Marketers keep replacing major martech apps, integration #1 factor for replacements

Integration is #1 Factor in Replacing Martech Apps

My friends at MarTech.org recently released their latest Martech Replacement Survey 2022, where marketers shared which apps they’ve replaced over the past 18 months, what their primary motivation was in doing so, and what were their most important factors in choosing the replacement solution.

Marketing automation (24%), CRM (23%), SEO (23%), email marketing (22%), and work/project management (19%) apps were the most frequently replaced.

As I highlighted in blue in the chart above, the #1 most commonly cited factor in choosing their replacement solution was integration capabilities/open API — selected by 56% respondents, up 13% points from the same survey in 2021.

It’s a top 5 theme of this decade in martech: platforms, networks & marketplaces.

Of course, this isn’t to say that the other factors — cost, support, security, etc. — weren’t important too. But the factor that most marketers agreed on was integration. If it won’t integrate with the rest of the tech stack, everything else is moot. It’s the tree that falls in the forest without anyone around to hear it.

The second most common factor was data centralization/data capabilities (chosen by 50% of respondents), which is closely tied to integration. After all, data is the foundational layer of integrations.

Tied in second also with 50% was “ability to measure ROI” — which is going to be on the top of everyone’s minds in our tighter economy. But to measure ROI, you need the data. And to get the data, you need integrations. These three factors are bound together by atomic forces.

But what motivated marketers to seek out a replacement solution in the first place?

Primary Motivation in Replacing a Martech System

When looking to replace a commercial app (the survey covers replacement of homegrown apps separately), the #1 motivation was better features (53%). Of course, this makes sense. Marketers look to martech to give them the capabilities necessary to perform in continually shifting and evolving markets. What you can do matters.

However, I would have expected the #2 motivation to be cost — seeking an alternative solution to reduce costs. That was the survey result in 2021.

But in 2022, better/easier integration was the second most common motivation (24%, up 5% points from 2021) to seek a replacement app. Essentially, a desire for better integration triggered 1 out of every 4 martech app replacement projects.

That’s pretty remarkable.

I’ve said this many times before to martech product teams: the market is speaking to you with a great booming voice in the sky, “Treat integration as a first-class feature!”

Increasingly, the martech industry — and the SaaS universe more broadly — have taken this to heart. A new research report from Pandium on the State of Integrations and APIs at 400 SaaS Companies shows that 86% of the Top 100 SaaS companies in the world now have a public integration marketplace. (73% of them have an in-app marketplace.)

Public Integration Marketplaces in Martech and SaaS

That’s impressive and a strong testament to the importance of app ecosystems for major SaaS companies.

But what’s even more telling is that 31% of seed-stage SaaS startups now feature a public integration marketplace too. Nearly 1 out 3 SaaS startups — which are especially strapped for time and resources, forced to make very hard choices about what to prioritize — have chosen to prioritize developing both integrations and a marketplace to make it easy for customers to discover and use them.

It’s heartening to see martech buyers and sellers agree: integration is key.

We still have further to go on this journey of martech platforms and ecosystems. But as an industry, at least’s we’re all marching in the same direction with a much more seamlessly and powerfully integrated future on the horizon ahead.

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