What marketers need from their tech stack in the age of Gen AI

What marketers need from their tech stack in the age of Gen AI

It’s worrying enough if your business’ tech stack isn’t suitable for current conditions. Given the new wave of disruption now being unleashed by emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), it will be even more risky to try to make do with a suboptimal tech stack during the rest of this decade.

Meanwhile, in the rapidly evolving world of MarTech, the days of relying on a single vendor for all solutions are waning. The Arktic Fox 2024 Digital, Marketing & eComm in Focus study reveals a significant shift in investment strategies among Australian marketers. As businesses seek to optimise their MarTech stacks, there is a growing preference for ‘best-of-breed’ solutions over off-the-shelf, single-vendor ones.

Launching the report, Teresa Sperti, Founder and Director of Arktic Fox, warned the audience that the pace of change, especially in relation to eCommerce, is only likely to accelerate. “There is no doubt that GenAI is going to fundamentally reshape our industry – you’d have to be living under a rock not to know that now. The study showed seven in 10 brands are experimenting with Gen AI, which is promising – there’s been a really solid initial uptake by brands.

“Globally, some big brands – such as Coke, which appointed a ‘Senior Director of Generative AI’ and quickly partnered with ChatGPT – were early adopters. Coke has now been experimenting with AI for around 18 months. As has Mercedes.”

Martech adoption slow, but AI could shift the status quo

Traditionally, many organisations adopted a single-vendor approach to MarTech. In theory, this strategy offered the convenience of an integrated suite of tools from one provider, promising seamless interoperability and a unified user experience. However, the reality for many Australian marketers and marketing-adjacent professionals appears to have fallen short of expectations. The Arktic Fox study found that 80% of respondents rated their MarTech utilisation as “average,” “low,” or “very low”.

Billy Loizou (pictured), Asia Pacific Area Vice President at Amperity, argues that disappointing tech stacks have something to do with disappointing rates of MarTech utilisation, stating, “The past approach was to buy the equivalent of a turnkey, off-the-shelf, full-stack solution from a big-name tech company. Given the proportion of Australian marketers who reported their utilisation of MarTech was ‘average’, ‘low’, or ‘very low’, that doesn’t seem to have worked out well.”

The good news, at least according to Loizou, is that AI may soon make using MarTech tools much less intellectually taxing.

“I think you’ll see an explosion in AI copilots, including ones that will support marketers,” he says. “At Amperity, we know that SQL [Structure Query Language, commonly used to access and manipulate databases] is not a common skill set for businesses or business leaders. So how do you democratise things and bring that capability to ask the data questions without needing to know SQL? Well, just like you ask Google a question, you’ll soon use an AI copilot [to work with MarTech solutions].”

Lean and mean best of breed solutions

Many marketers are now embracing best-of-breed solutions in response to the challenges associated with single-vendor systems. According to the Arktic Fox study, 57% of respondents lean towards best-of-breed strategies, compared to just 14% who prefer single-vendor approaches. This shift reflects a desire for greater flexibility, customisation, and the ability to choose the most effective tools for specific needs.

Best-of-breed solutions allow organisations to select and integrate individual tools that excel in their respective areas, whether it be customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, or Consumer Data Platforms (CDPs). This approach enables businesses to build a more tailored and efficient MarTech stack, potentially leading to better performance and outcomes.

The shift towards best-of-breed solutions represents a significant evolution in MarTech investment strategies. As businesses seek to optimise their marketing efforts and achieve better outcomes, the flexibility, customisation, and innovation offered by best-of-breed tools are becoming increasingly attractive.