Jennifer Groese is the CMO at Winmo and currently oversees all marketing operations, including customer acquisition, product adoption and advocacy, and retention and experience.
As innovation within the marketing technology landscape begins to come to a halt, marketers are starting to dive deeper into their tech stacks to improve their overall digital strategies.
Through this process, marketers are being challenged to determine how to most effectively use their time, budget, and skills to ensure that martech is helping their teams meet their goals and, more importantly, meet the increasing demands of consumers. With a multitude of challenges appearing on the horizon of the marketing technology landscape, here are three immediate hurdles marketers are facing in 2019, and how to avoid them.
In this article, I highlight a few key ideas to think about when you’re considering how to create a content strategy.
Using Data to Its Full Potential
Thirty-three percent of brands feel that their biggest challenge in marketing measurement is data complexity. The average business has multiple different martech solutions collecting hundreds of different data points each day. This information overload has made it difficult for marketers to analyze the sheer amount of data and use it to make smart decisions that drive their marketing strategies.
To avoid the underlying complexities and better utilize the data from these technologies, here are a few tips to consider:
1. Fully integrate your stack
The success of your martech stack can be greatly hindered if the technologies don’t speak to one another. The ultimate goal of martech is to keep you from performing manual processes, but if your technologies don’t work together, that’s exactly what your team will be doing. With a fully connected stack, your data will seamlessly work through various technologies, giving you a holistic view of your contributions to funnel growth and, ultimately, end-to-end reporting that helps show marketing’s ROI.
2. Aim to improve data quality
There is no avoiding it; your data is going stale at a rapid rate. According to Reachforce research, every year, up to 18 percent of phone numbers change, 25-33 percent of email addresses become outdated, and up to 66 percent of people will change companies or job functions. It’s more important than ever to ensure what you’re putting into your marketing technologies is indeed accurate and up to date.
I recommend setting up an internal data management SOP to help define processes and help with items such as importing data (where should you accept new data from?) and how it’s cleaned before it is imported into your technologies. Also, define how often your company is auditing your data—anything stale should be deleted and anything out of date should be updated, typically on a quarterly or annual basis.
Additionally, set control access and permissions to select team members who are responsible for managing and editing data. This will limit the number of people that can create duplicate or invalid data.
3. Leverage tech for sales and marketing alignment
It’s not just marketing teams who are building their technology stack these days; sales teams have also become very advanced in integrating certain tools to help them work more efficiently. For ultimate success, ensure that your teams aren’t working in vacuums, siloing these technologies and data from each other. Instead, audit the tools being used and find efficiencies of expanding the use of them or integrating them all together to improve your sales pipeline. At the end of the day, you’re all working toward the same goal: company growth.
4. Think before investing in new technologies
Marketers are avid technology adapters. With thousands of martech tools out there, sometimes the hardest thing to ask yourself is, “Which tools do I really need and which are just nice-to-haves?”
When thinking about investing in new technologies, consider these questions:
- What problem does this technology solve?
- Does it integrate with my current technologies?
- Who will be responsible for managing the new technology?
- Does my team have the bandwidth and expertise to implement this new technology?
Measuring Martech's Attribution
Sixty-nine percent of marketers agree that marketing ROI is the most important objective when it comes to their martech strategy. However, according to a digital survey, companies are having a difficult time measuring the impact of optimized digital solutions. Results from the study indicate that only a quarter of marketers feel they have an excellent or good ability to measure bottom-line business impact. And with 29 percent of C-level counterparts being disappointed with marketing’s impact, the pressure for marketers to measure the ROI of their performance is more crucial than ever.
Here are a few ways marketers can utilize their martech stack to drive better reporting and begin proving ROI:
1. Track funnel conversions
Tracking the rate at which marketers can convert leads into opportunities and opportunities into customers is a great way to measure how useful your marketing technology is. This will not only help you identify which processes are pushing prospects down the funnel, but it will also help you predict how much revenue will be generated from those processes.
2. Analyze productivity
After investing in technology, analyze how your team performs with the new resource. Is the team producing more content in less time? Is more content being created by fewer team members? Is the content that is being produced increasing in quality? If your organization is spending less time conducting research and spreadsheets, improved performance is a bottom-line impact that stemmed from your martech investment.
3. Assess your marketing program
As mentioned before, there are enormous amounts of data being driven by martech platforms. As leads move through the funnel, there are three ways marketers should be looking at the data from acquisition, attribution, and account-based marketing to better prove ROI. In analyzing marketing data through these touchpoints, marketers can begin to:
- Evaluate the impact of various marketing programs.
- Allocate resources according to the acquisition of MQLs.
- Determine the best attribution model approach.
- Demonstrate marketing's contribution to the pipeline and revenue.
Creating Tailor-Made Customer Experiences
No doubt the increased data restrictions over the past year, especially with the introduction of GDPR, have forced marketers to think more strategically about how they communicate with their target audience. With this challenge, however, comes the opportunity to tighten relationships with consumers and reaffirm their brand promise throughout the customer journey.
So how can you use martech to create this tailored, authentic, and targeted customer experience? You’ve got to anticipate the customer’s needs before they do. You can achieve this with several technologies, including messaging, AI, machine learning, and geolocation.
Messing is a rapidly growing technology; the average revenue from messaging apps is expected to exceed $15 per user by 2020, driven primarily by chatbots. Chatbots have drastically increased customer service because they allow customers to reach a company at any given moment and simplify the online experience. According to sources, the majority of millennials who have interacted with a company’s chatbot reported that it positively affected their perception of the brand.
2. AI and machine learning
AI and machine learning not only automate manual processes your team has been doing for years, but they can also provide your audience with personalized, targeted, and relevant content. This gives customers the information they want to see while freeing up your team’s time to engage in higher-value customer interactions, taking your customer experience to the next level.
Marketers have been taking advantage of geolocation to tailor data-driven social ads based on a person's location, but it isn’t just great for advertising. Taco Bell has been using geolocation targeting on its mobile app. The brand is determining how close customers are so it can have their orders prepared and still hot when they arrive for pickup. This enhances the customer experience and spreads positive word-of-mouth affirmation from customer to customer.
All of these challenges present a multitude of opportunities for your brand to grow. Martech is supposed to make your life as a marketer easier, not harder. The sheer amount of technologies available and the amount of data they produce can be overwhelming—but investing in and integrating the right technologies can significantly help your department and company run more efficiently and see bigger results.