Nearly 70% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in 2018 than they did last year, according to a survey of 500 marketing executives. The world of MarTech continues to grow substantially, with thousands of MarTech tools to choose from and an array of evolving trends to adopt and support.
There’s little doubt that the average MarTech stack at any given organization will continue to become more robust this year. In that same survey, roughly 80% of marketers said they introduced at least one to five new marketing technologies into their stack in 2017, and as marketing becomes more technology-driven, that number is likely to increase.
As you invest in more technology and continue building out your stack this year, consider these five tips to help ensure you get the most out of your MarTech:
- Make sure your marketing technologies are connected
A survey conducted by Leadspace and the Marketing Technology Industry Council found that the average number of MarTech products in a given stack is 16, with many B2B marketing teams leveraging over 20 MarTech tools. The subsequent report revealed that the biggest challenges marketers face when it comes to managing their stacks is having to maintain an overwhelming amount of technologies while also properly integrating all of them.
The success and effectiveness of a MarTech stack can be greatly hindered if other technologies are not well-integrated. An “unconnected” stack can drain massive amounts of internal resources, requiring manual labor that could otherwise be eliminated by automating processes. Furthermore, technologies that don’t communicate with one another will be limited in functionality and won’t be able to provide the best possible ROI.
A fully functional, well-connected stack lets marketers have a holistic view of their efforts, along with the ability to contribute to funnel growth, measure impact with end-to-end reporting, and tie marketing’s impact to revenue. When evaluating new tools this year, be sure to keep integration at the forefront and give careful consideration to how new technologies will interact with existing ones. As marketing becomes increasingly more technology-driven, it will remain essential that each element of your MarTech stack be interconnected to achieve as much value as possible.
- Leverage your stack to improve data quality
Many marketers are familiar with low-quality data issues and know that poor data can be a huge drain on budget and bandwidth. B2B marketers these days have access to overwhelming amounts of data, but if that data doesn’t maintain a certain level of quality, marketing’s performance will begin to decline.
Fortunately, there’s an endless array of MarTech tools that can help restore some integrity back into your database. This year, try to leverage technology that governs data before it goes into your database. Bad data can be a lot easier to clean up and validate if it’s done before that inaccurate or incomplete information has a chance to make it into your CRM.
It’s also a good idea to begin looking at your stack and how it will help you comply with the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Using technology to work toward compliance will help prevent the risk of receiving an enormous fine and, as a benefit, will also aid in improving the accuracy of your data. Start looking into how your marketing automation system and data management platform can prepare you for fast-approaching data privacy regulations.
One last way you can use marketing technology to promote data quality is by controlling access rights and permissions for who is able to manage or edit data. By specifying roles within your current technologies, you’ll be able to limit the number of people that can accidentally add duplicate or erroneous data.
And, if your current stack just isn’t cutting it when it comes to appending, standardizing, or cleansing data, you can always budget to purchase new tools and/or even have a MarTech service provider give you a hand.
- Know the value of your marketing technology
Sixty-nine percent of marketers agree that marketing ROI is the most important objective when it comes to their marketing technology strategy. Even though return on investment is a key factor in getting approval to implement new marketing technologies, marketers often have a difficult time calculating the exact value of a particular platform or solution.
While marketers say CRM and marketing automation have proven to be the most valuable, most MarTech tools outside of these categories have so far failed to prove their worth. In fact, only 12% of marketers consider the amount of value creation from their technologies to be significant — a number that clearly shows a serious disconnect between technology and its perceived benefit to marketers.
With the amount of investment required to adopt new tools, a big-ticket MarTech purchase must be backed by its ability to save money, improve processes, or contribute directly to strategic goals.
- Leverage MarTech to foster sales and marketing alignment
Most B2B organizations are heavily sales-focused, and much of marketing’s job is to support sales execution in an effort to drive revenue. Over the years, these two teams have moved out of their siloes in order to work together to achieve similar goals. Gartner predicts that the concept of sales funnels and marketing funnels will soon be replaced with the revenue funnel, a funnel that will unite both teams around their most important objective.
As sales and marketing align, a continued focus on generating qualified leads and an increased focus on enabling sales teams will need to exist. But, while most B2B marketers have already turned their attention to padding the pipeline and qualifying leads, more tools and capabilities likely exist within your stack that can be taken advantage of to directly support your reps.
Alignment between these two teams requires a much larger discussion, but take a look at the tools marketing already has at its disposal and how they can be better leveraged to aid sales in conversations with prospects and clients. It might even be worth evaluating new technologies within the sales support and enablement arena to help collectively add to that newly created revenue funnel.
- Implement new MarTech tools that align with strategic goals
Many marketers fall victim to the “shiny new object syndrome.” With over 5,000 MarTech tools out there, it’s difficult not to want to experiment with the latest and greatest technologies. However, new technology doesn’t always translate to increased performance.
When evaluating and adopting new technologies, it is important to focus on the needs of your organization. First, consider the processes and people your company has in place; then, determine if new technology will improve those processes and who will be responsible for managing any new tools. During this decision period, it’s essential to think about whether or not new technology is really needed and if the personnel on your team has enough time and expertise to implement a new system.
If you do take the plunge, give yourself time. Don’t rush into signing a contract if you don’t have a strategic plan of attack in place. Know what is expected from a particular platform or solution and have specific expectations when rolling out the new technology. Be able to justify your decision by knowing exactly how the tool will support your team and your organization.
MarTech is what we do!
If you need help implementing, integrating, or getting more out of your current stack, give us a call. We’re here to make you a marketing hero in 2018!
As a Marketing Associate, Justin Chormicle manages DemandGen’s social media, leads the company’s video marketing strategy, and supports many other demand generation efforts that help connect tomorrow’s Marketing Heroes with the support and knowledge they need to get started on their digital marketing journey.