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Study: Why do marketers buy many tools which do the same thing?

Scott Brinker’s Landscape Supergraphic has become a go to annual report on the crowded martech space. What this report doesn’t capture is how the existence of different tools translates into adoption and usage.

At Hull, we’re interested in looking at how each client (and potential client) combines their different technologies. One of the tools we use to get this oversight is Datanyze which provides technographic profiles of a domain which is updated daily.

With our new Intercom and HubSpot connectors now in production, we looked into the data here and how their users had setup their own tools across six Datanyze feature categories:

  • Analytics and Tracking
  • Content Management Systems
  • Marketing Automation and Email Marketing
  • Hosted Forms
  • Support and Feedback
  • Online Testing Platforms

Here's the results -

Hull Datanyze - Other tool Usage of HubSpot, Intercom and Mailchimp users

Though this is incomplete in the sets of features, number of tools we looked at and Datanyze's own dataset, we do notice a handful of trends -

#1: Messaging tools are weak for analytics.

Though tools like HubSpot and Intercom are getting better at enabling tracking, they're still not the preferred analytics tools of choice.

The challenge here is to move all that valuable data of identifying individuals and all their actions, and moving that into the messaging tools. Analytics needs to move beyond analysis to driving action. This is only possible once that usage data is in the messaging tools.

#2: There's lots of duplication of email and marketing automation capability

Though it's not as high as analytics, there's a lot of duplication of the same or similar email and marketing automation functionality amongst all the install bases - 19% (Intercom), 13% (HubSpot) and 4% (Mailchimp).

Native integrations are rare (why develop integrations to your competitors?), so teams end up with multiple different tools which work alone and don't share their data. This means campaigns can't be fully co-ordinated.

Our experience with Hull clients is this is driven by the types of data you can send into a tool. For instance, one client was using both HubSpot and Customer.io for automating drip emails because they couldn't get all the user action and profile data they wanted into either tool. They had to use both.

The challenge here is for syncing the right data you need into the tools you have, so you don't have to go shopping for a new tool for a separate workflow and campaign. For instance, adding user actions into Mailchimp to trigger drip email campaigns there.

#3: More duplication with support and feedback tools

Intercom has multiple products for communicating with customers - Datanyze classified them with other support tools, though they've use cases with sales and marketing too. Even so, 1 in 11 accounts has another support and feedback tool they rely on. This is a similar proportion to HubSpot which doesn't even have a support or feedback feature.

Again, the challenge here is getting the right data to the tool your support team is using in a way that's useful to them...

You see a common theme occurring here?


Is this a problem for your team?

We call it a fRaNKenStacK - a disorganized collection of different tools. Do you have a fRaNKenStacK? Take the assessment!

Ed fry
Ed Fry

Prev 'Ed of Growth at Hull, working on all things content, acquisition & conversion. Conference speaker, flight hacker, prev. employee #1 at inbound.org (acq. HubSpot). Now at Behind The Growth

If you've questions or ideas, I'd love to geek out together on Twitter or LinkedIn. 👇