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No one likes to waste money. And as they navigate the roller coaster of mixed signals about an economic recession and volatile inflation, marketing leaders face extra pressure to make each dollar count when it comes to their tech spend.   

Our latest data study tells us that there is a proven way to do this: Simplify your tech stack.  

We surveyed over 300 senior marketing executives and found that bloated tool sets come with hidden costs that hurt both the team and the bottom line. Here’s the case for consolidating your stack, as told by marketers.  

More tools don’t mean more ROI  

Our research reveals that an overload of tools makes it harder to know what the ROI is on your tech stack. More tools means more uncertainty. 57% of marketing leaders surveyed, who had over twenty tools in their tech stack, strongly doubted they’d reach their ROI goals. In contrast, less than 9% of those with under 20 tools had the same pessimistic outlook. 

Second-guessing ROI won’t do in today’s environment. To rise to the top, organizations need a structured ecosystem that gives every employee quick access to the actionable information they need to make profitable decisions. A consolidated platform ensures that the creative ideas and actionable customer insights your team works hard for are easy to find, interpret, and act on. 

Too many tech “solutions” are problems in disguise  

Our research also highlights how unintegrated “solutions” can weigh on teams. In fact, the total cost of ownership of a tool often includes a lot of overlooked components: 

  • Cost of the software itself  
  • Costs to implement the tool plus partner costs 
  • Cost of training and adoption 
  • Cost of integrating 
  • Costs of tool fatigue, switching costs, and burnout 
  • Costs of siloed data 
  • Costs of ongoing maintenance

These hidden costs only grow more taxing when solutions aren’t properly integrated: 72% of marketing leaders acknowledged that their tech stacks don’t function as seamlessly as they should. Translation? Teams are spending too much time creating workarounds for tools that should be working for them.  

And when teams can’t navigate solutions on their own, they turn to the IT department to sort through the confusion for them. 95% of senior marketers whose companies use 20+ tools agreed that marketers lean too heavily on the IT team. In fact, 52% of senior marketers are very or extremely reliant on their IT team to help them use marketing tools on a day-to-day basis. All of this lowers productivity and efficiency and boosts burnout.  

Furthermore, 85% of senior marketers said their IT team is left to make marketing decisions despite a lack of relevant experience. No offense to any of my friends in IT, but as a CMO myself, I wouldn’t count on IT to make decisions that directly impact my team's ability to plan and launch campaigns, create content, run experiments or measure marketing ROI.  

The lesson: Optimize what you’ve already invested in    

Marketers, there’s no need to come out of your next operations meeting anxious and uncertain about the value your tools deliver. Instead, let the data guide you to the next move.  

70% of senior marketers we surveyed admitted that their organizations approve investments in new technology solutions without a defined ROI plan sometimes, very often, or all the time. Your team can be the one to buck the pattern. 

So take a beat before placing yet another app on top of your teetering tech stack. Instead, embrace a single, composable platform to unlock the full value of all the data and talent that runs through your organization. The beauty of composability is that it lets you get the best parts of a consolidated stack, but also select one or two best of breed tools if needed. 

To read Optimizely’s latest data study and learn how Optimizely can help marketing teams uncover their hidden costs and maximize ROI, visit Confessions of a CMO: Uncovering Hidden Costs Impacting ROI