Are you a marketer, considering what you’ll need to build out your martech stack? Don’t know where to begin? Woke up one day and found yourself suddenly in the worst global crisis to affect the way we work and do business since WWII? Confused by all the acronyms – DAM, CMS, ESPs? You’re probably not alone.
Marketing technology can be a real asset to any company, maximizing marketing efficiency and return-on-investment. Today’s blog aims to break down some of the core considerations for building an effective and essential marketing technology stack that will help your marketing team sustain business goals in a tough economy, while managing tight budgets.
Indeed, companies are compelled by the pandemic to cut waste and unnecessary expenses where possible. That said, now’s a great time, as a marketer, to evaluate your current marketing stack, and look to replace or optimize any outdated and inefficient technology.
Let’s break this down into simpler steps.
Re-Evaluate Your Post-COVID Marketing Strategy
While most of the world waits for life to go back to “normal”, where we are free to go to travel, shop, dine at restaurants and watch crowded concerts once again, it might be wise for brands to quickly get used to this idea of the “new normal”. Things are probably not going to go back to the way they were – at least not for a long time. Even as lockdowns ease, it looks like consumer behavior and consumption in a home-based environment, rather than a professional- or institutions-based setting, is set to stay this way for the near and foreseeable future. For instance, consumers who downloaded grocery and food delivery apps, or started utilizing more fulfillment options like curbside pickup are finding that change in behavior sticking, even as stores start to re-open around the country. This is just one example of how the crisis has caused a huge shift in the customer journey.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
Brands need to quickly evaluate what has changed, in terms of what they offer customers and how they are buying, and if that shift is going to stay. Marketing teams should decide if their audience’s priorities have shifted and take that into account as they plan their marketing campaigns, and find the technology stack that will best help serve their needs.
Evaluate All Your Options
Now that you have your fine-tuned and adjusted marketing strategy, this gives you greater clarity into which martech tool and platform you might need to help you reach your goals. When selecting a martech tool, it might make sense to prioritize certain factors into the equation, given the new world order
1. Consider the move to cloud-based technology
These days, almost everyone is working from their homes. That’s great for easing traffic congestion in cities; not so great for companies that are used to relying on local servers for their data storage. Cloud-based technology allows companies to access their important files remotely, anytime, anywhere, without being tethered to a physical workplace location.
Consider utilizing a cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) system for data storage, streamlining content marketing efforts, managing brand compliance and marketing assets. Advanced DAM tools not only help with storage, but also facilitate customization and distribution of those assets to employees worldwide, quickly and easily.
A recent MariaDB global survey found that 40% of businesses are accelerating their move to the cloud, as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the way we work, and a further 51% are planning to move more applications to the cloud to prepare for future possible shutdowns. Similarly, this might be the right time for your company to take the plunge and adopt a cloud-based martech solution.
2. Prioritize personalization
With the deluge of digital marketing content available today, people are craving that personal connection. A recent study by Adobe found that a whopping two-thirds of respondents felt it was important for brands to automatically adjust content based on their current context, and 42% revealed they would be annoyed if content served to them isn’t personalized.
What does this tell your marketing team? That there is an underlying expectation from consumers today that brands are tailoring content and product recommendations directly to them (their very own, unique, segment-of-one). This need for personalization also applies to B2B marketing situations as well. Businesses want to know that solutions are customized to address their specific business needs. This is causes many B2B brands to deploy an account-based marketing strategy.
Thankfully, there’s also a martech solution for more personalization. Look for marketing automation tools that leverage AI and machine learning to tailor recommendations based on each user’s unique browsing history, recent visits and past purchase patterns. As the name suggests, marketing automation tools allow companies to trigger unique marketing messages to users automatically, powered by customer data and analytics. For example, an abandoned shopping cart might trigger a message through your email marketing strategy, asking a user to take a second look, or suggest other products they might like. Make sure you vet the varying types of marketing automation platforms to ensure you’re spending your marketing dollar on the platform that’s best suited for your needs.
3. Focus on retention over acquisition
The age-old conundrum facing marketing leaders: to focus on customer retention or acquisition? Obviously, both are important, but in a pinch (and given COVID-related budget constraints) focusing efforts and budget on retention will reap more benefits. For one, loyal and happy customers are also your best brand advocates. They are more likely to recommend your service to other people. That said, focusing on retention will naturally contribute to customer acquisition. And don’t discount the power of a recommendation. A positive testimonial is extremely valuable in furthering new consumers along the customer journey. In short, if you’re unsure whether to focus your marketing efforts on retention or acquisition, you just have to remember one thing. Happy customers are more likely to make return purchases and contribute to customer acquisition.
Investing in a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system, will allow you to know who your best customers are, what their buying patterns are like, and help your marketing operations team provide more effective recommendations that will keep them coming back. A good CRM system can also help support other marketing functions too, as understanding your best customers can help inform your social media and email marketing strategies as well.
Need help building your marketing tech stack? Don’t hesitate to contact us.