Marketing Technology Today
Marketing technology, also known as martech, is the mixing of technology and marketing techniques aimed at streamlining the ever-changing role of the marketer, especially those working in the digital marketing space. As marketing goes through its digital transformation, the duties of the marketer are evolving as well. To address this issue, martech companies are popping up at a rapid rate to provide marketers with tools that automate some of their responsibilities. As shown by Scott Brinker’s, now well-known infographic, the number of marketing technology companies has exploded from only 150 in 2011 to now more than 5,000 companies in 2017.
The role of the marketer has grown exponentially as improvements in technology allow them to analyze potential and current consumers in real-time. Successful marketing technology automates marketing processes, while also ensuring a personalized touch, so customers don’t feel that bombarded by a marketing campaign that is disconnected from their personal needs and concerns.
Too Much Tech
While all of this technology allows greater knowledge and efficiency in the marketing field, it can also lead to problems if not properly managed. Because of their complexities and numerous capabilities, an overload of martech can eat up a lot of time and money to train employees on how to put these tools to use effectively.
With new technology developed every day, companies often try to stay on the cutting edge and purchase tools they don’t actually need. They buy too many programs for their needs and then push them to the wayside because employees lack the expertise needed to use all of them properly. An overabundance of technology can even be hard keep track of, with employees forgetting, or never knowing, about their existence.
For example, have you ever needed to complete a task, and then after hours of tedious work, you discover that your company had a tool that could’ve helped you finish the task in half the time? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. This can often happen because employees aren’t aware of the availability or the capabilities of the technology at hand.
One solution, which was outlined in this recent article, is to create a whole new department within your company that handles martech. This sector should have its own budget and team specifically focused on purchasing and managing your marketing tools. Employees should have in-depth knowledge about each program and should be able to provide support and advice to ensure employees outside the sector are able to fully utilize the tools when they need them. However, we understand that some companies may have too small a budget or team to create a whole martech department, which leaves them to juggle too much technology. For those companies, we recommend three little words: simplify, simplify, simplify.
A daunting task, we know. We aren’t promising that it will be easy, but simplification will certainly reduce technology spend and hopefully encourage your marketing department to make better use of the technology you have in your marketing toolbox.
How to Choose the Right Martech
While all of this technology can be helpful to you as a marketer, it can be overwhelming to choose which programs are best for you and your company because of the sheer volume of martech applications available. To find success with marketing technology, you must choose to keep tools that your company actually needs and that will work together to ensure you and your marketing team are an efficient, well-oiled machine.
We think it’s best to take a strategic approach to simplifying your marketing tech stack. Think about your company’s goals and the makeup of your staff. These tools are meant to make marketing easier, so make sure they fit into your company by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Consider the basics.
When first scrutinizing your current tools and where to cut and expand your technology, consider the basics of your company or marketing department - your needs, budgets, and goals.
Your marketing tech stack should always support the most fundamental aspects of your company. If you have so many tools that no one can identify the information they need or even the tools available to them, it is most definitely time to scale back. The budget should also be top of mind. Consider the cost of the tool itself, its implementation, and the cost of training employees to use them. Tools can certainly up your efficiency, but if it’s negatively affecting your bottom line, no one will be pleased - no matter how quickly your automated emails were distributed. Finally, think about your goals: is this going to help better report your results and prove your value?
- Think about your growth.
When comparing marketing systems, it’s important to reflect on how the software will grow with your company. From your website creation platform, to your CRM system, to your marketing automation tools, there is a wide variety of tech available for businesses of varying sizes and budget restrictions. A CRM system that is best designed for an enterprise company may be too expensive, or unnecessarily extensive, for a small or mid-sized organization. Luckily, it is possible to choose software, like Hubspot, Pipedrive, or Salesforce, that will scale with you when you gain clients, increases revenue, or requires more features.
Having to rebuild your website after company growth, is never a fun time - we know from experience. Avoid the hassle by choosing technology that will smoothly transition as your company expands.
- Integrate your tech.
Integration is key for achieving maximum efficiency and success. When determining which tech to keep, cut, or add into your tech stack, a major point of contention should be whether or not it will easily integrate with your current tools. According to recent research from Allocadia, companies who regularly integrate tech in their marketing department, are five times more likely to experience 25 percent or more revenue growth than those who don’t integrate. Many systems have integration partners, so it’s not required to use the same company across all technology. Be sure to do your research before purchasing to plan which tools you’ll be using (and integrating) across the board.
- Analyze and adapt.
As with all the work you do in marketing, it’s important to analyze your results and adjust to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Be sure to ask yourself and your co-workers:
- Are our tools doing what we expected of them?
- Do our tools make our lives easier?
- Do we know how to use all of our technology effectively?
- Are our tools providing the data we need in a digestible manner?
If you identify any shortcomings, determine if it’s a training issue or a gap in your technology and then adapt to fix the problem. The analysis should happen on a monthly or quarterly basis to make sure your team has everything it needs to reach maximum success.
Keep It Simple (& Strategic)
There’s no way of telling how many new marketing tools will be available in 2018. Although more marketing technology is certainly bound to hit the marketplace, it’s important for you to strategically consider how you move forward with purchasing and using new tools. It’s exciting to be ahead of the curve, but be sure to ask yourself: do we need this program? Is this addressing an issue we have been dealing with? Will this improve our ROI or our ability to prove ROI?
If the answer is no, file the “cutting edge” tech away for another day and remember how much easier everything has gotten since you simplified.
Know anyone that needs to simplify? Share this with a friend!