B2B Marketing Tools: Shiny Objects or Real Results

The Marketing Stack must serve the business needs. Dozens of platforms and hundreds of applications are available. Each costs time to install, implement, and integrate. Many also cost money, some extravagant amounts. While it is tempting to try the latest cool tool, B2B marketers must consider these downsides. Ultimately, the tool must allow, actually more than allow, it must facilitate the provision of quality leads to the Sales department. Furthermore, the benefits should outweigh the outlay of time and funds.

Prevention, not falling for shininess, is better than removing sparkles from the stack. The latter gives rise to the sunk cost fallacy. No matter how clumsy the software, no matter how much it duplicates other tools, no matter the number of problems, the temptation is to note that so much time and money has been invested, the tool must be made to work and marketers must be required to use it. Past hassles and costs are harbingers of future troubles. The only benefit of this tool is as a lesson learned: prevention!

Prevention for simple inexpensive tools can also be simple and inexpensive. If some of the following questions have ‘no’ as the answer, it is time to ignore the shine and either do without or find a better solution.

Does this tool

  • contribute to finding quality leads?
  • fill a need unmet by existing tools?
  • cost less than it returns?
  • install quickly on one of the existing platforms (marketing automation or CRM)?
  • require little or no implementation effort?
  • have good reviews from similar companies?

For complex systems such as the platforms mentioned above, a substantial search and selection process is needed. Steps include:

  1. Defining the features needed and weighting them, a process that must include all types of users: marketers, sellers, administrators, managers, and executives.
  2. Identifying a number of possible systems to create the ‘long list’.
  3. Whittling the long list down to the ‘short list’ by examining the most heavily-weighted features.
  4. Possibly sending a Request for Quote/Proposal if this is common for this type of system.
  5. Scoring the features of all of the systems.
  6. Comparing current and future prices (e.g., as the number of users and/or database size  increase) for two or three finalists.

This process may take the luster off the choices so that the selection is based on reason, not sparkle.

RightWave can support several marketing automation systems and many complementary products. For more information contact RightWave .


  1. Bearton, Anita. “Does Size Matter With Martech Stacks?”. CMSWire, August 16, 2021.
  2. MacNeil, Caeleigh.  “How the sunk cost fallacy influences our decisions”. Asana, January 10, 2022.
  3. Smith, Eric Arthur. “Too much Martech: How many tools do you really need?”. Chief Marketer, January 23, 2022.

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