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When it comes to building a martech ecosystem one of the most critical steps is proving the value. It’s not the most exciting so it’s likely to be overlooked in the process with the focus being on vendor selection and execution. Proving the value underpins the whole process and the success the martech ecosystem can deliver.

The process of building a martech ecosystem is long, it’s not going to be built overnight. Most ecosystems are compiled of legacy tech + a mix of GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) + Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle etc it’s not an all singing and dancing ecosystem that marketers would love to have. For a lot of brands, the cost and time investment is daunting. From having the dream, to what is promised and what is delivered can be poles apart.

Before getting to this stage hopefully a marketing measurement strategy has been developed which should be driving your martech strategy. The next step is to start building out the data & tech canvas which is the initial building block to sharing your thoughts and get approval from key stakeholders.

Core to proving the value is understanding what the business goals are which can be answered in 2 questions:

  1. What will the martech ecosystem help you do that you cannot do today?
  2. How will the martech ecosystem help you achieve your goals?

Steps involved to future proof:

Diagnosis Stage

The diagnosis stage ensures that you are not running blind into a process that requires significant resources, time, and investment. The diagnosis stage will direct any apparent theories, help plan the roadmap ahead and prioritise.

Map out the current martech ecosystem

The marketer will understand the challenges and struggles but till the current ecosystem is mapped it’s all being based on hypotheses which is not going to help prove the value. Getting a graphical view of how the current martech is integrated it will help showcase the strengths and weakness ensuring that the right areas are focused on dictating the strategy.

Audit your current tech

The first step should be to audit all martech in the current ecosystem, this can be done internally or work with partners who can provide an unbiased view, and this is critically important.  In most cases there will be room for improvement across the martech stack, the question that should be asked when reviewing the audit aligning to the business goals and objectives:

Need to consider:

  • Any changes to the martech stack may take 6 to 12 months if not longer depending on the roadmap. The recommended improvements will need to factor this in with also the pragmatic view that changes may not take place i.e., the CRM does not get replaced

At the end of the diagnosis stage the insights should hopefully support the view that the time and cost investment of building a martech ecosystem is the right thing to do.


Reaching the evaluation stage hopefully a full assessment of the different martech vendors has taken place and you are at the stage of knowing the best 2 /3 martech vendors but have decided on the preferred partner i.e., for CDP, Data Warehouse etc

This next stage involving all key stakeholders is collating the key information gathered from the assessment process to better evaluate the martech and the value it provides against other solutions. It should help create a roadmap how to build out the martech ecosystem looking at key variables.

Starting with…

Develop a scorecard for each martech

Create a scorecard for each martech detailing all the key information without an overdose of technical jargon. The scorecard will be shared with key stakeholders who should be familiar to the details of the different martech. It’s an opportunity to compare martech side by side on a level playing field.

For each scorecard to provide further context how critical is the martech with a score of: High, Medium or Low


(Download Scorecard PowerPoint)

Which leads into…

Data & Tech evaluation matrix

From the insights gathered with the context of the business goals and objectives mapping each martech in the evaluation matrix will provide valuable insight:

  • Implementation v Value
  • Cost v Value
  • Cost v Implementation

It will make it clear to the stakeholders the value that each martech provides and where a business case will be needed.

(Download Evaluation Matrix)

Once each martech has been mapped out then the idea is to collate all the matrix into one to better understand: where the quick wins are, the opportunities, and buildout a roadmap.

Which leads into financials…

Cost benefit analysis

The cost investment of building a martech ecosystem will be significant which is where a cost benefit analysis will help prove the value back to the business.

  • For each martech in the ecosystem getting a good understanding of its costs, how each martech vendor charges if its recurring or non-recurring. This will help when aligning costs with benefits.
  • When creating a cost benefit analysis, the headline metric that will be looked at how long will it take to break-even and make a profit. Having these insights available will provide the right kind of story that is needed. Marketing is an investment that drives business growth.

(Download Cost Benefit Analysis Excel)

(Download Cost Benefit Analysis Powerpoint)

Then finally…

Map out the final martech ecosystem

Last step is look into the near future and map out what the final ecosystem looks like before proceeding to build out the martech ecosystem.

  • How does the martech ecosystem compare to when it was mapped out earlier in the process?
  • How will the martech ecosystem help you achieve your goals?
  • What are the limitations of the martech ecosystem?
  • Is the martech ecosystem robust and flexible to adapt in what is a changing landscape?