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Whether you're a digital, brand, or content marketer, you might feel as if every vendor is serving you a new mix of letters. Sure, in-house marketers bat around acronyms like KPIs and MQLs. But that's just the beginning. Your company probably has a CRM platform and a CMS. It may also deploy more sophisticated data tools, such as a DMP, DSP, or CDP. Perhaps it also uses one of the many tools offered "as a service"—SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and so on.

Many of those acronyms (and initialisms) are driven by martech vendors that want to create niches for themselves to ensure a strong unique value proposition. As a result, everything becomes Something-as-a-Service or another catchy phrase that then warrants an acronym.

Marketers are drowning in martech alphabet soup.

They must sort through that haphazard collection of acronyms that vendors have created to market their products. Then, marketers have to select the right acronym and the right vendor. And, after all that, marketing teams have to do the work of turning that acronym chaos—the social listening tool, the public relations database, the email automation tool and its link to the sales CRM—into an integrated collection of tools that can help them reach their goals.

Improving Marketing ROI Increases Pressure to 'Acronymize'

If that matrix of technologies were not enough, marketers are feeling more pressure than ever to prove ROI for every facet of their marketing, from campaigns and operations to their patchwork of various vendor solutions. The unfortunate result is that talented teams often migrate from thinking strategically about customer-led objectives to "this is what we've got, so let's make it work."

Vendor solutions often lock marketers into certain approaches or tools that can reduce flexibility down the road, adding additional tactical salt to the lack-of-strategy wound.

Marketers need to take back control, discarding vendor alphabet soup for the right blend of integrated marketing tactics—one that is strategic for their businesses. They need to define what they're trying to accomplish and only then look for the right technology match.

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image of Tom Treanor

Tom Treanor is the global head of marketing at enterprise customer data platform Arm Treasure Data, where he drives strategy for the company's martech and data analytics tools.

Twitter: @RtMixMktg

LinkedIn: Tom Treanor