Harnessing the Power of Composability in Martech—Insights from the State of Martech 2024

For many years, those of us in Marketing Technology have been tracking the extraordinary growth of technology options in our industry. In mid-May, thanks to the “State of Martech 2024” report, we learned that over 14,000 solutions are currently available—a 27.8% increase from last year.

What do you do when the options for your tech stack seem endless? As our martech ecosystems grow ever more complex, the concept of composability becomes paramount to our strategy and to our success. Composability means that different parts of a system can easily be brought together like building blocks to make something bigger, while allowing individual blocks to be replaced when needed without a lot of effort or repercussions.

When building their martech stack, we most commonly find companies are deciding between all-in-one stacks or stacks made up of individual tools from multiple vendors. This decision can be difficult to make but we hope you’ll see that taking a path of composability will allow you to enjoy the best of both of these worlds. Building a successful martech stack drives us to find newer, better ways to evaluate and optimize the business value of our efforts. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the key concepts of building a composable martech stack that can help you accelerate towards your business goals and stay ahead of the competition.

Composability: The Strategic Edge in Martech

Composability is more than a trend; it’s a fundamental strategy for modern businesses. In this year’s report, we learned that most businesses are using composable stacks, even if they previously purchased an all-in-one solution or selected components within that solution. They are adopting composability for many reasons – to enhance functionality, cut costs, improve user experiences, and strengthen governance. These benefits allow them to remain agile while growing their businesses in today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive market.

The Advantages of Composability

Flexibility: Imagine a martech environment that evolves with your business needs, where you can easily add, remove, or swap tools without disruption. Composable architectures enable just that, allowing your operations to scale and adapt effortlessly.

Innovation: The freedom to integrate cutting-edge technologies at a moment’s notice ensures that your marketing operations remain at the forefront of industry advancements, particularly in areas like AI and analytics.

Cost Efficiency: By investing only in technologies that serve a specific purpose, you avoid the financial burden of comprehensive, inflexible sets of tools that may not entirely meet your needs.

The “How” of Composability

Building a solid foundation of data for all your applications to read from is the first step towards success in composability. By fueling your applications with a vendor agnostic data layer, you can more easily add and remove tools, and blend data between them. As an example, let’s say your tech stack consists of a content management system (CMS) to host your website, a CRM for email, an analytics tool, and a testing and optimization platform. You find that a different testing and optimization platform emerges that has some game-changing features you think would really benefit your business. In a composable stack, since you aren’t bound to a certain suite of products, you can more easily remove your existing solution and implement the new one, and then point it to your existing data framework.

Navigating Composability Challenges

While the benefits are clear, composability does bring its own challenges, as unifying data between different systems via automated processes can be a herculean task. This is why a well-thought-out integration strategy, based on high quality, standardized data is crucial to ensure seamless operations across your tech stack. This year’s report confirmed that most organizations are seeking to integrate technologies which provide a robust API, as well as data security and compliance features in order to help enable teams to automate tasks and reliably blend and use data across their stack.

Strategies for Thriving in a Composable Martech Landscape

Here are several strategies to consider as the martech domain continues to evolve:

  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration: A collaborative approach involving Marketing, IT, and Legal teams ensures that your marketing strategy, data strategy, technology, and governance are in sync.
  • Refine your data strategy: Focus on capturing those metrics that will be most valuable in facilitating your company to make more informed, data-driven marketing decisions around your key use cases.
  • Opt for flexible technologies: Choosing vendor-agnostic architectures, or architectures for which there are many existing integrations, helps ensure that your tech stack can adapt without being locked into a specific vendor’s ecosystem.
  • Centralize your data: Implementing a Customer Data Platform helps unify your data streams across customer touch points and channels, enhancing personalization efforts and improving customer experiences.
  • Prioritize data governance: As your tech stack grows, so does the complexity of managing data safely and compliantly. This is a crucial factor in maintaining the trust of your users while meeting government regulatory standards. Being intentional in how you structure your solutions and in which vendor platforms you choose along the way will allow you to more easily navigate this digital minefield.
  • Pick a reliable partner: You may consider a partnership with a third-party consultancy to help assess your organization’s needs, recommend solutions, align your team towards common goals, and enable your team to best utilize the tools you select.

As composable martech stacks become the “new normal,” it’s imperative to ensure you understand the benefits and risks of each solution. While marketing technology is an investment, it is one that can be made wisely and make a real, positive impact on your organization. That impact can be felt strongest by those who control the purse strings when you focus on assessing and communicating the value of these investments.

If anything is to be expected in our industry, it’s change. We can’t wait to see what next year’s “State of Martech” report is going to look like. Make your wagers now – will the technologies keep growing at a breakneck pace or will something major change and disrupt this industry?

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