Businesses are searching for technology that streamlines digital transformation. Marketing is no exception, in fact it’s the rule. If you are a marketing professional — especially a digital marketer — it is guaranteed you will interact with at least one type of Marketing Technology (MarTech) in your average work day.
MarTech has become a necessary tool for many businesses. It allows you to gather complex information for sales and marketing. With these tools you can analyze data in order to automate sales and marketing processes with relative ease. The result of these technologies affects brands from the bottom-up if they are applied inside the organization effectively. Further, increased conversions, discovery, and reviews for real customers increases trust and brand positioning in the digital marketplace.
The ability to view what people are searching for on Google, and to see what’s Trending on Twitter and Facebook, has influenced the growth of this sector and it’s implementation across multiple industries. As the ClueTrain manifesto, and our own Manifesto on Culture and Social Technology explore, enhanced intelligence has changed the way business operate, stay motivated and accountable, and approach targets for reputation, sales, and positioning.
What’s more interesting might be the pressure digital transformation places upon executives to properly adapt to a connected company as we will see below.
First, let’s look at what the MarTech discussion means more closely.
What exactly is martech? As briefly touched on above, martech or ‘marketing technology’ refers to technology developed exclusively to increase a company’s marketing efficiency. It can fall under several categories with each fulfilling organizational marketing needs such as CRM, automation, and analytics. The software a company chooses to meet its needs is known as a marketing stack.
A marketing stack is unique to each business vertical, and it is developed with the specific goals, budget and marketing needs in mind. What is most important today, with the maturity of the sector, is that for each need there are several different solutions available for the same business problem.
Navigating the world of martech might sound like an overwhelming task, especially when you are just beginning to develop your marketing stack. However, there are a number of tools to help you overcome this challenge! GetApp is a popular review service that allows a decision maker to compare and contrast different business apps. It is useful for checking out and comparing similar software. TrustRadius and G2 Business Software provide the same value, review sites where you can see the pros and cons of each solution from leaders in your industry.
Dashboards and Data Science
Perhaps the most important thing these solutions provide is data — and lots of it. But data is virtually useless without proper organization. As we have touched on before regarding the efficiency of ads, engagement, and ROI, it is very important to ensure you are measuring the correct data. Visualizing your critical customer and sales information through the implementation of smart dashboards can make your business sink or swim.
The more important point is that while some dashboards are better than others your competitive edge in the digital marketing and data science space with big data comes down to coordinating business planning and operations with regular and systematic measurement and analysis. Being able to visualize information across your digital properties — your website, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page — is aided by gathering the performance of your digital properties with data visualization and management software. In other words, dashboards are so important because they organize the results from social sales and digital marketing.
The problem? Most of the time, marketing technology platforms offer built-in dashboards that allow a user to customize what they see with various filters. For many, however, this task alone has a high learning curve. For that reason, the human resources part of dashboards and big data has changed human resources needs.
With the growth of mobile and the coming wave of IoT information, we believe the battle for the best dashboard is long from over. The new offerings from Google for reporting — The Google Data Suite and Google 360 — have that built into Google Analytics and are a good free platform from which to view the onslaught ahead.
Think about improving your dashboard. Doing so offer also the invitation to learn and improve your marketing and sales efforts. What can data science do to improve your businesses position in the marketplace? Business intelligence gives you actionable knowledge to rapidly adapt to campaigns and other digital marketing investments that either doesn’t perform as expected, or that surpass expectations. If you are interested in the latter, we’d be happy to speak with you more on the subject of results focused strategy.
Machine Learning and Marketing Technology
The growth of social networking platforms is an obvious part of martech’s growth. However, what we’re looking to assess is the value of these SaaS platforms from a higher level. One way of changing our perspective on martech it follow not only the money, but consumer and buyer to customer behaviour ( that could mean either B2C, B2B, or H2H communication).
Machine learning underlines one of the most important parts of contemporary martech. From Twitter news, chats, and trending articles to the way Socedo and others target direct messages at your direct message inbox to the bot wars on message platforms, machine learning is the programmatic code behind these services that give marketers the thing we love most: specificity.
Qualifying customers is essential. More to the point, machine learning is so familiar it’s like water and electricity, a part of the web we enjoy and could not live without. Machine learning is another way to say, Artifical Intelligence. On that point, the is an obvious dark side. And while a hashtag gives us marketers the ability to target outreach, like when a hashtag trends, people can jump on the hashtag with spammy content. In many ways, this paragraph could be a novel on its own. But, we digress. This brings us to automation.
With the incoming horizon of better solutions, we believe it’s important to ask the following: am I automating too much; do I sound human? Marketers today, with so many tools to move people through the funnel, need to ask themselves about not only their reputation but the impression their digital marketing gives. We go into that below in our case study section. For now, let’s look at the way martech has changed business operations.
How Martech Impacts The C-Suite
The widespread adoption of martech by companies across multiple B2B and B2C sectors has resulted in new challenges in leadership. In the executive suite, the style of leadership that has been in place for most of the 21st century is experiencing a consistent shake-up due to disruption and innovation.
Martech and digital transformation are placing growing pressure on traditionally separate silos in such a way, entire departments are being combined, and rendering some executives obsolete. This is most apparent in sales and marketing departments. Digital transformation is allowing sales professionals and marketers to communicate and share data freely, resulting in one large integrated department. Because these two silos are now so closely intertwined as a result of
Digital transformation allows sales professionals and marketers to communicate and share data freely, resulting in coordinated departments. We believe this is representative of competitiveness. Because these two silos are now so closely intertwined however as a result of many new scenarios for decision-making teams tend to end up with a “too many cooks” scenario. Decision makers are asking why they need a CMO and a CCO when one person with a firm understanding of Martech — and ideally both sales and marketing — can run this new un-siloed department. The change in management eventually filters down to employees, as they embrace operations that integrate tasks between sales and marketing more closely.
Another impact arising from the growth of the power of the customer in the social marketplace there is another force driving change in the c-suite. This role is the consolidation of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) role. The role of the CDO is to help facilitate the change from an analog business to one that operates digitally. As we progress further into the digital age, we will see the increasing obsolescence of the CDO as companies with a strong digital focus will not see a need for the role. Instead, the CIO will take over the responsibilities and will oversee the implementation of any martech within the company. On the flipside of roles merging, there are new roles in the executive suite that are worth touching on briefly.
The Chief Customer Officer and Chief Culture Officer represent new executive roles that are increasingly being implemented by the largest Fortune 5000 companies. They are being implemented because of their value in an organization to help alleviate crises that can develop from bad business, social media fails, and viral customer feedback. Among these two roles, while they are not exactly interchangeable, both help to integrate the internal and external components of a brand’s culture. For example, both work to enhance human resource policies for social media and internal innovation, as well as such things as addressing all the touch points along the acquisition process for a new customer.
Among these two roles, while they are not exactly interchangeable, both help to integrate the internal and external components of a brand’s culture. For example, both work to enhance human resource policies for social media and internal innovation, as well as such things as addressing all the touch points along the acquisition process for a new customer.
Overall, Martech is both an innovative and disruptive force. And, as we progress into yet a more mature digital age, there will be more options and more pressure to adapt, to meet customer expectations and offer value at the right time, right place, and right moment. The decision to make is also, as we have seen, not only about technology but also on the approximation of capacity, intelligence, desire, intellect, and motivation. If you thought this suggests behavioral economics you’re right on the money.
Case Study #1
Business: New York Times
Sector: Publishing and Media
The New York Times have an average of 353.9 million websites visits per month. Due to Internet publishers and media’s reliance on revenue from digital advertisements, it is imperative for the NYT to obtain the highest page views per month as possible leading the impetus behind their expansive digital advertising strategy. They spend an estimated $660,189 on pay-per-click ads per month encompassing 11,903 distinct keywords.
The media goliath also uses retargeting email campaigns for people that have visited their website but do not pay a monthly subscription.
The business model for new organizations is broken. In order to evolve, nytimes.com has invested heavily in technology to stay competitive today. They use technology for not only complex advertising and retargeting campaigns, but also to understand user behavior and demographics in order to conceive nurturing campaigns. This is due to the new business model for not only the NYT but many news organizations that are introducing the “paywall.”
Website visitors and prospects must be nurtured to move down the sales funnel, so it is important to collect as much data as possible about these personas, and their place in the marketing funnel. Of course, like any business, the Times seeks to convert as many new paying customers as possible. The NYT uses Google Analytics, Yield Manager, SendGrid, Atlas, Bizo, Lotame Crowd Control, Optimizely and ClickTale.
Case Study #2
Sector: Beauty and Cosmetics
Sephora has an average of 29.3 million website visits per month. In order to maximize this traffic and obtain the highest conversion rate possible, the cosmetics giant utilizes retargeting ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google Adwords to promote urgency. They spend an estimated $150,000 per month on digital ads. To maximize the return on investment the large audience needs to be segmented to as granular as possible based on age, geolocation, preferred brands, skin type and budget in order to ensure the right ads are being showcased to the right personas.
In this case study, we are drawing data from a customer that views pages on the website relating to luxury skincare. These are examples of daily email promotion.
Sephora’s MarTech is complex but adheres to software that monitors user behavior and engagement to generate more personalization. They use Google Analytics to segment customer data based on geolocation, demographics, age, points of engagement, and pageviews. Then that data is segmented using Omniture SiteCatalyst, AdRoll, Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter ads and then advertisements are displayed to the corresponding targets.
MarTech is as much about learning how to use new tools, and make the business case for their employ at the executive level, to a multi-layered multi-departmental change process. The multiple fronts of digital transformation and their attendant challenges will not be reducing anytime soon. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more up-to-date conversations!