Rule 3: Take Advantage of Technologies That Support More Than One Channel
Welcome to Rule 3 of our six-part MarTech2020: 5 Rules for Managing Your Technology and Strategy series! If this is your first time checking in on this series, in the past we’ve discussed the marketing tech stacks of today, the average MarTech stack used by companies, and the importance of having your marketing team having the final say in deciding which tools will be included in the stack.
Today, we’ll be touching on why it’s important to take advantage of technologies that support more than one channel.
The marketers who answered our survey put their tech stacks together in different ways, but some tools were chosen far less often than others. For example, fewer than a quarter of the respondents brought customer data platforms (CDPs) or other personalization technology into their core tech stacks. Project management, webinar tech and mobile apps were also chosen for fewer than 25% of the tech stacks discussed.
While those are all effective tools with advanced capabilities, they are designed to support more specialized, channel-specific activities. Those are exactly the kinds of technologies that efficient marketers leave to outside partners.
When we look at the systems that are included in most tech stacks, they are the tools that enable the most essential marketing activities and customer data management (Figure 7).
1. Email Marketing: 78%
Since the rise of marketing automation, email marketing has become the backbone of many customer-engagement and lead-nurturing strategies. Once you’ve chosen an email system, deploying them becomes both easy and essential to the marketing workflow. Many companies outsource some of their email marketing, but nearly every brand keeps parts of it inhouse to easily communicate with customers and optimize relationship management.
2. Social Media: 63%
Like email, social media is cheap to deploy (at least in financial terms, not necessarily in workhours) and essential to a flexible communication strategy. Even if a brand outsources regular posting and social engagement activities, they usually maintain access to the account and the systems running it. This allows you to make immediate adjustments and announcements without waiting on an agency to post them for you.
3. CRM: 58%
The CRM is the customer management system of record in many organizations. The marketing department may have an integrated marketing automation and CRM system, or simply work with the sales team’s CRM for a fully integrated, customer-facing communication team. Either way, this system usually remains in-house under the marketing department’s or sales team’s control.
4. Content Marketing: 52%
Only about half of marketers said they invest in a content management system. But for those who do in-house content marketing or other types of thought leadership, these tools are essential for reliably getting blog posts or other types of content onto the website when they need to be there. If the team works with external content creators, especially independent freelancers, a good content management system will help keep the entire engagement machine running smoothly.
5. Web Analytics: 46%
Fewer than half of our respondents consider website analytics to be a part of their martech stack, but that is likely because Google Analytics is a free tool. While GA does not deliver all the capabilities of a dedicated website analytics platform, it is usually enough for in-house analytics and can be supplemented by a more robust tool provided by an external partner. If the site is kept in-house, deeper analytics and data interpretation become necessary for any brand that relies on its website to play a big role in the sales pipeline.
6. Direct Mail: 45%
Direct mail emerged as a major focus for many of our respondents, but often the technical side is left in the hands of the agency, printer or external marketing firm handling the development and deployment of these campaigns. However, direct mail and all your offline marketing must operate at the same level of targeting and personalization as the rest of your marketing. It’s essential to have the tools to align this channel with your digital marketing channels, even if those tools are supplied by your mailing partners.
Check back next week for Rule 4, “Design Your Stack to Support Omnichannel Marketing,” as we near the end to our MarTech series or click here to read the full report now. And, if you’re ready to see how we can help you strategize your MarTech stack, contact us today.