There is no denying that marketing today is closely intertwined with technology and that technology has revolutionalised the whole marketing process in more ways than one. Strong digital presence is mandatory for any brand to reach today’s tech-savvy customers. And in order to do that, marketers are using automated drip emails and scheduled follow-up reminders to constantly be with their target audience when and where they need them.
However, today’s customers are also using and communicating via multiple channels, forcing marketing and sales teams to use systems that go beyond a traditional CRM platform. To understand and capture the entire customer relationship, brands need to create an integrated and flexible MarTech stack. A thoughtfully designed MarTech stack allows you, as a business, to deliver an effective, adaptable, and long-lasting customer experience.
According to findings from a Gartner CMO spend survey, MarTech is the single largest area of investment (29% of total marketing budget) within marketing programs.
What is MarTech?
MarTech basically refers to how businesses are using multiple marketing technologies together or in a “stack” in order to deliver a holistic, personalised, and integrated user experience! A stack has complementary marketing applications that share data so you are better equipped to run successful marketing campaigns.
Lost? Don’t be! Look below for an example of a MarTech Stack.
How MarTech is Used
MarTech enables marketers to ideate, execute, and track campaigns and strategies like never before. Marketing teams utilise MarTech to do a plethora of things, from collecting and tracking customer data, creating buyer personas, communicating with customers, identifying leads, all the way up to enhancing customer relationships (#somuch).
Imagine a small child building a lego tower. If even a single lego doesn’t fit, it immediately stops the growth of his tower. And removing already built pieces and adding new would require a lot of time and thinking. And what if the existing pieces are already doing great? Should he bring the whole tower down and build from scratch then? Building a MarTech stack is somewhat similar but thankfully, not this complicated.
A MarTech stack definitely requires a strong and stable foundation as this allows your marketing team to reduce the chaos that ensues with the large, almost overwhelming volume of data coming in from multiple channels. In the end, a robust stack allows you to use this data to make informed decisions and deliver a cohesive digital experience for existing and potential customers.
Ready to Build the Lego Tower?
Continue reading to find out our tips on building the ultimate MarTech stack for your 2020 business goals.
Evaluate your needs
With over a thousand marketing technology tools available, the starting point for building your stack is a thorough understanding of your business needs and goals. Involve various stakeholders in this discovery process. A gap analysis is a perfect way to identify opportunities and areas for improvement. A clear understanding of your business goals will ensure you build a stack that offers the optimal combination of marketing technologies.
Most organisations build as they grow and it is highly likely that you are already employing various marketing technologies. Before jumping into building an entirely new stack, go back and assess your existing technologies. Build a visual “blueprint” of what your current stack looks like, pinpoint redundancies, and then identify what can be integrated. You could use Ghostery, a free tool, to identify all possible marketing technologies used on particular websites (even competitors’) and see how all of them interact with each other.
Know the Journey
As your MarTech stack is a way to achieve your goals and engage customers throughout the buying cycle, it is imperative you map out and know the entire buyer journey. Once you know the buyer journey, it will be easier to research and design a stack that aligns at every touchpoint. Knowing the entire customer journey will create the right framework against which you can use technology to enhance the way you get things done.
Clean & Managed Data
A martech stack relies on shared data. If your data collection is poor or not being collected properly, then it’s time to step back and think about investing in a data management plan. Ensure that your inbound and outbound data is cleaned, validated, and analysed. Data is the lifeline of marketing campaigns, so take your time and sort, tag, and segment data before continuing to build your marketing stack.
High-quality content is central to your MarTech stack as this is what you are going to feed into your marketing solutions. Content engages and leads a potential customer through the buyer journey and help them convert. Therefore, it is necessary to audit and map out a clear content management plan. Understand what content is available, what potentially can be upcycled into videos or infographics, and what needs to be created from scratch.
Build Around Core Components
Once you have established what your business goals are and know your buyer journey, start building a stack around core components or hubs; the core technologies that make up the foundation of the stack.
An effective MarTech Stack is customer-centric and has the following components:
- Content Management System - Manage how you want to publish all form of content. Examples: Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, HubSpot. Not all businesses have the budget to create content from scratch, in which case, you can use tools such as Feedly, Scoop.It, or BuzzSumo.
- Content Marketing Platform - Simplify the way you create content and store work in a central location. Examples: Curata, Brandpoint, HubSpot, Contently, Marketo, Skyword
- Customer Relationship Management - Capture, store, and organise all valuable customer data. Nurture relationships and move clients through the sales process. Examples: Salesforce, HubSpot, Nimble, Oracle
- Social Media Management - Manage all social media content, advertising, and analytics. Track what content customers want. Examples: SproutSocial, HootSuite, Buffer
- Marketing Automation Platform - Have a centralised communication platform, where you can also manage all campaigns. Examples: Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Leadsquared
Be Agile, Be Flexible
Creating a MarTech stack doesn’t mean you sit back and relax. Evolving customer expectations will require on-going work at your end to ensure that your stack is delivering consistent experiences and literally “keeping up with the times.” Keep track of metrics to ensure that the stack is running like a well-oiled machine and helping you meet desired goals. Have consistent meetings with members from IT, vendor groups, customer service, sales, marketing, etc. to make sure all data and content is flowing as needed.
Quick Refresher - MarTech Matters
Well, we’ve established that MarTech matters and it will forever be a part of the marketing landscape. MarTech tools and platforms will continue to grow according to the needs of the customers and marketers. With an ever-increasing number of technologies at your fingertips, developing a stack that suits your brand needs is no easy feat but with all the above points, you should get a good head start. A successful MarTech stack offers the perfect blend of standardisation and flexibility. It allows you to stay connected with buyers and aligns sales and marketing teams. Brands that use MarTech are more likely to gain better insights and foster unique connections with customers. This, in turn, produces bottom-line results! Don’t we all want that?
Are you ready to build a MarTech portfolio that can transform your marketing in 2020? Tranfunnel has a team of MarTech experts who can deliver exactly what you need. Let’s talk!