May 23, 2024

Understanding Martech Integration Tools to Connect your Marketing Systems

Martech integration tools are a game-changer for B2B marketers, offering a pathway to leverage the full value of their marketing technology (martech) stacks. According to the 2023 Martech Stackie Awards, today’s marketing teams find themselves juggling an average of 35 tools, each collecting and utilizing data in its own unique way. These tools seldom speak the same language, leading to data silos and marketing inefficiencies. Integration is the key to streamlining different data formats and employing the true potential of your martech stack.

In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of integration and the different types of tools available to businesses as a way of building a connected martech stack. We’ll look at the advantages and drawbacks of standalone tools with native integrations, comprehensive martech platforms with built-in integration, integration platforms that connect your marketing technologies, and integration application program interfaces (APIs) that allow you to build custom connections. Let’s dive in!

The role of martech integration tools in effective marketing

Martech integration tools are the secret sauce to amping up your B2B digital marketing game. A connected martech stack brings the following advantages to the table:

  • Nailing marketing attribution: By consolidating and enhancing data across multiple marketing platforms, integration tools enable more accurate insights into your marketing impact.
  • A clearer picture of your customer: Integration gives you a single, comprehensive view of your customer journey, making it easier to see how they interact with your brand across various channels and touchpoints.
  • Sharper insights and smarter decisions: With all your data in one place, you can dive deep into performance analysis, spot trends and develop strategies that are both informed and impactful.
  • Smoother running operations: Integration helps you to automate repetitive marketing tasks and cut out the clutter in your tech, data and processes. The result is a lean, mean marketing machine that gets more done with less.
  • A better experience for your customers: Consistent messaging and interaction across all channels. Check. Tailored targeting and personalized experiences? Double-check. Integration ensures your customers enjoy a seamless and engaging journey from start to finish.
  • Flexibility to scale: Whether you’re ramping up or scaling down, an integrated martech stack moves with you. This means you can adjust your toolkit without interrupting workflows, keeping your marketing strategy agile and responsive.
  • More bang for your buck: By making the most of the tools you have and eliminating the ones you don’t need. integration can help drive cost-efficiency across your martech integration. And when your campaigns are running smoothly, you’re looking at a better return.

Native integrations vs integration tools

Infographic showcasing different martech integration options.

Stand-alone tools with native integrations

Some of your marketing tools come with built-in connections that allow some of your applications to communicate seamlessly without the need for additional middleware or custom coding. The software vendor may provide native integrations to enable data sharing, functional cooperation and automation between two or more systems.

The built-in functionality typically facilitates easy connection and setup and an integration that is stable and reliable. Designed specifically for the tools they connect, these integrations offer optimized performance, tailored to the needs of users of each connected tool.

While native integrations are a straightforward solution for connecting various marketing tools, they cannot connect your entire martech ecosystem. Given the vast and diverse collection of marketing technologies, not every tool will have native integration available for every other tool in your stack, potentially leaving some of your valuable assets isolated. Additionally, some of your marketing tools will have specific limitations that restrict how third-party applications can interact with them.

Furthermore, native integrations typically focus on enabling basic communication and data exchange between the tools they’re designed to connect. However, they often don’t standardize data formats across different systems. When data moves between the tools connected via native integration, there isn’t always a mechanism in place to reconcile differences in data formats. This results in limited functionality, requiring additional steps or manual intervention to carry out specific tasks. Additionally, you may need to make further adjustments to ensure information is consistently interpreted and utilized across your entire martech ecosystem.


Hootsuite is an excellent example of a tool with native integration and one that you’re likely to be familiar with. It allows marketers to schedule posts, monitor conversations and analyze performance across multiple social channels from a single dashboard. However, connections with platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are limited, resulting in restricted functionality and limited reporting.  

People in a meeting looking over the laptop, tech connection and network overlays

Comprehensive marketing platforms with built-in integration

All-in-one martech platforms arise as a popular choice for building an integrated martech stack. Often marketed as a comprehensive customer relations management (CRM) or a marketing automation platform, these solutions provide more end-to-end integration solutions than stand-alone tools like Hootsuite. While stand-alone tools focus on specific marketing functions (e.g., social media management), all-in-one platforms aim to offer a broader range of functionalities. They include built-in integrations with content management systems (CMS), email, analytics, ecommerce, campaign technologies and more.

You’ll find some comprehensive platforms lean toward certain marketing activities, like ecommerce or digital advertising, and even certain industries, like real estate or retail. This specialization allows businesses to choose platforms that align with their marketing focus. Other platforms strive to be as versatile as possible, appealing to a broader audience.

Comprehensive platforms often prioritize ease of use. While they aim to simplify integration and operation, the initial setup and customization can be time-consuming, requiring in-depth knowledge. Additionally, while customized integration can be limited for some platforms, others offer options for customization and integration beyond their built-in connections, although this may require additional resources and technical expertise.

Some comprehensive marketing solutions standardize data collected from disparate systems, ensuring that data remains high quality and that systems run smoothly. However, the extent and effectiveness of data standardization can vary widely between platforms, which can significantly impact data-driven marketing decisions. Platforms that excel in this area typically offer stronger analytics and reporting capabilities, providing more accurate and cohesive data insights to support your marketing decisions.

One of the biggest drawbacks of an all-in-one marketing platform is the higher price tag, due to the broad range of features and built-in integrations.


Marketo: A lead management and marketing automation tool that supports the integration of your CRM software, CMS, Google Analytics, event software, ecommerce social media tools, Power BI and more.

HubSpot: A CRM platform that supports integration across CRM alternatives, email systems and CMS websites, as well as customer service, productivity and finance tools.

Hands holding cellphone with tech overlay showcasing network connection.

Martech integration platforms

Integration platforms facilitate the connection between disparate business technologies—including marketing technologies—enabling data sharing across different systems without the need for an all-in-one marketing platform. Integration platforms act as the glue that holds together various software applications, systems and tech tools, ensuring they can communicate and work in tandem. Designed with the specific purpose of bridging gaps in functionality and data formats, integration platforms allow marketing teams to create a cohesive martech ecosystem from a diverse set of tools. They are ideal in situations where businesses use specialized tools that weren’t inherently designed to work together.

Like all-in-one integrated marketing platforms, integration platforms are developed with user-friendliness in mind. They sport features like drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built connectors that take the hassle out of setup, especially if you’re not exactly a tech wizard.

Although many martech integration platforms offer intuitive interfaces, their functionalities can vary widely. Some provide features for marketing automation and campaign management. Some have advanced analytics and reporting functionalities. Some are dedicated to extract, transform, load (ETL) processes for data handling––connecting multiple platforms to collect, standardize and consolidate data into a single source. Others primarily support analytics and reporting through data aggregation, collecting and processing data across your marketing technologies and repackaging it into a usable format.

A common challenge with integration platforms is that customization and scalability can be limited. This can cause issues for your marketing team if full functionality and data sharing is obstructed by incompatible data formats or tools with third-party restrictions.

Integration platforms can be expensive. And despite their user-friendly design, some users may find there’s a steep learning curve involved in mastering their use. This includes understanding how to navigate the platform, utilize the data it collects and leverage the functionality it provides.

Furthermore, you must keep up with updates––both for the platform and the tools it connects––and continuously manage connections to maintain a seamless integration. Lastly, you’ll be relying on a third-party provider, which could introduce some security concerns, making it vital to ensure the platform you choose adheres to data protection and privacy standards.


MuleSoft: MuleSoft provides a couple different systems to connect multiple technologies and aggregate data. It features pre-built connectors and API integration for flexibility and scalability. It offers built-in security and legacy connection, among many other unique features. 

Jitterbit: A cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that features a mix of API integration and data integration. Jitterbit offers a low-code interface with over 400 built-in integrations, a no-code app builder and enterprise-grade security.

Artistic interpretation of a microchip with neon lights representing API integration.

Integration APIs

Using integration APIs means getting into the nitty-gritty of coding integrations. APIs are a set of rules and protocols that allow developers to integrate their software with existing applications. They are all about customization and flexibility, tailored for marketing teams that need a bit more than what pre-packaged integration platforms have to offer. Ideal for companies with unique needs, API tools let you craft the custom data paths and functionalities that you need.

However, connecting your marketing technologies with an API isn’t easy. Working with API tools demands tech know-how and can eat up both time and budget, especially when building from scratch. Developers may find it particularly difficult to customize integrations and workarounds for tools with data-sharing and third-party restrictions. And they come with their own set of challenges––keeping them scaled and updated requires time and expertise. Not to mention, security teams have to monitor every single integration point, as each new connection can increase cybersecurity risks. 

There are many different types of integration APIs. To start, opensource APIs are free and accessible, allowing developers to build on existing software solutions. Paid API integrations offer more advanced features, functionalities and support. There are also custom-built private APIs that connect internal systems and data within the business. In terms of protocols, REST APIs use RESTful programming to integrate websites and web applications like CRMs. SOAP APIs integrate Salesforce with other enterprise applications. The type of API you’ll need for integration depends on the tools in your martech stack, their data sources and formats, as well as the capabilities you’re looking for.

Ready to get started? Work with digital marketing experts

From intuitive platforms to custom-built integrations, connecting your martech stack is a complex process that requires planning and tech know-how. To determine which type of martech integration tool to work with and get your entire martech stack integrated, work with a digital marketing agency that specializes in martech integration. Ready to get started? Contact Elevation Marketing to discuss how we can unite your marketing technologies to enhance your marketing operations and drive better results.

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