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Study: Profiling the Typical Martech Buyer

Sarah Hale

For martech vendors, understanding the perspective of the individuals you’re selling within an organization makes all the difference. Depending on the size of the company, the age of its employees or the product you’re selling, the way in which the organization’s decision makers approach the research and decision-making process varies drastically.

To help martech sellers better understand the various types of martech buyers, Walker Sands surveyed more than 300 marketers ranging from entry-level employees to CMOs. The survey found that not only are there multiple people involved within a typical martech purchase decision, but also that most martech buyers are already halfway to a decision before contacting a sales representative.

With so many people involved in making martech decisions and those individuals conducting extensive research about vendors on their own, sellers need to determine who is making decisions about specific technology and the path that each decision-maker takes to reach a decision. The resulting report, The State of Marketing Technology 2016: Understanding the New Martech Buyer Journey, offers a glimpse into the thought process of every type of marketer involved in martech decisions. Here are a few key insights from the report:

Job titles

Not surprisingly, CMOs play a major role in martech purchase decisions. But for many organizations, marketers with other titles are also actively involved, and their discovery and research processes vary drastically.

  • 53 percent of entry-level employees have led the purchase decision making process for at least one type of martech in the last three years
  • Specialists and managers are five times as likely to learn about a new martech through search engine results than CMOs and VPs (15 percent vs. 3 percent)
  • CMOs and VPs are more likely than specialists and managers to learn about new martech through peers or colleagues (42 percent vs. 25 percent)












Company size

The survey found that smaller companies (< 50 employees) researching martech vendors tend to value price more so than larger companies (> 1,000 employees). Additionally, marketers of all levels at smaller organizations are more likely to have a say in martech purchases decisions.

  • Only 21 percent of marketers at small companies have not led a decision-making process for a martech solution, compared to 59 percent of marketers at larger companies
  • Price (72 percent) is a top priority for smaller companies while ease of use is the top priority for larger companies (70 percent)












Like job titles, the age of the influencers involved in a martech purchase journey also makes a difference in how they arrive at a decision. As Millennials reach an age where they are taking on leadership roles, many are making purchasing decisions.

  • 55 percent of Millennials have led a martech purchase decision in the past three years
  • 84 percent of Millennials prefer to make decisions with a small group of decision-makers and only 7 percent prefer team consensus, compared to 69 percent and 19 percent of those 45 and up
  • 65 percent of Baby Boomers rank peers as the top source of information when researching martech solutions, compared to 57 percent of Millennials, who are more likely to trust online reviews

Type of technology

The type of technology you’re selling also impacts who is most likely within the organization to be involved in the decision. Vendors selling technology that is widely used across a marketing department will likely need to convince more marketers at all job levels.

  • 30 percent of entry-level marketers have led the decision making process for social media marketing tools, and 25 percent have led the decision for email marketing
  • Decisions about analytics and search marketing are much more likely to remain with the CMO

Martech vendors should no longer focus entirely on the CMO, but should execute marketing campaigns that resonate with the entire marketing organization. Entry-level employees and Millennials are involved in more decisions than many think, but still, that varies based on the size of the organization and the type of technology you’re selling. In other words, approaching all prospects equally is no longer an option -- know who you’re selling or risk losing the deal.

To see the full findings, download The State of Marketing Technology 2016: Understanding the New Martech Buyer Journey.