byCameron Katozzi, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
Do you know the technology your team uses in their daily marketing activities and campaigns? You may lose important tools or reduce the use of existing tools and never even notice. Digital marketers must leverage their own marketing technology (martech) in order to increase their reach, manage data, and interact with new customers. This is no easy feat, as the implementation of the tool and processes can take weeks or months to get organized across your organization. With an abundance of marketing tools popping up in the B2B environment every day, it’s hard to decide which one will be most effective for your business. How do you choose the right tools for you and your team?
Put the strategy first
Having the strategies and processes behind each tool is what will provide the most value. This means that you have to think about how long it will take you to configure new technology with your employees, set up functions and processes, and restructure its use across the organization. First, you should evaluate your current operations and find out what you are missing. You will need to map the processes for the missing tools, for example, lead generation, sales enablement, and data collection. Once you have analyzed your current strategy and decided which processes to create or re-evaluate, you can start choosing a new technology.
Evaluate your current technology
First, it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to prioritizing and selecting the martech range. Each company is at a different level of marketing maturity that requires unique needs and foundations. Evaluating current technology is the first step to understanding where gaps may exist and which technology can fill that void. How do you know what these gaps look like?
When evaluating a tech stack, there are 6 items we like to categorize tools by:
- Attention: Tools that capture the attention of potential customers, such as SEO, social media, and various internal activities.
- Foundation: Technology that enables automation in your business processes. These tools are integrated with other technologies and data that are vital to sales and marketing success. Examples include reports, dashboards, and a content management system.
- Coordinate: Tools that help marketers arrange and plan efforts to be more seamless and efficient. Popular tools include email marketing and website management platforms.
- identification: Tools that define certain metrics for probability to determine who fits your target audience and ICP. Examples include ABM tools, database providers, and sales research technology.
- courtship: Technology that enables potential customers to interact with your company through website functionality and outbound activities. Examples include advertising, customer relationship management, and sales enablement.
- to improve: Take advantage of the data you already have. Analyze the data to gather more insights that can subsequently improve your marketing and sales efforts. Examples are analytics, dashboards, and CRMs.
You should also keep in mind that one tool can cover multiple jobs. For example, an ABM tool can cover both foundational and interactive elements.
There are thousands of tools available, which makes navigating this saturated market even more difficult. Many organizations tend to add new technology and forget about old ones. This approach can waste time, money, and effort on technology that you may not need in the first place. The purpose of your current self-assessment is to find out what items were covered and what needs to be filled in. This identifies the essential tools you have and what is still necessary.
Here are some of the essential tools that every successful marketing and sales organization must implement:
- CRM: Customer retention management software will be essential for sharing data between marketing and sales teams. CRM tools provide insights into customer data to understand when a delivery should take place, or when a potential customer requires care. A high-quality CRM system will track and record relationships across all platforms.
- Data management: In our current era data is the theme, and we receive a lot of it through different channels and campaigns. Unified storage of that data avoids miscommunication between teams and simplifies operations. With proper data management, you can customize and target potential customers with more relevant content that meets their needs. Your approach to handling and improving customer data is critical.
- Digital Analytics: Having a tool that can visualize itineraries, website metrics, and more can help you find new possibilities in your marketing efforts. Understanding how your customers interact with your company through different channels provides valuable insights to improve current and future campaigns.
- Email Marketing: Email campaigns are a tried and true marketing channel. Having a tool that can automate campaign launch, touch ups, and timing is critical to email efficiency.
- CMS: A CMS is essential for any website that has a blog or shares any type of marketing materials including data sheets, technical documents, brochures, and more. Ideally, your CMS should integrate with your website to allow simple content to be uploaded, edited, and accessed by all members of your team.
- advertisements: A proper digital advertising strategy should include paid, search, social networking, and retargeting. These may require separate tools for each. Most importantly, the tool you choose should include tracking and scaling capabilities.
- Automation: If you can only choose one tool to implement, I suggest you invest in a marketing automation platform. This tool helps you to automate engagement with your target market to improve your sales pipeline to gain more leads and close more deals. With the right marketing automation tool, you can run large-scale campaigns with a small team, with improved lead management, target personalization, and data insights. By automating certain elements of sales and marketing, you can save time, money, and additional resources.
Remember – these tools will vary depending on the type of business you have. Some companies may need more or less tools depending on their current situation. Also, these tools should not be used in isolation, they are designed to work in tandem. Choosing tools that have a greater ability to integrate will save time. Breaking down the barriers between sales and marketing will provide a smarter, more collaborative approach to your organization.
A balanced tech stack won’t happen overnight. It’s something that will happen with trial and error in different tools. With the abundance of tools and the variations it offers, the most popular option won’t necessarily be the best one. Do your research, compare platforms, and schedule product demos to ensure you have the technology that will work optimally for your organization.