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A Comprehensive Guide to A Successful Martech Strategy
Technology has been a game changer for the last two decades due to several biological and environmental changes going on. It has transformed how businesses work and connect with their target audience. Businesses have transformed the way they connect with customers and execute strategies digitally.
Adapting to changes in customer behavior is a major concern for brands in this advanced era. The increased competition has further compelled top marketing leaders to make quick changes to their digital marketing plans. Flexibility, thoughtfulness, and persistence are at test.
Businesses are constantly looking for innovative ways to reach their customers without being pushy. One of the key takeaways is the vitality of digital marketing technology to implement a sound marketing strategy. Marketing technology, or MarTech is an umbrella term for software and tools that help brands achieve marketing goals or objectives. First, let’s dive a little deeper into the definition of marketing technology to understand its technical meaning.
What is Marketing Technology or MarTech?
Marketing Technology or MarTech is an all-inclusive term for software that allows marketers to plan, implement, and analyze marketing campaigns. MarTech has become more important than ever In the digital first era. These tech tools help marketers to streamline and automate marketing processes to drive better results. The role of MarTech is not restricted to only implementation. It allows businesses to collect and understand their customers by simplifying data into tangible analytics.
A brand can find and connect with different buyer personas with reduced efforts using marketing technology. When businesses are able to align the MarTech stack with the customer experience journey, the results become fruitful.
Why is MarTech Essential?
Initially, it was difficult for marketers to deliver the experience customers expected. This led to the rise of marketing technology as it was agile, fast, and easy to use. Now, marketing technology has become an essential part of advertising and brand promoting. Businesses have come out of the challenge, and thus a major digital evolution has already taken its place. Intelligent marketing technology has become the prime differentiator among brands in 2022. A fitting example of how MarTech can impact businesses is New York Road Runners (NYRR).
4 Key Stages to Create an Ideal MarTech Strategy
No doubt, digital innovation has become more important for businesses because of the competition and advancements that have been going on in the market for the past decade. So, businesses must analyze the digital and environmental changes to move forth with the transition. An ideal MarTech strategy involves careful consideration of business needs, resources, and organizational adaptability. When marketers are aware of business goals and requirements, it becomes simpler to understand the MarTech strategy.
Creating a suitable MarTech strategy that aligns with business vision is not a complex task when done strategically. Top marketers around the globe follow these 4-stage plan to select the ideal marketing technology.
Stage 1: Planning
The cornerstone of a great strategy is finding the needs of the business. So, the first stage includes identification of needs for the marketing technology. These needs majorly revolve around customer experience and the marketing channels. A good plan is equipped with rich insights that accelerate your marketing strategy to fulfill business goals and customer expectations.
Stage 2: Resource Planning
The MarTech plan and roadmap must be set in the first stage. Now, in the second stage, marketers must assess the training needs for people involved in the implementation of the MarTech strategy. These trainings are primarily designed for employees, top leaders, partners, and teams to get accustomed to the MarTech strategy. A diligent marketer ensures that the marketing team is structured, trained and ready to handle redefined roles and strategies.
Stage 3: Platform Selection
The third stage is a union of the insights mined out from stage 1 and stage 2. So, stage 3 starts after a business is aware of the needs and resources needed for plan fulfillment. It involves selecting the right marketing tools to help build and employ the marketing strategy. Platform selection is the most vital step. Technology powers all the marketing operations ranging from advertising, promotion and sales to content, data, and customer management.
Stage 4: Assessment and Analysis
Employing MarTech is a big decision for brands as it might sometimes lead to major changes in the way they function. So, it’s important for marketers to understand the impact of these changes in the long run. It can be divided into two parts.
- The implementation of MarTech solution(s) and;
- How marketing runs with MarTech platforms in place?
Remember, the assessment and analysis is all about researching regarding the speed, adaptability, testing and optimization.
5 Actionable Tips to Avoid MarTech Mistakes
MarTech has become a staple in digital marketing campaigns. They can also be used to optimize marketing efforts across any marketing channel. A sound MarTech strategy can accelerate marketing efforts and enable businesses to fulfill strategic business goals with ease. However, businesses need to support their MarTech strategy with a skilled team and agile resources to stay on the desired roadmap. It is easier said than done but it is possible if marketers follow these five recommendations.
1. Cut Down Costs at the Expense of Growth
This is one of the biggest mistakes that can make a bad financial situation worse. More importantly, a business can almost never save enough to be profitable. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who are in the early days of their bootstrapped startup’s journey. So, the focus should be clear from day one.
When the priority is growth, cutting down expenses on marketing is a bad idea. Marketing efforts take time and repetition to register and generate impactful results. It is recommended to be prepared. So, even if MarTech implementation affects input costs initially, it is an ideal way to gain profits in the longer run.
2. Setting Unrealistic Targets with MarTech Reforms
This point emphasizes the importance of stage one of the planning process. MarTech implementation can do more damage than good when business goals, needs, and capabilities are not coordinated. So, marketers need to ensure that the targets and expectations of everybody involved in the transition are real. Setting unrealistic targets can eventually severely impact businesses and even lead to their downfall.
Short-term ramifications of unrealistic goal setting are missed delivery dates, compromised work quality, overrunning costs, and resource unavailability. Long-term ramifications include low team morale, mismanagement, and increased employee turnover.
3. Buying Tools more than Needs and Setting Unrealistic Expectations from what they can Deliver
Hundreds and thousands of marketing tools have been released in the market, and this variety of choice often confuses marketing techs about which one to solely invest in. For this reason, they start to spend more on purchasing more tools than needed without realizing what their needs are and what the tools can actually deliver.
Thus, it is mandatory to do a self-check on the opportunities that you already have. Higher are the chances that you already own the tool that you need, or maybe one same tool can fulfill all what you require. One must research well on the tools' integrations, and their capabilities because brand owners often deceive you by showing unrealistic tool results and targets achieved. Know that you are not the same brand, you have your own hurdles, challenges, business goals and needs. Hence the same tool whose unrealistic success story you have watched may not even be the right tool for your marketing needs.
The best way to overcome this hurdle is to first know your goals, needs and plan. Then work on researching various tools and see which one has the most potential to solve all of your challenges and needs. Sort out a few, and educate yourself about the tools. Research about their capabilities, user reviews, team training, tool complexity and then invest on the one that’s most suitable according to your situation.
4. Failure to Align Marketing Efforts with the Customer’s Behavioral Change
Even after doing everything right, there are times when a marketer is unable to facilitate conversions smoothly. The same tricks that worked for you earlier might not work today as customer behavior is extremely volatile. The best example of the rapid shift in consumer behavioral change is the coronavirus pandemic. It is also a notable example of how businesses fail to align their marketing efforts rapidly with these changes.
Hence to cope up with the changing customer preferences and market competition trends, an agile customer experience strategy that makes businesses capable of handling behavioral and technical transformations is needed. When marketers are not aware of these changes, the time, money and effort put in by the marketing team is wasted.
5. Onboard Digital Agency Haphazardly
One of the most important aspects of the MarTech implementation processes includes hiring an experienced agency that helps smoothen the transition. Therefore, choosing a digital solutions agency that understands your business requirements and team is necessary. Read about the agency’s earlier work in the same field or industry. This is useful to understand the working and caliber of the agency. Collect reviews from their clients and see if their work inspires you to go forward with your ideas.
Shortlist a few top ones, and then the one that suits all your requirements is the one to go for. Do not hesitate or think twice about the time involved, as good things take time. Businesses finding it difficult to break up with their current digital agency due to safety reasons should not panic at all.
6. Not Factor-in Security Risks during the Digital Transformation Journey
Applying marketing technology and assessing the results is a long-term process. MarTech implementation can be a complex and overwhelming change for some businesses. So, brands need to give time to every process involved in this journey.
Marketers also need to diligently consider and be ready against any risks that might come up in the future. Marketers should not push the digital transformation process without careful consideration of future security risks. Doing this may significantly decrease the efficiency of the implemented MarTech strategy.
Be prepared against all potential risks as unexpected changes in market or customer behavior may cause panic in the marketing team. Businesses that know what potential threats and risks can affect their marketing game; they are prepared for anything and everything.
Align Your MarTech To Your Business Vision
When the focus on efficiency of MarTech tools is more than targeted audience or the marketing strategy, failure is almost certain. So, this is not the right approach to achieve optimized results. Marketers that prioritize business needs and create a plan accordingly are more likely to generate better output.
Once the marketing plan is ready, the business needs to assess the resources and tools required to implement it. Then comes the time to equip the team with required skills before finalizing MarTech tools. This allows businesses to save time, money, and effort simultaneously while driving traffic, leads and conversions.
MarTech is your way to go if you’re looking to extract the most out of your business. Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, hiring an innovative consultant with proven experience can speed up the transition safely. For more information, you can Explore Icreon’s Business Model Innovation Consulting Services.