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Few “Genius” Brands Successfully Integrate Best-of-Breed Solutions Into a Cohesive Martech Roadmap

By Benjamin Bloom | July 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

MarketingMarketing Technology and Emerging Trends

Today, Gartner published the first of several research notes which assess the technologies linked to strong digital marketing performance. Our established Digital IQ Index methodology benchmarks the digital marketing performance of hundreds of notable brands.   

With the increasing pressure on marketing technology (martech) teams to deliver business impact, we set out to understand how leading brands (i.e. “Genius” and “Gifted” brands) orchestrate their martech stacks, and how these stacks contribute to business success. 

A few notes about this research.

The martech ecosystem is vast. Gartner captured over 2,000 products in use by brands indexed in our Digital IQs, demonstrating what an approach to “best of breed” solutions look like in the wild. Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Technology Survey revealed a continued shift toward best of breed approaches to marketing technology vendor selection, as an alternative to a single integrated suite. Yet this organizational approach comes with numerous vendor management and integration challenges (see A 360 Review of the Integrated Suite).  

The highest performing brands in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index use a plethora of technologies; rarely does that include only one single vendor. 

By plotting marketing technology product adoption against Gartner’s Digital IQ Index, we observed that simply having more technology products is not a guaranteed enabler of “Genius” or “Gifted” performance. Just 18% of brands, appearing in the upper right quadrant in the below chart, have mastered their sprawling martech stack to produce a Gifted or Genius-level of marketing performance.  

One of the ways that these leading brands succeed is through complementary product combinations. Prevalent product combinations show that martech selection, as well as ecosystem management and investments in people, are critical to realizing martech value and performance. 

I hope you will find this research project as insightful as I did. Clients can find Marketing Technology Drivers of Genius Brand Performance located on (Gartner for Marketing Leaders access required).  

This project was, and remains a joint effort. I am grateful to Adam Sarner, Christi Eubanks Evan Neufeld, and Bill Duffy for setting this project up for success, and to Jared Ray and Adriel Tey for their expertise, enthusiasm and collaboration.   

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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