By Cameron Katoozi, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
Do you know what tech your team uses for daily marketing activities and campaigns? You could be missing crucial tools or underutilizing current ones and never notice. Digital marketers must leverage their marketing technology (martech) stack in order to increase their reach, manage data, and engage with new customers. This is not an easy feat, as tool implementation and processes can take weeks or months to be streamlined across your organization. With the surplus of marketing tools that emerge in the B2B environment every day, it’s hard to determine which ones will be most effective for your business. How do you choose the right tools for you and your team?
Having strategies and processes behind each tool is what will provide the most value. This means you must consider the time it will take to onboard new tech with your employees, set up functions and processes, and restructure its use across the organization. First, you must evaluate your current processes and see what is lacking. You will need to map processes for tools that are missing, for example, lead generation, sales enablement, and data collection. Once you’ve analyzed your current strategy and identified what processes need to be created or reevaluated, then you can begin choosing new tech.
Evaluate Your Current Tech
First, it’s important to understand that there is not a one size fits all solution when it comes to prioritizing and choosing a martech stack. Every company is at a different level of marketing maturity that requires unique needs and foundations. Evaluating your current tech is the first step to understanding where you may have gaps and which tech can fill that void. How do you know what those gaps look like?
When evaluating a tech stack, there are 6 elements we like to categorize tools into:
- Attention: tools that capture the attention of your prospects, such as SEO, social media, and various inbound activities.
- Foundational: tech that enables automation in your business operations. These tools integrate with other tech and data that are vital to your sales and marketing success. Examples include reports, dashboards, and CMS.
- Orchestration: tools that assist marketers with arranging and planning efforts to be more seamless and efficient. Common tools include email marketing and website management platforms.
- Identification: tools that identify specific metrics of prospects to determine who fits your target audience and ICP. Examples are ABM tools, database providers, and sales prospecting tech.
- Engagement: tech that enables prospects to interact with your company through website functionality and outbound activities. Examples include ads, CRMs, and sales enablement.
- Optimize: Leveraging data you already have. Analyze the data to gather further insights that can later improve marketing and sales efforts. Examples are analytics, dashboards, and CRMs.
You should also keep in mind that one tool can cover multiple functions. For example, an ABM tool can cover Foundational and Engagement elements.
The Core Tools
There are thousands of available tools, making this saturated market harder to navigate. Many organizations tend to add new tech and forget about old ones. That approach can lead to wasted time, money, and effort on the tech you might not need in the first place. The purpose of your current martech assessment is to see what elements have been covered and what needs to be filled in. This establishes what core tools you have and what is still necessary.
Here are some core tools every successful marketing and sales organization should implement:
- CRM: customer retention management software will be crucial for sharing data between marketing and sales teams. CRM tools provide insights to customer data to understand when handoff should occur, or when a prospect requires nurturing. A quality CRM will track and record relationships across all platforms.
- Data Management: in our current age data is king, and we receive tons of it across different channels and campaigns. Having consolidated storage for that data avoids miscommunications across teams and streamlines operations. With proper data management, you can personalize and target prospects with more relevant content that caters to their needs. Your approach to customer data and its optimization is crucial.
- Digital Analytics: having a tool that can visualize journey paths, website metrics, and more can help you find new potential in your marketing efforts. Understanding how your customers engage 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, touches, and timing is critical to email efficiency.
- CMS: a content management system is essential for any website that has a blog or shares any type of marketing collateral including datasheets, white papers, brochures, and more. Ideally, your CMS should integrate with your website to allow for simple content upload, editing, and access to all members of your team.
- Ads: A proper digital advertising strategy should incorporate paid, search, social, and retargeting. These may require separate tools for each. Most importantly, whichever tool you choose should include tracking and measuring abilities.
- Automation: If you can only choose one tool to implement, I suggest you invest in a marketing automation platform. This tool helps you automate engagement with your target market to optimize your sales pipeline to accrue more leads and close more deals. With a proper marketing automation tool, you can run large-scale campaigns with a small team, by optimizing the management of leads, target personalization, and data insights. By automating certain elements of sales and marketing, you can save time, money, and extra resources.
Wrapping it Up
Remember – these tools will vary depending on the type of business you have. Some companies may need more or fewer tools depending on their current state. Also, these tools should not be used in isolation, they are meant to work in tandem. Choosing tools with more integration ability will save time. Breaking down the silos between sales and marketing will provide a smarter and more collaborative approach for your organization.
Having a well-balanced tech stack won’t happen overnight. It is something that will occur with the trial and error of various tools. With the excess of tools available and variations they provide, the most popular option won’t necessarily be the best option. Do your research, compare platforms, and schedule product demos to ensure you get the tech that will work optimally with your organization.