver the growth they need. 
For any business to achieve growth, however, with or without gigCMO input, martech/marketing technology has to be at the forefront of business capabilities and marketing strategy. Yet, in this digital age, research shows that marketers are underutilising their martech stack capabilities by as much as 42% and with a downward trend.  
In this article, we look at why marketers underutilise their marketing capabilities and how business leaders can galvanise their resources to win in the market. 


Marketers are underutilising their martech stack 

According to Gartner's 2022 report 'Disruptions Derail Progress in Martech Utilisation: 2022 Marketing Technology Survey Insights', marketers are utilising just 42% of the breadth of capabilities available in their martech stack overall. As if that wasn't enough reason for businesses to re-evaluate their marketing strategies and capabilities to maximise growth potential, that usage is down from 58% in 2020.  
The reason for the shortfall and downward trend in martech optimisation is far from a lack of interest. Marketers are acutely aware of the importance of leveraging martech capabilities to win in the marketplace. The study, which sought to determine the state of marketing technology acquisition, adoption and use, is believed to be a combination of factors, including: 
  • A significant amount of overlap among marketing technology solutions
  • Difficulty identifying and recruiting talent to drive adoption/utilisation  
  • Complexity/sprawl of the marketing technology ecosystem 
However, as Benjamin Bloom, VP Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, puts it, the drop comes at a time of particular pressure for marketers. He said: "Despite turbulent budgets in previous years and current economic headwinds, tech investments are a priority for CMOs and proving their ROI is more crucial than ever". 


Marketing can't be done without digital 

This state of affairs comes while competition and pressure are high. Equally, not only do we know that adopting technology is one of the common factors in leading organisations, but there's proof of that effect as well.  
Mckinsey, the arbiters of evidence-based information, released a report in June titled ' Committed innovators: How masters of essentials outperform'. The report showed that those committed to delivering net new growth at scale exhibited a suite of essential practices to sustain innovation at scale, including 'taking advantage of new technologies' and ‘applying technology to accelerate progress'. 
Once upon a time, in the world of big media, marketing was a fairly straightforward process - he/she who had the largest billboard won. Today, in a world of data, market segmentation and digital permeation and transformation of the zeitgeist, marketers have a more agile, fast-changing task on their hands. It simply cannot be achieved without the technological capabilities to understand their target market and execute a marketing strategy that spans everything from pricing updates to customer service and sales campaigns.   


The convergence of martech and growth hacking  

Where martech and growth hacking converge is in the information and capacity for streamlining that technology creates. The data and analysis that marketing technology offers businesses are the keys to understanding customer behaviours, taking the temperature of the wider market, and understanding your place and your opportunities within it.  
However, the volume of information is also vast to the point of being overwhelming. This volume makes a decisive marketing strategy, which creates clear pathways for knowing which metrics you need and how you are using them, essential to the functionality and effectiveness of your team. 
The other side of the coin is execution. Martech offers an unending array of options for businesses to execute well-informed marketing strategies based on a deep understanding of your customers. However, it doesn't stop there. We have previously discussed the need for sales and marketing teams to work together rather than in siloed spaces.  
The same logic applies across businesses - using data to ensure all corners of a company are working towards shared values and messages, from accounts to the CEO. This is a proven hypothesis reflected in the recommendations of Gartner's research this year.


Galvanising your marketing resources  

So, how can you ensure your marketing technology investments return value, unlock data and enable growth? 
Many businesses plan their marketing strategy around a roadmap - a perfectly reasonable thing to do. After all, how do you know where you're going if you don't have a plan? That said, a roadmap is a relatively rigid structure, and it doesn't allow for the flexibility needed to incorporate the vast swathe of data organisations can access to understand how products and services are performing, customer feedback and customer experiences. At gigCMO, we prefer to adopt a playbook to increase your return on your marketing investment. 
Our playbook starts with an audit of your market expansion readiness to assess what you have and what you need to create a marketing strategy for success in new markets. Amongst other things, that includes: 
  • Consideration of your resources and capabilities  
  • A review of your target market
  • A review of your value proposition 
This audit is followed by the creation of a marketing strategy that uses those elements to galvanise your marketing resources and find the perfect formula for growth hacking in your organisation.   
Want to achieve business growth? Find out about our playbook for business expansion into new markets.