When to Utilize Each Channel

Whether you’re looking to market to new movers, acquire new patients, connect with new shoppers, or reach another group of potential customers, understanding where your target audience is in their journey is crucial to connecting with them at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. With information available in the blink of an eye, buyers have more options at their disposal than ever before. It’s important to connect with your customers in different ways depending on where they are along the buyer journey.

A Quick Recap of the Buyer Journey

The “buyer journey”, also referred to as the “purchase journey”, is a process that follows a customer from the moment they become aware that there might be a problem or they may have a need (for example, they need a new helmet), through their decision to obtain a good or service that meets that need (purchasing a new helmet from a sporting goods store). There are 3 universally noted steps in the buyer journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. As people move through this journey, what they share along the way can provide insight that allows for solution-focused marketing. The more you know about your buyer and what stage they’re at in the buyer journey, the better you can pivot and perfect your sales strategies.

The Awareness Stage

Before targeting anyone that’s in the awareness stage, it’s crucial to build out marketing personas to better understand who you’re trying to connect with. In the Awareness Stage, pain-points are acknowledged and identified. The buyer knows that there’s a problem or need, however, the solution or product/service might not be clear. Typically, as they begin their search, they’ll turn to the power of the internet. Within a few seconds of looking for the answer, groundwork is completed to move on to the consideration stage. So, make sure your website and social platforms have relevant blog posts, social posts, and online reviews using keywords and phrases related to the nature of your business, products, and services.

The Consideration Stage

Once the buyer has named the problem and sought out solutions, they enter what is called the Consideration Stage. In this stage, there’s an array of answers to their need. The buyer has found multiple solutions and has likely looked into some of them. There are a few ways you could connect with them during their time in this stage, however, we recommend a multichannel approach. With 55% of searches done via a smartphone and 42% done using a computer, it’s important to utilize digital ads and forms on your website (with the option for someone to provide their email and receive more information or downloadable content). Since 75% of people don’t scroll past the first search results page, increase your rank by showcasing any webinars, podcasts, and how-to videos you may have available. You could also segment your target market and send some of them postcards via direct mail (with a QR code linking to your website to track how this audience segment may engage). The key here is to get in front of the audience, quickly, and to be and stay memorable.

The Decision Stage

Once the buyer has narrowed their solution list, they’ve entered the Decision Stage. In this stage, nudge the buyer by helping them realize that your company provides the best solution to their need, whether that’s a product or service. You could connect with them via email and offer a discount code or special offer if they elect to go with your company, or you could implement a second, personalized direct mail touchpoint that advertises that same digital offer (for example, 10% off their purchase price).

For Example…

Let’s look at Joe in Boise, ID. He’s a mid-level executive for a local healthcare system. His focus is new patient acquisition. He’s looking for a way to connect with those moving into the area and beat the competition. He begins to search for an agency that could support the system’s marketing team in this initiative. His searches include: “marketing to new movers,” “patient acquisition,” and “demographics Boise, ID.” He peruses a few sites to find out the demographics of who’s moving into the area, what their needs are, and to find out which companies use the marketing tactics necessary to connect with new movers.

As Joe is searching – and navigating his awareness stage – your business pops up amongst a few others that specialize in the same area. He enters his email to download a case study you’ve done for another healthcare system as well as a guide to building new mover personas. With that download, you’ve piqued his interest, have become aware of his interest, and, while he’s still searching for more information, you’ve joined the list of prospects in the consideration phase. Hopefully, you’ve convinced him that you should be at the top of that list. You also now have his email address and the company he works for. You can directly connect with him and provide additional education while he’s still searching. This enables you to send him more information, such as a link to a how-to video your company has produced to introduce the concept, a follow-up email with more information, or an email with a personalized new mover snippet for his health system.

Once he’s reviewed all his options, if your company has been successful and made an impact with the content they’ve shared at the right connection points, congratulations! Your company has successfully won Joe’s business and will begin to help his team in their new mover initiatives.

Going Forward

As you’re navigating how to reach your audience – whether that’s new clients, talent, patients, shoppers, movers, or another customer base – pay close attention to how you craft your buyer personas. And, make sure you’ve cleaned up your SEO and keywords on your website so that you can connect with the right groups at the right time. Empower your potential audience by providing them with the information they need prior to making their purchase. Consider a multichannel campaign as your main method of communication to connect with your audience at every step along their journey.

Check out this quick video on how to ensure your multichannel campaigns are personally relevant (and how to use them to get ahead of the competition). Not sure how to determine where your customers are in their journey? Connect with our team of marketing experts today.

The Tried-and-True Marketing Method that Continues to Yield High ROI

Over the past few years, we’ve seen several new direct marketing practices that have added to its effectiveness and use-cases. Because of this, direct mail has stayed tried-and-true and has continued to yield high ROI – making it a tactic that’s always important and powerful. When well-crafted mail is sent out efficiently, at the right time, and to the right audience, it can be a fantastic tool to aid your business in customer retention and acquisition – regardless of their age or other demographic descriptors. Let’s explore how direct mail holds an immense amount of value for people of all generations.

Direct Mail Response Rates are Higher than Just Digital Alone

With 4 out of 5 American consumers expecting coupons in their mailboxes, it’s important to ensure that your mail is effective and well-created to put value in the hands of those ready to buy. In fact, we’re currently seeing a response rate for direct mail that’s up to 9 times higher than other mediums. With 73% of American consumers saying they actually prefer direct mail, we can examine, by generation, just how powerful it is.

Direct Mail for Baby Boomers

The USPS found that Baby Boomers, more than any other generation, would be “very disappointed” if they stopped getting mail. They trust direct mail more than other marketing channels, and 71% believe that direct mail feels significantly more personal than digital communications. Boomers’ engagement with large national business mailers is at 92% for mail and only 81% for email. Be direct with your messaging, explain why recipients should respond to your offer, and see results flow in.

Direct Mail for Gen X

When marketing to Gen X, keep in mind is that they “grew up receiving pen pal letters, birthday cards, and college acceptance packages.” Their mail always came with an air of excitement, and research shows that direct mail continues to excite this group. A whopping 70% of Gen X still loves to discover what the mail brings every day. Their engagement rate with mail from large businesses is still at a high 90%, so make sure you keep your mail in front of them, if they’re your target market.

Direct Mail for Millennials

Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, were born and grew up in the age of the internet and personal computers. This lends itself to the stereotype that they’re more familiar with technology and may be turned off by physical, direct mail. However, that’s not the case. We see that “…millennials – also known as Gen Y – have the strongest opinions and feelings about direct mail.” With that said, Millennials have reported that sorting through mail can evoke some feelings of anxiety or stress, so make sure your Gen Y-targeted direct mail pieces are easy to read, visually appealing, and have an air of simplicity. Their engagement with mail from large businesses is also at 90%. Overall, the best way to connect with this age group is at various points in their buying journey, by utilizing both print and digital through a multichannel marketing campaign.

Direct Mail for Gen Z

The final generation we’re looking at is Gen Z. This group is coming of age, and they bring their own individual feelings towards direct mail. Even though they’re extremely tech savvy, 72% would be disappointed if they no longer received mail. They’re less likely to read a catalog, but they do interact more often with marketing mail as opposed to marketing email or text. What they love about “mail [is that it] has the unique ability to appeal to their creative side.” This group values unique shapes, bold colors, and recyclable options. Eco conscious and eco-friendly, you can better engage with and leave an impact on Gen-Zers if your mail’s printed on eco paper in unique shapes, bold colors, and with an attention to typography. They value authentic and inclusive messaging, so make sure to be strategic, genuine, and deliberate with your imagery and content.

The Digital Marketplace is Over-Saturated

In the age of technology, people are constantly bombarded with information. With people receiving 36 emails to every 1 piece of mail, direct mail continues to be a refreshing change in pace and provides an opportunity for them to connect with something tangible. Combining direct mail with digital yields even more power and, as we’ve noted before, better responses and results.

Physical Mail Has a Longer Lifespan

Even if you don’t necessarily read the mail, you still have to touch it, glance at it, and decide whether it’s worth your time or if it can just be thrown away. This holds high contrast to ads, social media, emails and other digital mediums, which can all be blocked, sent to spam, or simply scrolled past. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.  And, the average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, while direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days! Still, not all mail is created equal. There’s a big difference between direct mail and junk mail – so if you’re not sure what that difference is, give the linked blog a quick read.

We know that direct mail really works. Looking to send out well-crafted, timely, and results-driven direct mail in 2023? Give us a call or learn more here.

& How You Can Effectively Use Them

When you think of promotional giveaways, the first thing that may come to mind are tradeshows. Yes, tradeshows are great places to promote your brand with free swag – things like branded pens, water bottles, bottle openers, phone cleaner, and more – but there’s another place for premium promotional products that deliver results – direct mail. Premium giveaways can essentially act like mini billboards for attracting, enticing, and staying in the minds of potential, new, or existing customers. Read on to find out why premium giveaways really work, and where you should use them.

What are Premium Giveaways?

Like we said, giveaways aren’t just for tradeshows – although we’re not diminishing the fact that they work there too. They can be anything from a small, branded sticker, to an Amazon Echo. Depending on your audience and customer relationships, you may only need to send something small. But, sometimes sending something bigger, more unique, more personal, and higher priced is a great way to do many things, including:

  • Show you care
  • Show customer appreciation
  • Request a response
  • Request a signup/meeting

Branded giveaways can be small and simple – like little, memorable trinkets that customers can place on their desk. The goal is that these trinkets will be positive reminders of your other products and services, and some of the other attributes above (your customer care and appreciation, and so on). Promotional products are possibly more effective today than ever before – for similar reasons to why direct mail is effective. They’re tangible, can be somewhat personal or truly personalized, and break the mind away from today’s digital noise. Customers have become more accustomed to digital and tend to (at times) ignore it or mistrust it, so sometimes a small (and free) act of kindness goes a long way. Gifts can help people feel seen and important, and like your company values their trust and loyalty over the dollar.

“There is something unique about receiving a physical item that you can touch, feel, and actually use, that far exceeds the impact of a TV commercial or search ad.” – Bret Bonnet Quality Logo Products CEO.

Higher priced and higher value premium giveaways require your company to give a bit more – but if planned well, can produce a whole lot in return. They can truly help your company get noticed and stand out, or be remembered, in a competitive market. And, if you send a product that can be used over several months, or maybe even several years, the customer is continuously reminded of and possibly even engaging with your brand.

According to 4Imprint, people are more likely to hold on to promotional items if they’re fun, functional, and trendy. They recommend that, when choosing items, you keep in mind your budget, target audience, number of giveaways needed, and how that giveaway will represent your company (including its brand, mission, products, etc.).

When Would (and When Should) You Use Them?

Like we said above, giveaways aren’t just for tradeshows. They’re also an excellent way to ask for more information or action from customers. What do we mean? Include them or reference them on your direct mail or on a website form. For example, “Get a free Amazon Echo after your first consultation with us”, “Flip this mailer over to find out how you can receive your free gift!”, or “Visit the link below and make your first appointment to receive a free first aid kit”.

The possibilities are endless, and the return is high. The key to higher priced, premium giveaways is to give a little to get a lot. With giveaways, you could possibly be enticing and bringing on a long-term client, loyal customer, or lifetime patient.

Why are They Like Mini Billboards?

Branded giveaways don’t just make an impression upon receipt. They stay top of mind for as long as they’re around, whether that be on your desk, on your keys, in your drawer or on your fridge. While your customer uses your giveaway, others will see them use it, walk by it, and consciously or not – will see and possibly remember your brand.

A study by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) found that “most people keep promotional products for an average of eight months”, which is much, much longer than the lifespan of an online ad or website pop-up. Additionally, like we touched on above, your promotional product recipients can become unpaid brand ambassadors. And after they carry around and use your product, they’re likely to pass it along, with studies showing that “63% of those in the United States and 64% of those in Canada give their promotional products away when they are finished with them.”

Some other notable giveaway stats?

Interested in learning more about how you can use promotional giveaways to interest, communicate with, or acquire customers? Give us a call or check out our services.

A Strata YouTube Channel Original

New mover marketing is all the rage right now, and for good reason – but getting started can be a bit confusing if you’re new to the game. That’s why in this blog, along with in our most recent YouTube video, we’ll help you achieve a clear understanding of what New Mover Marketing is, and how it could be used for your business. First, we’ll go over how new mover marketing is defined, what a new mover is, and how this marketing technique can be utilized to reach and acquire new customers. 

What’s a “New Mover”?

In general, a new mover is someone who’s recently moved to your area, and since they’re new, is looking for a new doctor, dentist, grocery, vet, and more, to establish trust in – and hopefully frequent. 

Is New Mover Marketing the Same as Regular Marketing?

In short, no! New mover marketing is a specified, niche tactic that helps you reach new residents in your area while they’re actively establishing new routines and purchasing habits. It’s all about making a strong, quality impression at the same time someone is looking for your services. Different than regular marketing – where you’re mostly informing current customers about new products, services, or promotions, new mover marketing tactics focus solely on bringing in new customers that have just entered your target market. 

The Importance of New Mover Marketing

New mover marketing is one of the best ways to gain and retain more customers. If you really think about it, new movers have no customer loyalty to any specific business – yet. They tend to be more receptive and open-minded to marketing campaigns from any business in their new area. They’re also more likely to listen, and are easily attracted to the first business that reaches out to them (so you need to act fast)! Yet, don’t act too fast, because it’s also important to market yourself correctly and effectively. Remember, you typically only get one shot at a first impression, so make sure you present your business the right way. 

Let’s quickly go through an example of how exactly a new mover marketing campaign helps you attract new customers. Suppose a new family moves into your town. They’re unfamiliar with what services/businesses are available. Soon after move in, they see a mail campaign for your grocery store in their mailbox. Because they’ll (sooner rather than later) need to go get some groceries, they may be more inclined to visit your store instead of another because you reached out and introduced your store and its services, first. As long as you market yourself correctly, you now have a new, and potentially loyal, customer! 

Next Steps

With new mover marketing, the opportunities are endless! Be sure to watch the video, below, to dive a bit deeper. You’ll hear from Strata’s Director of Marketing, Caitlin, as she goes through more specifics. Or, if you’d like to get started on your next new mover marketing campaign and discuss this concept with one of our experts, contact us today

A Strata YouTube Channel Original

When building a multichannel marketing campaign, one of the first steps is to build a cost structure to set the direction of the project. If you don’t plan ahead, costs can add up quickly, so to help you out, our most recent YouTube video goes over the different costs behind a successful multichannel marketing campaign and how to make your next campaign both cost effective and impactful. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the first cost of a multichannel campaign.

Platform Cost (Managed Service Cost) 

Picking a strong technology platform is a make-or-break decision that will determine how successful your multichannel campaign will be. Effective and coordinated multichannel marketing is only made possible through technology, so it’s essential you have access to it. A recent survey revealed that 52% of marketers utilize 3 to 4 marketing channels in one campaign, so the correct platform that can properly track and execute a campaign on many channels is imperative. If this is your first rodeo, pick a vendor to coordinate and manage these campaigns. Doing so will essentially convert the majority of the upfront costs to variable execution costs and will make the campaign easier to manage. Make sure the platform you choose properly aligns with your business strategy, as only 16% of marketers claim they have this alignment. Generally, your company should budget between $20k and $40k for a solid, multichannel-capable platform that will get the job done.

Want to learn about the two other costs associated with multichannel marketing campaigns? Click on the video below to hear from our Research & Development Director, Harrison. Or, if you’d like to discuss this concept with one of our multichannel experts, contact us today to get your next (or maybe your first) multichannel campaign up and running.

Bring Your Campaign to the Next Level

With over 40 million people moving every year, there’s a huge market for new customers moving into your target area. That said, many businesses have no idea where to start when it comes to targeting and reaching these new movers. Today, we’ll give you an overview of what new mover marketing is, the customer journey that a new mover takes, and the best channels and campaigns to reach them. Let’s dive in!

From Movers to Buyers

One of the most important things to realize about new movers is that they’re currently nobody’s loyal customer (yet). They’re a key group to target because they’re open to new businesses and products, and on average, develop 72 or more new business relationships within one year of moving. They’re also 5 times more loyal than your regular customer due to being new to the area. Once they find something they like, they’re willing to frequently buy it with ease. Making up 17% of the U.S. population, you can’t afford to miss these walking (and unpacking) opportunities. So, how are their (frequently loyal) buying habits formed? New movers are heavily influenced by timing. Whether you contact them before or after their move decides how they feel about your communication, and what they’ll do about it…

Pre-Move Buying Habits

Data shows that movers begin to stock up on home items right before they move. Products such as kitchen utensils, light fixtures, and everyday household tools are high on their list during this pre-move time.

Post-Move Buying Habits

After their move, new home buyers are likely to spend an average of $9,400, while renters spend around $4,700. Still, this number varies with age, area and demographic. Most of these buying decisions are made within the first few months of moving, which makes it the best time for your company to make contact, introduce yourself, and showcase your product.

A new mover’s first purchases will depend on their personal needs and priorities. For instance, a mover with medical needs may find a doctor immediately, while a mover with a large family may first find a new grocery store. Either way, they’ll have to find both eventually – and it’s likely they will within the first few months. Thankfully, new movers don’t need to be convinced to buy (they’re already more than ready), you’ll just need to convince them to make the right buy (from your company).

Staying in Touch

It’s not only important to get in touch with these potential loyal customers, but to stay in touch. After making a strong first impression, you’ll want to make more points of contact to ensure your company stays top of mind. It’s essential you have a good combination of marketing across several channels that are strategically picked and placed.

New Mover Marketing Tactics

There are several ways to reach these new movers, first, but since we’re experts – we’ll tell you the best ones. First is direct mail. Direct mail ideally arrives at the same time or a few days after new movers enter your neighborhood. Delivering direct mail that welcomes and attracts the new mover while introducing your business is a great way to begin an ongoing relationship. And the stats back this up – as 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail. Direct mail is perfect as a first touch to new movers, as it’s personalized, meets them in their new home, and catches them at the right time.

A great way to ensure this direct mail delivers ROI is through BRCs (business reply cards) or eBRCs with incentives. A BRC is a vehicle that allows a prospective customer to provide information to send back to your business, and if incentivized, can return high response rates and bring you valuable customer data.

What’s the next best channel for reaching new movers? Digital advertising. Hand in hand with direct mail, digital ads can create brand awareness, link to your chosen landing page, and target specific online audiences. Digital advertisement placement and audience targeting are the top optimization tactics used by advertisers today.

Email is next – and combined with both direct mail and digital ads, email can be that final touch that brings your company new customers. Using either the BRC information or engagement with digital ads, emails are easy to obtain, making it almost effortless to add new customers to your automated or personalized promotional email campaigns.

The Visible Influence

New mover marketing allows marketers to influence movers’ buying decisions from the beginning of their move all the way until they walk into your doors. It’s about building immediate and vital relationships – because once a new mover buys from you and your shop, they’re 90% more likely to become a repeat customer.

If you want to dig even deeper, it’s smart to use a program that gives your business insight into your customers – such as live statistics and touchpoint behaviors. These meaningful insights will allow your shop to make enhancements on the fly and improve your campaigns, ultimately increasing ROI.

If you successfully target new movers, create convenient touchpoints that meet their needs, and maintain conversation as they have questions and reach out, the new mover will not only finish their journey as a customer, but as a loyal, repeat one. Looking for ways to incorporate a new mover marketing strategy into your next campaign? With years and years (and years) of experience under our belts, we’re new mover marketing experts. Contact us today.

How to Adjust from Marketing to the Masses to the Individuals that Make Up the Masses

Over the last several decades, we have made great shifts in the way we market to our customers.

One of the most prominent of these shifts is the way in which we’ve adjusted from marketing to the masses to marketing to the individuals that make up the masses. That fundamental adjustment is what separates many successful companies — and their competition — today.

Perhaps the best way this shift manifests itself is in some of our strategic tools, and of these, one strategy stands out — using personas to map the buyer journey. Put simply, mapping the buyer journey with personas is about plotting out each stage of an eventual purchase, from recognizing a need to securing whatever service or good fulfills it from the perspective of the personas.

Let’s take a look at how we can use personas to map and enhance a buyer journey.

Create Personas

We’ve touched on personas frequently in our StrataBytes blog series, and there’s a good reason for that — personas are a valuable resource. As a refresher (or for those of us who are not familiar), personas are lifelike, highly specific representations of customers. For instance, a basic persona may look something like this:

Jillian is 32 and assists in buying MarTech systems for her company. She values being able to do her research independently. Being tech-savvy, Jillian appreciates high-level content detailing the functions of the MarTech she’s looking into. Although she’s a thoughtful and independent buyer, she likes open lines of communication should she have questions, particularly when that comes in the form of a consistent sales representative.

Of course, this is just a basic example — most companies create significantly more specific personas by using their own data and research while also making personas representing different subsets of target demographics.

Plan Outreach

Now that we’ve created our personas, we can begin using them to map our buyer’s journey, and one of the first things we’ll do is plan our outreach.

Knowing that Jillian is tech-savvy, wants to do her own research, yet still values the ability to interface with a sales representative, we might choose to send her something that is both personally inviting and incorporates digital elements.

This could be a dimensional mailer from a sales representative with a short video displayed on a touch screen. After the video ends, Jillian can explore the pre-loaded content to get a better idea of what capabilities the MarTech system has to offer, including a QR code to download a more technical eBook outlining the finer points of the MarTech.

Identify Obstacles, Friction and Bias

We can also use personas to familiarize ourselves with the obstacle customers regularly face. It’s crucial to use personas in this way to gain a better understanding of our customers by putting ourselves in their shoes. 

Identify the pain points they may encounter in their buyer’s journey. For our Jillian persona, that would include things like limited availability of information surrounding the product, difficulty conducting independent research, or trouble contacting a representative with questions.

Our job becomes about removing these pain points and ensuring our fictional company has sufficient information available for those looking to research our products independently, providing varying depth of available content ranging from introductory to technical, and creating an environment where sales representatives are easily accessible through phone, email or online chat.

Update and Maintain Your Personas

People and companies change and this change necessitates the updating of personas to match. Constantly going back to your data and research — figuring out what works and what doesn’t — will fine tune your personas into more potent tools as you continue to use them.

Remember, it’s crucial to make unique personas representing different people going through different buyer journeys.

These tactics — using personas to enhance buyer journeys — can make a huge difference in how small and large companies approach marketing. A better understanding of your customer leads to better marketing, and an enhanced experience for them means enhanced sales for you.

Interested in learning how our services can improve you buyer journey? Contact us to learn more about what Strata can do for you.

Understanding the Ins and Outs

MarTech – we throw around the term as if it’s universally understood, but plenty of people aren’t entirely sure what it is, exactly.

Don’t panic. That’s normal.

We don’t have to tell you that technology is playing an increasingly larger role in all businesses, and MarTech (Marketing Technology) is simply an extension of that — it’s a catch-all term referring to any piece of software designed to make marketing easier.

Here are some quick examples:

  • Software tracking promotional use of coupons
  • Automated email campaign software
  • Social media automation

The answer to “What is MarTech?” essentially boils down to this: MarTech is any piece of software that executes a marketing process so you don’t have to.

The Progression of MarTech

Think of the progression in the same way we experienced the evolution of apps for our smartphones. What started as a few hokey, low function tools exploded into everything from day trading platforms to photographic check deposits and real-time delivery tracking.

In much the same way, MarTech has boomed and currently offers a precise solution for nearly every need of the modern marketer.

MarTech’s Role Today and Tomorrow

A hallmark characteristic of the most successful marketer is their willingness to embrace and utilize new technology.

Smart marketers embraced MarTech early, and since its inception, MarTech solutions have become an absolute industry standard. These types of MarTech have typically been focused on a few core functionalities, like automating emails and processing the data into easily digestible reports.

While many MarTech tools, like MailChimp or Hootsuite, have asserted themselves as a consistent presence in the marketer’s toolbox, a new era of MarTech is on the horizon. Technological enhancements, like AI and machine learning, are honing the cutting edge of MarTech capabilities.

This incorporation of advanced tech means powerful new tools, like AI-fueled CX marketing, more adaptive lifecycle marketing solutions, better conversational marketing, and more precise data-driven marketing. These are all tools to market like never before, redefining what it means to be a marketing professional and deeply, inseparably linking our jobs with MarTech.

Exploring Our Options

One advantage of modern times is the seemingly limitless options we are presented every day, whether that be shopping on Amazon or unlimited streaming packages. We’re simply spoiled by choice, and MarTech is no different.

Over a diverse range of needs, like CRM MarTech, Web Analytics MarTech or SEO MarTech, there are literally thousands of (7,040 to be exact) MarTech solutions geared towards each and every niche of the marketing spectrum.

There are so many options, it can even be a little intimidating.

To simplify our choices, we can look at this handy Periodic Table of MarTech. It outlines 24 main subcategories of MarTech software and services providers within those categories. So, if you’re trying to decide what MarTech is right for you, this is a great place to start.

Benefits of MarTech

The primary reason MarTech has become an industry standard is simple: MarTech gets results.

Let’s look at an Ascend2 report on MarTech’s performance in the workplace.

Ascend2’s surveys suggest that 87 percent of marketers believe that MarTech is improving performance in their organization. In the same report, 67 percent of marketers thought that their organization could benefit from introducing more MarTech. This shows that MarTech is an advancement welcome across the board and the level of integration into the day-to-day workflow will only increase.

What’s Right for Me?

The simple answer is that your demands will dictate the right MarTech for you — identify useful tools and ignore ones without obvious practical application.

What is really important — and what we want to stress here — is what not to buy, and that is anything that does not have a proven functionality within your organization. MarTech can be expensive and with so many good options available, there’s no reason not to invest in anything less than ideal solutions.

That said, there is something out there that’s right for you — MarTech is one of the most exciting things to happen to business in a long time, it’s proven and it’s here to stay.

The only question is how you’ll embrace it.

Are you interested in creating or adding to your existing MarTech stack? Contact us to see if our cloud-based MarCom solutions are the right fit for you.

How to Effectively Communicate Your Martech Solution Choice to Leadership and Internal Users

You’ve found a martech solution that addresses some of your biggest challenges. It can save your department time; help you execute more effective campaigns; and generate quality leads. But, first you have to convince two key stakeholder groups that will use the new software – your executive leadership team and staff members who will be using it.

Internally “selling” a martech software implementation can be difficult, but most of the challenges can be traced back to two basic objections:

  • CXO perspective: Is the technology worth the investment?
  • User perspective: Do we really need to change things?

Securing buy-in from management and users will require effective communication of the software’s potential benefits, but what and how you communicate to each stakeholder group should differ. Here’s how to effectively communicate the benefits of the martech solution you are getting behind, which should help you save time by clearly and thoroughly demonstrating your rationale, addressing what matters most to these key audiences:

Justify the Investment to Leadership

Securing top-level buy-in is the natural first step. After all, there’s little value in spending time winning over employees if key decision-makers aren’t on board. That being said, you should be prepared to answer questions regarding how well employees might accept a system change.

Justify the spend by communicating to leadership how the marketing software investment will tie in to organization values and support top priorities. Make sure you can answer questions:

  • What are the current problems?
  • How are they holding your business back?
  • What are the expected measurable benefits?
  • What’s the scalability of the software?
  • Are there sufficient training and IT support resources?
  • How will the software integrate with existing systems?
  • What is the cross-departmental value?

Distill Research and Evaluation Notes to Make Your Case

Research and evaluate various software options and articulate why your choice rose above the competition. Avoid bombarding the executive team with a massive spreadsheet of key features and pricing information. Hone your notes and research until what remains is a succinct list of benefits that address issues most important to the C suite.

Be Prepared to Explain How the Software Will Combat Pain Points

Be able to verbalize, if not already apparent to leaders, the problems the software will measurably resolve to justify the investment. Communicate the expected outcomes associated with the software and emphasize that you will perform continuous evaluation to ensure you are reaching your goals. Look for relevant case studies to support your reasoning. Investigate whether other departments within the organization are successfully using the same software or a comparable platform that saves time and resources.

Link Software Features to Measurable Objectives

According to a recent Gartner article, sound technology purchasing decisions should be grounded in SMART objectives. Develop objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound that you expect the martech to effect. Avoid broadly stated goals such as “Generate more inbound leads.” Rather, assign a percentage growth and a time period: “The new tool will help the marketing team generate 30% more inbound leads in 2018 compared to 2017.”

Secure Buy-in from Internal Users

Lack of employee buy-in is a major hurdle to overcome for successful martech adoption. The software champion first needs to generate acceptance of a new system, then maintain enthusiasm through the onboarding period.

There is always resistance to change, even if the change is positive. Even if that legacy system is rife with issues, they’re a known quantity to users. It can be a tough sell to convince employees that learning an entirely new way of doing things is worth the trouble. But adoption is essential in getting the desired ROI from the system – so this step is critical as well.

While conversations with the leadership team focus on specific measurements and business values, communication with potential system users needs to convey the idea of the software. Tell a story, in essence, of how the product can change their work lives for the better. Talk about time saving, elimination of headaches and other real pains they experience.

Start Early

Educate employees about the new software far in advance of the launch so that even the most tech-averse users will have time to warm up to the change. Meanwhile, advanced communications might win over more tech-savvy employees who tend to be early adopters; they can help generate enthusiasm among peers. Don’t forget that most decisions are base on emotions. Communicate the idea that the new software will make their lives easier rather than harder. This also helps make users aware early on that executive staff is committed to successfully implementing the new software.

Manage Expectations

Acknowledge that change is difficult and that the launch of something new is inherently messy. Recognize that employees will need to “retrain their brains” to adapt to the new interface. Then, stress that the long-term benefits will make the transition worthwhile. Frame an authentic story around how their workday looks today, highlighting inefficiencies and challenges. Contrast it with how their workday will improve post-implementation.

Listen to Users’ Concerns to Gain Valuable Input

Taking user concerns seriously is an important part of the implementation process. Gather information on what might be needed to help navigate potential barriers to a successful launch. Understand the challenges on the employees’ end, and foster a collaborative approach to achieving the end goal – easier, more efficient processes for users.

Follow Up with Extensive Training and Evaluation

Congratulations, you’ve secured executive sign-off and an implementation schedule has been set. Your role as project champion now transforms to project nurturer. The smoother the adoption period, the faster the new technology will start proving ROI.

Lack of proper training is a top reason martech solutions are underutilized and fall short of expectations. Ensure that the necessary time and attention are devoted to training and onboarding.

Also, check in frequently with users to identify any perceived issues or barriers to complete adoption. Assigning a tech-savvy early adopter to act as a liaison is a solid way to get smart feedback. If something isn’t working, address concerns immediately – don’t let issues fall through the cracks. This is a fast path to dwindling returns. Likewise, gather feedback on employees’ perceptions of the most valuable benefits.