More Marketers Are Swapping Out Homegrown for Commercial MarTech Applications

August 8, 2022

Marketers are frequently tinkering with their marketing technology stacks, with one recent piece of research finding that 2 in 3 had replaced a solution in the previous year. A new study [download page] from MarTech finds that when it comes to replacing martech solutions, commercial applications are increasingly gaining the upper hand over homegrown tools.

In surveying almost 300 marketers who had replaced at least one martech solution in the previous year, MarTech found that 26% share had replaced a homegrown platform with a commercial one, compared to 11% share who had replaced a commercial with a homegrown platform. Moreover, the share who had replaced a homegrown with a commercial platform jumped 10% points from 16% during the year-earlier survey.

Correspondingly, fewer respondents this year (just 6% share) had replaced a homegrown solution with another homegrown one, down from 18% share who did so last year.

The most popular scenario among respondents was to replace a commercial platform with another commercial one, with 57% of the respondents reporting having done so this year, up from 53% last year.

All told, then, among those marketers who had replaced a martech solution, 83% this year ended up with a commercial platform, compared to 69% who did so last year.

Which Tools Are Being Replaced?

This year, out of the 18 application types listed, respondents were most likely to report having replaced a marketing automation solution. This aligns with the separate above-mentioned research, in which marketing automation tools were also the most apt to be replaced. This latest survey indicated that among those who had replaced a solution, 23% switched out their marketing automation platform.

Both studies also found CRMs and email distribution solutions to be among the top tier of tools that were replaced by marketers. In other new research specific to CRMs, 1 in 3 (34%) marketers report that their organization will be shopping for a CRM in the coming year.

The MarTech study notes that among enterprises with more than $500 million in revenues, CRM and marketing automation tools remained the most commonly replaced, but e-commerce platforms joined them at the top, whereas otherwise those latter platforms were further down the list of replaced tools among respondents at-large.

Other Findings:

  • 6 in 10 respondents said that the system they replaced was used for at least 3 years, with a plurality overall (36% share) saying it was used for 3-5 years. A slightly higher share this year (40%) said that the system they replaced was used for less than 3 years than said the same last year (37%).
  • The top reason for replacing both a commercial and homegrown application was for better features.
  • When choosing a replacement, the most commonly-cited important factor for respondents was integration capabilities/open API, followed by data centralization/data capabilities and ability to measure ROI. The importance of being able to measure ROI grew considerably from last year’s survey.
  • This year a smaller share of respondents than last year said that executive management championed the replacement. While marketing management again was the most likely to lead the replacement, a higher share of respondents this year said that marketing operations (for whom researching and recommending martech solutions is a top job responsibility) led the charge.
  • Fewer respondents this year said they hired new people in conjunction with their replacement.

About the Data: The results are based on a Q2 global survey of 296 marketers who replaced marketing technology in the past year, about half of whom work at companies with at least $25 million in annual revenue. A slight majority (53%) work for B2B companies, 14% for B2C, and the remaining third (33%) for companies serving both businesses and consumers.

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