By Paul Wiefels, Managing Director, Chasm Group LLC
Marketing technology (aka “martech”) has now become the Frankenstein of technology. During the last decade, martech applications were created to automate the last sizable business function – marketing – and in so doing, provide a set of more granular metrics that marketers could use to show the ROI associated with their numerous efforts. Beleaguered CMOs, sometimes regarded by their peers on the executive staff, notably in B2B companies, as conference organizers, party planners, or the brand police now could transform both their function and themselves by delivering more direct contributions to revenue. They could connect spend to return, lead nurturing to lead scoring, and so on. But these nascent technologies soon revealed the need to digitize a lot of other stuff to augment, complement, or simply enable a process that was growing in complexity. The venture community was quick to recognize that CMOs had budgets, so they jumped in big time and enjoyed some early wins via IPOs (e.g. Marketo, Hubspot); or through acquisitions at significant premiums (e.g. Eloqua, Pardot). Over the past five years, we have seen what many regard as an axiom in both the software and venture industry: what’s worth doing is worth overdoing.