The Martech Canvas – From Selecting Tools to Achieving Commercial Goals

The Martech Canvas helps you navigate the 7000 tools in the Martech Landscape. In a seven-step process, you’ll find the exact tools that fit your company best, to achieve commercial goals.

Wow, the martech space is intimidating. Now what?

Scott Brinker’s famous Marketing Technology Landscape keeps growing larger year over year. Looking at the logo’s is an impressive sight, and a great way to make clear that the marketing technology is huge these days. But but after an initial wow-moment, it isn’t always clear what the next step should be.

That is why we’ve come up with a very useful Martech Canvas. The canvas helps you navigate the massive martech landscape. You can quickly start to to cut away the tools you don’t need, and find the ones that serve your commercial goals best.

We’ve started from what you already know, the Martech Landscape. We repositioned each of the six marketing technology landscape categories to make it more chronologically sound, so to speak, from generating content right down to the bottom line.

On the left you see the well-known martech landscape and on the right you see how we restructured the categories in matching colors.

Why we shuffled the existing Landscape categories

First, let’s look at what the Martech Canvas looks like in more detail.


After considerable research, we introduced the Martech Canvas last year. We explored how marketers en martech managers tend to plot their tools on a one pager, when they’re given ‘carte blanche’. People came up with many different, creative designs, but we found one underlying structure: the Martech Canvas. As you might have noticed, the canvas actually follows the end-to-end marketing process, the way you run marketing on a yearly and daily basis.

Let’s see how the Martech Lanscape categories have found their place in the Martech Canvas:

The green Commerce & Sales category is now funnel shaped on the far right end of the canvas. The marketing jobs to be done in this area ultimately result in generating leads or revenue. This is where the lead generation and nurturing takes place right up until the purchase (often B2C) or lead hand over to sales (often B2B). Conversion is key.

In the middle, you see the Advertising & Promotion, and Social & Relationships categories side by side, because marketers can publish content and messages simultaneously on social channels as well as via paid advertisements.

The PESO model defines the different content types pretty well: Paid, Earned & Shared and Owned content. These 3 types are also represented in the supergraphic categories and canvas. The Advertising & Promotion category refers to Paid, whereas Social & Relationships covers Earned & Shared content.

On the left, there is Content & Experience, because much of what marketing does starts with creating content and crafting a superior customer experience. This is typically Owned content.

Both Management and Data cover the entire process, from the creation of content to the generation of revenue.

In order to optimize revenue and conversion, marketers collect and explore customer Data. This represents the Return-side of the ROI. Let’s not forget about the Investment-side of ROI. Also the resources and productivity that generate the Return deserve attention, which in the I in ROI.

To coordinate this entire end-to-end process, a set of management tools is required. In the Management layer, marketing budget and speed to market, as well as resources like people and agencies are tracked.

With the new Martech Canvas in hand, it’s easier to keep a clear head when selecting marketing technology tools. It reminds you where in the marketing process your martech tools should add value.

How we found the right tech for a retail customer

We’ve used the Martech Canvas to discover which tools fit one of our retail customers best.

An important thing to know is that finding the right martech tools is an ongoing process, and it will never be finished. As your company’s business environment and strategic objectives change, so should your marketing technology stack, every month, every quarter, or every year.

Here’s what the process of considering and selecting tools looks like, as we refined requirements month over month, together with our retail client.  

Month 1:

Month 2:

Month 3:


Especially in the “under consideration” box on the right, tools come and go. Building your stack isn’t always just about adding new tools. Subtracting superfluous tools from your current stack can be just as important.

Notice how we trialed two similar tools in parallel, just to test the internal adoption and traction for a month or so. See Buffer and MeetEdgar in Social & Relationships, or TryInteract and Gleam in Content & Experience.

As a rule, you’ll want to keep your stack capable enough to be able to achieve strategic goals, but without making it unnecessarily complicated. And speaking of achieving strategic goals, we’ve developed a process to link strategic commercial goals to marketing technology, up next.

Achieving strategic goals with the right marketing technology

Good marketing technology, is technology that helps you reach your strategic goals. Before you can select the tools that suit your company, you’ll need to be very clear about your commercial goals, and which tasks need to be performed to achieve them.

We’ve created the Definition-of-Success to link marketing activities to measurable commercial goals.

Here’s what it looks like:

Together with our retail client, we filled out multiple of these Definition-of-Success post it’s, for several goals, and put them in the right Martech Canvas category.

The goals above are all related to effectiveness, but you could do the same for efficiency goals. Like so…

When we were done plotting goals on the Martech Canvas, it became clear which marketing technology tools we were going to use to achieve each of the commercial goals we wrote down.

How to select the tools you need to get things done in marketing

In summary, the above process in quite simple.

  1. Do the Martech Benchmark survey
  2. Print the canvas and write down your commercial goals (use post it’s)
  3. Stick the goals to the accompanying Martech Canvas categories
  4. Zoom in on the category, or subcategory of tools that helps reach your goals
  5. Refine martech tool requirements month over month
  6. Find your ideal, most effective marketing technology tools
  7. Reach your commercial goals.

So there you have it. This is how you start with a dazzling but ultimately confusing 7000 martech tools, and end up with a small subset of tools that help you reach commercial goals.

With the right procedures presented in this blog post, getting control over your marketing technology is easier than anyone could have thought.