Mapping the journey of customer interactions with your company encompasses analytics and personalization. By mapping user flow, from website to landing pages to subsequent pages, an idea is formed whether your goals are aligning with actual user experience. (Are they going to pages that have low value simply because of the way our navigation is organized? Conversely, are the most important pages hardest to find?)
The tools to map and understand these interactions, marketers use MarTech technology, platforms, software and tools.
The fusing of data analytics with the ability to deliver personalized content in the right digital form blends the principles of brand marketing and direct marketing. This requires core competencies in three areas: predictive modeling, martech stack creation, and content personalization at scale.
Thinking in these terms requires an extension of the traditional 4 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion. The extension is “Platform”.
What is MarTech?
MarTech, also known as marketing technology or marketing technology architecture, is a term used to describe the use of technology in accomplishing the predetermined set of marketing goals. It refers to the different tools, platforms and software that help marketers plan, execute, and analyze several marketing campaigns. These tools can collect data automatically and can provide different ways for the company to reach and engage with its target customers.
For most enterprises, the majority of customer interaction happens through their website. You can think of your website as the equivalent to your business’s storefront. Your website is the medium through which most prospects will form their first impression.
Now you’ve got a great website and you’ve invited your prospects to enter the marketing funnel. What’s next? You have to move your prospects down the marketing funnel and convert them to paying customers. An important tactic to keep in mind is to ensure that every interaction the customers have with you is outstanding.
Personalization, that is choices and interfaces that tell the viewer that their experience is uniquely theirs, guides each user individually based on what we know about them from their actions once on the site. This is accomplished by assigning a cookie to each visitor, which forms a history of where they go on the site, and then populates the next pages of the site based on that history.
This creates a truly “customized” experience for prospects.
Only by listening carefully to our customers — by seeking to understand their entire journey — can we serve customers effectively, by helping deliver what they truly need.
A critical element to your MarTech stack is the ability to measure, measure, measure! This means doing in-depth analysis of and reporting on key performance indicators that demonstrate how effectively an organization is achieving key business objectives.
Benefits of MarTech
Marketers and senior leadership teams well know of the shifts in buyers’ behavior (e.g. buyers don’t pay attention and do their own research) because they experience it themselves with every Amazon and Netflix interaction. They also know that traditional marketing is expensive and unpredictable. But knowing the problem is not the same as knowing what to do about it.
And, while there is a willingness to spend money, the gap between expectations for creating a personalized user experience (90% of customers expect one, while only 30% of companies deliver it), and the ability to know how to gather and apply data, and the right and proper use or architecture, strategy and technology is massive.
The opportunity for missteps and wasteful, misdirected spending is huge. Equally large are the opportunities for doing it right, such as:
Lower Costs – MarTech can reduce customer acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent.
Lift Revenue – MarTech can lift revenues up 30+%.
Increase Efficiency – Increase the efficiency of marketing spends by almost 30 percent.
Great Experiences – Deliver the experience consumers demand.
What is a MarTech stack?
A martech stack refers to the collection of different software, platforms and that work together to retain customers and attract new ones.
The martech stack is analogous to a car wherein there are many different parts and uses several technologies. Still, collectively, they work to get the vehicle from one place to another.
Key Tools in the MarTech Stack
Building a great martech stack is essential since it can help streamline communications throughout the company. Marketers have to keep in mind that all of the programs must complement each other and work well together. To realize the benefits of martech, o realize these types of goals, three things must happen.
First, marketing will need to shift their organizational structure to an agile ecosystem of internal and external partners. Second, they must scale personalized content through predictive modeling. And third, they need to build out a best-in-class martech stack with an open architecture that is future-friendly due to its Lego approach to connectivity.
- Identify the specific problem that must be resolved. Once they can do that, they can select the correct technology that can address that issue and provide a solution.
- Essentials. Before marketers can deal with a bunch of complex programs, they must have all the necessary and fundamental ones, such as marketing automation, content management system, analytics platforms, and customer relationship management.
- Website Analytics – This can help companies figure out how many, who, when, from where, and why people are taking notice of the company, its brand, and products.
- Content Management System (CMS) – Websites and online profiles of the company need to be updated regularly. CMS can help create meaningful and enticing content that can attract the attention of the audience.
- Marketing Automation – This specific technology can streamline the various process and improve user experience. It can personalize what should be presented to different consumers and when.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM tracks and manages different interactions with contacts, prospects and customers.
How to Build a Marketing Tech Stack
There is no out-of-the-box method for building your martech stack. Your company is unique, and your perfect marketing stack is not going to look exactly like anyone else’s.
1. Identify your primary marketing strategies and goals.
Before ever choosing a martech tool, you’ll need to outline your marketing strategies. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either: you simply need to have an idea of the basic strategies that you want to implement.
If you already have an established marketing team, take a look at the strategies that are currently in place. This will help you gauge, from the get-go, the types of tools you need.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you want to increase organic traffic to your website. The strategy for that would be SEO. Next, you want to capture leads. So you would invest in a website redesign strategy that highlights your calls-to-actions more efficiently.
Jot these strategies down in a document, then include ideas for possible tools you can use to implement the strategies. If you don’t know which tools you use, simply write that you’ll list them after further research.
- Goal: Increase organic traffic
- Strategy: SEO
- Tools: To be determined
- Goal: Get more visitors to convert
- Strategy: Redesign the website
- Tools: To be determined
2. Survey your team to find out their challenges.
Next, sit down with your team and find out the challenges they encounter when trying to execute their day-to-day duties.
What adds more time to their workflow? What makes their job harder?
While the conversation should be open-ended, try to connect their challenges to your marketing goals. For instance, if you want to increase organic traffic, ask what specifically your team finds challenging when trying to optimize the website. If they say keyword research takes too much time, then you’d know that you’ll need a keyword research tool specifically.
Jot these challenges down in the same document you’ve already started. Keep it simple — just a sentence or a few bullet points will do.
- Goal: Increase organic traffic
- Strategy: SEO
- Challenges: Keyword research takes too much time
- Tools: Keyword research tool that quickens the process
- Goal: Get more visitors to convert
- Strategy: Redesigned website
- Challenges: Unable to add CTAs because of the outdated backend system
- Tools: A new content management system that allows the team to add CTAs to any page
3. Establish an estimated budget.
Building your dream martech stack means nothing if you can’t afford it. As you begin to determine the types of tools you’ll need, think about the funds you’ll allot for them.
You can go several ways about this. You can determine a budget per tool or per strategy. Alternatively, you can choose a budget overall for the entire team in a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis.
Choosing a monthly budget is the best choice for small businesses without a dedicated finance team. Most tools are available on a monthly subscription basis, which makes it easier to drop one if it doesn’t work for the team.
You can also choose a budget per strategy. For instance, you can decide you’ll invest $200 a month in SEO tools.
Be sure to take into account the amount of seats you’ll need for the tool, or ensure the team is open to sharing one subscription. Most times, sharing a single subscription will work without a problem, and you can save a significant amount of money.
4. Research the tools you’ll consider for your martech stack.
Now that you have your strategies, your tool ideas, and your budget, it’s time to research the actual products you’ll add to your martech stack. If you’re a marketing leader, you can leave this task to individual team members, because they’ll be the ones using the tools.
It’s helpful to look at product curation posts to get a general idea of the offerings that are out there. For the keyword research challenges in your team, for example, you can look at a list of keyword research tools. If you’re looking for a new CMS, you should look at a list of the best CMS systems.
From there, you can investigate pricing, product reviews, and general fit for your team.
Make a list of the tech tools in a spreadsheet and include pricing and a general description of the product. From there, refine the list until you’ve decided on the tools you want to try out, and be sure to specify whether the tool needs a monthly or yearly subscription.
5. Consider non-marketing tools to add to your tech stack.
When we talk about the martech stack, we’re often caught up in marketing-specific tools. But there are a wide range of “general” tools that are useful for a marketing team.
Project management tools, collaboration platforms, and data sync software solutions are just a few of the products you can consider. Anything that cuts time from a complicated workflow is worth exploring. Google Drive would be an example, and so would Asana.
Add these products to your martech list, including the pricing and a brief description.
6. Compile the data that you’ll transfer into the tools.
After you’ve purchased the tools, it’s time to transfer the data. Already have a list of leads? How about Microsoft Word documents you’d like to import into Google Drive for collaborative editing?
Compile all of them in folders. Assign a type of data to each team member. For instance, one team member can compile the contacts from a conference. Another team member can compile the current templates you use for your social media posts. Another can compile all of the copy from the website for the website redesign.
When it’s time to sign up for the tools and adopt them, you can transfer these files and data and more easily pick up where you left off.
7. Assign one team member to create a workflow per tool.
Now that it’s time to adopt the martech tools, you don’t want to throw it out to your team without a workflow. That’s an easy way to end up with a subscription that no one is using.
Assign one team member to explore one specific tool. This team member will jot down workflow steps for using the tool effectively and write a step-by-step tutorial with screenshots. After, schedule a meeting for the team member to carry out a live tutorial.
Why? You can establish the best way to use the tool without a lot of guesswork. The process will be scattered and haphazard if everyone starts using the tool at once. By having a single uniform process, you can guarantee that every team member is using the tool to its fullest extent.
8. Analyze the tools’ success and switch solutions if necessary.
You don’t want to end up with an unused martech stack. Always audit your tools for their success — whether they effectively streamline workflows, automate tasks, and help your team do their work in a better way.
If not, there’s no shame in cancelling your subscription and going for another solution. Take a look at product curation posts, or research individual tools you may have heard of from other marketing leaders.
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