- August 31, 2018
- Posted by: Admin
- Category: Business plans, Uncategorized
Owner of Criterion.B, overseeing client strategy and company culture.
In 2014, Harvard Business Review published an article titled “The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist,” detailing marketing’s position as a function increasingly dependent on technology. Research from Gartner even suggested that a company’s chief marketing officer now spends more on technology than a chief information officer.
Each year, the marketing technology (martech) landscape expands. Just five years ago, business owners and marketing leadership had access to a couple hundred platforms, whereas they now have thousands at their fingertips. These platforms represent functions ranging from marketing automation to analytics, content syndication, social listening and more.
With so many tools to choose from, it is a daunting task to understand which platforms you need and what’s going to provide the best return on your investment.
No business should invest in all marketing technology tools. New tools not only require a monetary investment; they also require investments in due diligence, research, evaluation and analysis. At Criterion.B, we recommend to all of our clients that they first identify a strategy and long-term vision of how the tool will support their business goals before making any investments. With that said, there are several valuable types of tools for your marketing arsenal.
1. A Content Management System
Building your website on a user-friendly content management system (CMS) will significantly amplify your marketing efforts. A CMS enables you to add content and make updates to your website without HTML knowledge. This frees you from the expense and delay of relying on an IT person to make website updates.
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WordPress is a popular platform, and the ability to choose from seemingly endless options of plugins allows you to integrate easily with other marketing tools such as MailChimp, WooCommerce and Google Analytics.
When choosing a CMS, we recommend first determining what your requirements are in terms of features and integrations. For example, in marketing, it is essential that the CMS has the ability to integrate with other tools and has a customizable permalink structure.
2. A Web Analytics Platform
Gone are the days of not knowing which half of your marketing budget is wasted. The best part? It does not cost a dime to get your hands on a lot of data.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics platform that will help you determine which channels are driving traffic to your website. The platform also provides valuable behavior insights for actions users are taking after they arrive, such as the bounce rate.
Insights like these allow marketers to make changes where necessary. For example, if you notice higher unique page views for your blog post about affordable housing, you can target future blog posts to focus on this topic to further increase web traffic.
3. A Marketing Automation Tool
Automating certain parts of your marketing allows your team to do more with fewer resources. Lead nurturing, email drips, web form responses and such can be managed by workflows you set up just one time in a marketing automation tool like Infusionsoft.
When determining which marketing automation tool makes sense for your business, we recommend you consult with your colleagues and senior staff to agree on three core goals. What are the most important objectives of your marketing automation strategy? For example, your business goals may include optimizing productivity, increasing marketing return on investment (ROI), acquiring new customers, or aligning sales and marketing.
To implement a new automation tool, it is important to remember that implementation takes time and requires patience and frequent communication. Consider starting a change management program to help employees through the process, proactively address any issues with the new tool and train employees to use the software.
4. A Customer Relationship Manager
A customer relationship manager (CRM) probably does not immediately come to mind when thinking about marketing tools, but it should. After all, a major function of your marketing efforts is to drive leads for your sales team.
A CRM operating in sync with your website and marketing automation tool will help streamline your lead nurturing as well as help determine which channels produce the most qualified leads.
A CRM allows you to segment your contacts by various criteria, which can shorten the sales cycle. If you have a new offer for clients in the senior living space, for example, you might not want to send it to those in the economic development of mixed-use.
By gathering this information from leads, you can use it to segment your marketing for a more streamlined message. And for smaller organizations, a tool like HubSpot can serve as both a CRM and marketing automation tool in one.
Define Your Strategy Before Purchasing Martech Tools
If you are already paying a marketing agency or consultant, you may be able to take advantage of their martech stack. Marketing agencies and consultants rely on tools to do their jobs and often include the price of these tools in markup costs to their customers.
Finally, all the marketing tools in the world will not make up for a lack of strategy. Think of marketing tools as a vehicle and your marketing strategy as your GPS. You could have the fastest car on the market, but without a GPS, it is going to be difficult to get to where you want to go.
No matter the size of your organization, you only have so much in your budget to allocate to marketing tools. Let your strategy decide which tools you need, and not the other way around.