Not every car can travel the same roads effectively. The same is true for investing in marketing technology.
Marketing technology has become a critical asset for marketers, but you shouldn’t just buy the first shiny tool you see. You have to purchase technology that adds value to your particular needs as a business. It may sound like common sense, but it’s the reason why 7 out of 10 companies fail at digital transformation, and only a mere 16% of business executives state their transformation efforts are working.
This blog post will help you make better choices for your marketing technology investments. We will explain what MarTech is, how the game has changed recently and what your approach should be when looking to add to your MarTech stack.
What is MarTech?
‘MarTech’ is a shorthand way of saying marketing technology. It refers to the range of software and tools that assist with your marketing efforts or objectives. If a tool helps you bring in more leads, analyse those leads or even just helps you reach out to potential customers, it can be classified as ‘MarTech’.
When a marketing team utilizes a grouping of marketing technologies, this is known as their marketing technology stack. Your marketing technology, or MarTech stack, is critical to achieving success with regards to how the tools work together, which tools you choose and how you use them. Just like a car, it has the ability to take you somewhere, but if you don’t know how to drive, it may just set you up for disaster.
2021 - The year of the smarter MarTech Stack
The 2020s have not been kind to any industry, to say the least. While previous years had companies investing in new marketing technologies and experimenting with new approaches, 2020 had companies dealing with the excesses of tools that may have performed functions that were no longer needed or too expensive to indulge. In fact, if Gartner is to be believed, businesses only used 58% of their potential MarTech capabilities.
This year, in 2021, businesses are correcting their mistake. 2021 is about making the most with the tools that you have. With constrained budgets, Covid uncertainty and the hangover from 2020, now is the time to get smart with your MarTech stack, selecting what you need, and discarding the rest.
However, with so many tools available on the market, how do you choose the right ones for you and your business objectives? The answer is, as always: the ones that fit.
Flexibility is key
The rise of flexible ecosystems
The modern marketer needs tools that adapt to their needs on the fly. They need to be able to take data from one tool and easily apply it to another to generate insights for marketing efforts. This need, when combined with the new push to use MarTech stacks intelligently and efficiently, means that the days of super-suite marketing tools are numbered.
Today’s ecosystem of tools and solutions on offer need to be flexible and integrate with one another instead of isolating themselves to one suite. Solutions and tools that offer this enable marketers to create a frictionless environment of collaboration across their organisation.
To ensure that the tools you use will be able to be efficient and flexible, you should look out for the following traits:
*The solution has an API-first approach.*The solution includes automation.
- *The solution can scale efficiently and economically.
- *The solution has integration options with other platforms or tools.
Strategy first, technology second
Look where you’re going and MarTech will get you there
Having the fastest car doesn’t mean anything if you’re blind. You need a vision for your marketing, a solid strategy before you invest in a top-of-the-line platform that promises to solve all of your needs and world hunger. The truth is, your platform won’t do either of those if you don’t have a strategy.
The real value of marketing software isn’t hidden in any comparison or performance sheet, it’s in the strategy and approaches it enables you to take. MarTech is not a strategy in of itself - it’s something that supports and enhances an existing strategy.
For marketers, you need to start by creating a strategy. Only then should you begin to find the right tools and technology that will support your strategy.
Marketers can begin by following these steps:
- Identify your strategy - essentially where you find potential customers, how you want to attract them and where you make the sale.
- Carefully analyse your current marketing practices that perform the above actions.
- Identify where your practices match the strategy and where they block it.
- Find out where you lack processes and where you can do things more efficiently.
- Once you’ve mapped these processes, you can select tools to perform them.
To discover the processes that you lack, it helps to take the time to think about your customer journey, match processes to each point and find the gaps in your strategy.
You need to match a process to:
*How they find out about you.*Where they come from (or hang out).
- *How they interact with your brand.
- *What they need to know before making a purchase.
In other words, you need to find technology that:
*Provides more information at the moment your customers find out about you.*Increases your visibility on the channel they usually come from.
- *Helps your customers interact with your brand.
- *Gives the information your customers need before they make a purchase
To emphasise the point, you need to select your marketing tools to complement your strategy, not acquire the marketing tools and form a strategy around them. A strategy-centric approach is always superior to a technology-centric approach.
The anatomy of a MarTech stack
Everything you need to implement your strategy
If we could give you a one-size-fits-all solution for your MarTech stack, there wouldn’t be a 70% failure rate for digital transformation efforts, and only 16% of business executives claiming their tech stacks are effective.
The reality is absurdly straightforward - different businesses require different solutions.
Having said that, there are some MarTech solutions that are commonly used to enhance the basics of every marketing strategy: attracting leads, engaging leads and analysing the results.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, your strategy should always involve generating leads. However, the digital advertising space is highly competitive, which means you have to get the most out of your marketing tools if you expect to generate leads online.
Here is a list of commonly used tools. Remember always creating user stories and describe your needs, start simple and grow it as needed.
MarTech to consider
It doesn’t matter how many leads you have if you can’t turn them into customers. In the world of digital marketing, you do this by engaging them and providing them with the content they need at the right time through the right channel. MarTech that engages your leads enables you to do this.
Analysing the results
You will never know if your sales and marketing approaches are effective if you do not have the right tools to confirm your hopes and suspicions. This is why analysing the results of your marketing efforts is so important. It’s the key to improving consistently while avoiding costly mistakes.
Our final piece of advice: Walk before you fly - or find a pilot
Just because you have a fancy piece of marketing technology (or a stack of them for that matter) doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use it effectively or even in the correct way.
Marketing solutions that are set up incorrectly or measure the wrong metrics easily steer your company in the wrong direction and could even cause enough disruption to hurt your bottom line. This is why it is critical to have the proper training, experience and knowledge to use the technology you select effectively.
If you don’t have the experience to use marketing technology or the time to learn it gradually, all is not lost. Experts, such as our dream team at Engagement Factory, can help you make the right decisions and implement an effective strategy that works for your needs.
An excellent place to start is to take our free interactive quiz on which kinds of technology solutions are suitable for your business objectives and, more importantly, which would satisfy your company’s needs today.
You can also always contact us directly, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
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