The old, catch-all CRM system is becoming ancient history. The 2017 marketing technology landscape relies on so many new channels and different types of touch points with customers, that an all-in-one system is usually not enough. But what mix of automation platforms will best serve your organization’s unique needs? Here’s a brief survey of what’s out there to choose from, and some trends to watch.
MarTech: A constantly shifting landscape.
The marketing landscape has transformed dramatically since 2010, when the Salesforce platform was still in its earliest iterations and real innovation hadn’t yet taken off.
Social media was still primarily social, without the paid advertising and marketing offerings they all feature today. Google was still working out its algorithms (well, okay, that’s perpetual), and few people had even heard the term “SEO.”
In 2017, though, Improving brand visibility and audience engagement is increasingly dependent on your ability to better integrate technology into the whole mix of modern marketing channels used in your operations.
For those who relish a challenge, MarTech can buy you a real competitive edge.
It can be tough to develop plans and strategies for devices, platforms and channels, when those are constantly shifting, some even disappearing altogether (Google +, anyone?).
But for some marketers, words like “tough” and “challenge” are what get them out of bed in the morning. Where others are daunted, some get excited at the outcomes they can generate by applying the right technology solution, and they’re willing to fight for the budget to get it. Therein lies an opportunity for companies wanting to leap ahead of the competition as martech continues to take a larger share of the technology pie.
With 2017 marketing technology, you can use it to build a solid foundation of both data and infrastructure, with the added bonus of greater adaptability as marketing standards evolve.
Marketing Technologies Available in 2017
Some of today’s marketing technologies include
- Monitoring and analytics tools
- Marketing automation tools
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
- Tag management tools
- Data management platforms (DMP)
- Content delivery networks (CDN)
- Conversion optimization tools
- Campaign management tools
- Email marketing platforms
- Mobile optimization tools
- Affiliate marketing networks
- Remarketing solutions
- Ad retargeting tools
- Search engine marketing tools
MarTech’s built-in analytics enable you to measure ROI, and build your mix of strategies accordingly. You can see results in numbers of views, clicks, shares, quotes, retweets, numbers of downloads, rates of conversion from each landing page, button or post, crowd-sourced reviews and ratings, and many other kinds of metrics.
All of these channels come with metrics measured by back-end Analytics pages:
- Search engine results
- Social networks (paid and organic)
- Banner ads
- Sponsored online retail content
- Online blog reviews and ratings
- Online video content (paid and organic)
The effectiveness of whatever technologies you select will depend on their compatibility with your business and sales model, your overall sales objectives, your team’s technical expertise, and the scalability factors. There is no ubiquitous MarTech toolkit that can solve all marketing challenges right away.
MARTECH TRENDS TO WATCH
Marketing platforms are converging into one. Account-based marketing for B2B marketers is gathering incredible momentum and pace, thanks to the impact of social media, mobile and online video ads. Devices are getting smarter, and so are customers.
Spending on MarTech is on the increase. In 2016, CMOs spent more on digital martech than print and TV ad combined. According to Gartner 2016-2017 CMO Spend Survey, marketers are spending more on website, mobile apps and social media than ever. Most start-ups today are open to the idea of building business on purely digital marketing platforms.
Go Mobile or die. If your digital communications aren’t fully optimized by now for mobile devices, you’ll be eating everyone’s dust. With smartphones reaching worldwide saturation, and mobile devices beginning to replace even laptops for many business professionals, responsive mobile design is an absolute must for every digital marketing project.
Marketers have started to adapt their websites, blogs, and emails to cater specifically to a mobile device experience, but not everyone has adapted their digital ads. And that’s a missed opportunity—with the right technology, marketers can not only ensure their ads are precisely targeted, but they can also optimize the ad conversion experience on a mobile device to drive better results.
LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, for example, improves the member experience and conversion rates on the Linkedin mobile app with a form that pre-populates with contact and professional details.
Account-based marketing (ABM), or account-based engagement is not a new concept but with new digital technology, it has become more scalable and accessible for marketers. Marketers today are using ABM to target and engage accounts and measure the revenue impact of their activities.
Web personalization helps marketers drive conversions more effectively on their website by delivering personalized messages, images and offers to segments of your Web visitors.
Predictive content recommendations take personalization to the next level by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend the right content to each individual. AI content marketing platforms such as Persado and Marketo Predictive Content use behavioral information and customer profiles combined with AI to assess an individual’s likelihood to consume certain content, and then recommends the right piece of content to use.
Sales engagement technology allows marketing and sales to collaborate on a living playbook—one that considers the latest messaging and techniques but also can offer the analytics to know what’s working and what isn’t, in real time with opportunities for focused engagement with customers.
Before it all goes to your head, remember this.
Digital marketing is still just marketing – the art of creating a compelling narrative around your brand remains as relevant as ever. However, the modern CMO needs to add a solid martech strategy with a focus on reliable marketing data and customer engagement. Beyond that, all indications point toward predictive analytics, AI and machine learning as the way forward.
Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing
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