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Walker Sands Study Maps Out the New Martech Buyer Journey

Dave Parro

martech blog post

At Walker Sands, we have seen first-hand from working with marketing technology clients that the B2B buyer journey is changing. Instead of going through the traditional linear sales funnel, martech buyers now have multiple interactions with brands across channels before making a decision, requiring an integrated marketing program across earned, owned and paid media.

So when we started working on our State of Marketing Technology 2016 Study, we weren’t surprised to discover that martech decision-makers have different needs during the various phases of the buyer journey -- meaning sellers must approach them differently at each stage. What really jumped out at us from the findings is the extent to which marketers have to penetrate the entire organization, including decision-makers and influencers, to close a deal.

To better understand the new martech buyer journey, Walker Sands surveyed more than 300 marketers ranging from entry-level employees to CMOs to learn more about how they make purchase decisions. The resulting report provides a roadmap for vendors on how to stand out in an increasingly crowded industry.

The Walker Sands study, released today, finds that almost two-third of marketers have led the decision-making process for at least one martech purchase in the past three years, including more than half of entry-level marketers. And more than two-thirds of marketers say they are given the opportunity to provide input into the tech buying decisions that they use in their jobs, further proof that sellers must reach more than the primary decision-maker.

But even the question of a primary decision-maker is murky. More than half of marketers say three to five people make martech decisions at their companies, and one-tenth say 10 or more people are involved.

It gets even more complicated when looking at specific martech platforms. For example, a quarter or more of marketers in all titles -- CMO, VP/director, manager and specialist/coordinator -- have led the decision-making process for email marketing and social media marketing solutions in the past three years. On the other hand, buying decisions about more technical products used by fewer people in an organization, such as data management or CRM solutions, are led more frequently (and exclusively) by executives.

And don’t even get us started on what the data says about how everything changes when talking about the differences between millennials and Baby Boomers.

With so many variables, it’s critical that martech vendors understand the unique buyer journey for their specific product or solution so they can develop a relevant marketing strategy. To get started, download The State of Marketing Technology 2016 today.