LXA/IPA guide sets out five pillars of MarTech and marketing operations

A new guide by LXA, commissioned by the IPA and delivered at the flagship cross-industry IPA EffWorks Global 2022 Conference has set out the Five Pillars of MarTech and Marketing Operations vital to the success of marketing campaigns.

These Pillars cover the complete process of martech strategy from initial planning to selection tech, the processes needed to manage martech, and the skills required within the business. All of which, the report counsels, should be underpinned by marketing’s involvement at every stage, with a clear message that marketers now need to step up to the martech challenge and should be as accountable as IT.

The guide has been produced in acknowledgement of the essential and ever more central role of martech in marketing strategy, efficiencies and effectiveness, with recent data showing that 63% of marketers are planning to increase their martech budgets in the next 12 months.

It also details the business factors that marketers say are limiting companies’ martech effectiveness, with almost half of the marketers surveyed saying it is down to a lack of skillset / knowledge of martech.

Some of the key barriers to martech effectiveness include:

  • Lack of skill set/knowledge of martech: 47%
  • Stakeholder buy in and approval: 40%
  • Lacking the necessary governance: 33%
  • Integration of the marketing stack: 30%
  • Self-built & custom developed existing marketing stack: 26%
  • Change management: 24%
  • Compliance & legal onboarding of martech vendors: 20%
  • Lack of staff / resources: 17%

These barriers, the guide outlines, can be addressed by effective oversight from the marketing function combined with a skilled marketing operations function. To help facilitate this, the guide provides a clear overview of the state of martech; provides the business case for investment in martech; outlines how to select and manage martech initiatives and explains how to show a return on investment in martech. Central to this is the explanation of its 5 core pillars to structure martech strategy.

Five Pillars of Martech and Marketing Operations (provided in summary below and in full detail in the guide):

  1. Planning & Strategy

This is a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. This is about making sure that marketing technology is brought in as part of a clear plan which enables the achievement of business goals.

  1. People & Teams

Martech success isn’t simply about acquiring the right technology, it depends on having the right people in the right roles for the day to day management of tech, and the planning of martech initiatives. It also relies on someone owning marketing technology outside of IT. The guide suggests a helpful job description for an effective marketing technologist.

  1. Platforms, Apps & Ecosystems

Platforms, Apps & Ecosystems, covers the process of tech selection. During the process of auditing the customer journey, reviewing business objectives and carrying out a gap analysis, potential business cases for new tech can be identified. The report also provides a useful 13-step sequence for the selection of new tech.

  1. Process & Marketing Operations

This covers the processes needed to manage martech. This includes the day-to-day running of technology, the maintenance of the martech stack, onboarding new technology, analysis and reporting. 

  1. Pioneer & Pilot

This section covers the factors driving technological change. Martech leaders need to be pioneering, looking out for new technology and ways of working, being the first to experiment with it, and seeing change as an opportunity.

By following these 5Ps, the guide asserts that marketers can ensure that the tech is selected and used according to predefined goals, and with the teams and resources in place to use technology to its full potential.

Commenting on the findings:

Says Simeon Duckworth, Data Strategist, UCL and WPP:

“Collect customer data” is the everyman strategy of our age. But customer data is useless if it doesn’t result in a marketing action or improved customer service.  Martech helps make that possible by making it easier, cheaper, faster and safer to build recommendations for marketers and customers alike. Yet for many of us, martech is over-complicated and confusing. We struggle to keep up with rapidly evolving and fragmented data technologies or feel alienated by value-laden jargon and sales-pitches. We worry both that we are being left behind and that we are being held prisoner by hasty decisions with their legacy of fragmentation and implementation costs. We hope this report will therefore make martech less intimidating for marketers. And we urge marketers to get involved in shaping martech decisions in collaboration with technical experts.”

Says Janet Hull OBE, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA:

“Marketing technology has become increasingly more important to marketers over the past decade. And with martech becoming ever more central to marketing strategy, it’s important that marketers exert more influence over the process of tech selection.  Ultimately, the success of marketing campaigns, achievement of key targets and day-to-day efficiency depends more and more on having the right technology, and the people, skills and processes in place to use it fully.”

Says Carlos Doughty, CEO & Course Instructor, LXA:

“Nearly a quarter of marketing budgets are allocated to marketing technology so it’s natural that martech effectiveness be focal area for every CMO. The challenge exists in the rapid digitisation of the world, evolving customer behaviours, the plethora of marketing tools available and the lack of skilled talent equipped to wrestle this. The LXA 5Ps of martech and marketing operations framework helps remedy this by atomising and systemising the audit to strategy development. The report unpacks this and provides detail around the broader martech landscape.”


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