Blending marketing and software worlds together
Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology dependent departments within companies. It is now a key driver of IT purchasing, and this trend is only expected to grow.
Marketing has evolved drastically over the last few years. Today’s marketers own more customer data and touch points than ever before, and more than any other department. Marketing has become a tech powered force, and technical capabilities are slowly being ingrained into marketing DNA.
This rapid switch has caused close relationships between marketing and IT departments. CMO’s have never been more likely to attend meetings alongside the CIO. Marketing is becoming a technology-driven discipline, where code and data become fundamental.
Nowadays, in the digital world, software is marketing’s eyes, ears, and hands. We can no longer afford ourselves to do something just because we think it may increase sales; we base our decisions on data and use powerful software to execute our marketing initiatives efficiently. Marketing software really helps us to simplify our day-to-day lives and save time on regular manual tasks, giving us an opportunity to focus on new campaigns and strategies. It helps us to avoid doing repetitive tasks instead allows us time for innovation, creativity, brainstorming, and putting some soul into our products and services. Due to marketing software, we can easily identify tactics that are driving new customers, converting leads, etc. And that means better ROI, and happier project managers.
New digital channels and devices, such as search engines, social media, mobile, etc. have complicated the journey of our customers. There is now such a vast level of information, it is no longer possible to manually sift through it all to separate what is essential data and what is not. We live in a very complicated and stressful world, but if we use marketing software to identify what information is really key for us, we can get 10 steps closer to our target. For example, it is no longer unfair to assume that by clicking on a t-shirt we like, we may well get recommendations based on our purchase history, preferences, and location. Could we have expected that even up to five years ago? Now, ease of purchase is a norm that is regularly implemented by marketing teams, because in the current climate, everything is done fast. We are in the era of short term gratification, folks, and if we are to meet the exceeding expectations of clients and customers, software will give us the time we need to not only meet demand, but also continue to innovate and grow for future challenges.
Marketing technologies provide the tools that enable marketers to… well… market. They automate difficult, time-consuming, and repetitive manual tasks to surface customer insight. Built by technologists, used by marketers. Marketing technology should aim to remove or significantly reduce the need for IT involvement. In short, it strives to keep marketing within marketing.
Divisions of Mar-Tech
Internal technology — what we use to manage and analyze marketing operations, such as SEO, competitive analysis, social media monitoring, etc.
External technology — what we use to reach our target and deliver our content: websites, ads, landing pages, email campaigns, apps, etc.
Product technology — what features we add to our products and services and how they impact marketing ecosystem. For example, social sharing features, location features with GPS. RFID and participation in the IoT or digital products with viral capabilities.
Marketing is at an inflection point where the performance of channels, technologies, ads, offers — everything — are trackable like never before. Over a century ago, retail and advertising pioneer John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Today, smart marketers do know which half isn’t working. But to do that efficiently, you need to have web analytics programs set up, and have people on the marketing team who know how to use and interpret data.
Conversion optimization is the practice of getting people who come to your website (or wherever you are engaging with them) to do what you want them to do as much as possible, and usually, that involves filling out a form so that at the very least you have their email address.
Email marketing is the 800-pound gorilla of digital marketing. And I’m not talking about spamming people by buying lists that are being sold to your competitors as well. I’m talking about getting people to give you permission to email them additional information, and then sending only valuable content tailored to that person’s interests.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing includes both paid search ads, like Google AdWords, and search engine optimization (SEO) to try to get high organic search listings for your website content. Since most people, even B2B buyers of big ticket items, use search as part of their work, you need to be there when these people are searching for what you’re selling.
You’ve experienced remarketing. When you go to a website and then, when you leave that site, their ads appear on other sites that you visit. It’s really easy to set up and incredibly cost effective because you’re only advertising to people who have already expressed enough interest in you to come to your site.
Half of all emails are now opened on smartphones, and soon half of search will be done on them too, so all websites need to be mobile friendly. But today, less than a third of them are. Simply put, you need to have a site that is easy to read and use on a phone. If you don’t, Google penalizes you with lower mobile search rankings.
Marketing automation brings it all together. It is a terrific technology that includes analytics, online forms, tracking people’s activity when they come to your website, personalizing website content, managing email campaigns, facilitating the alignment of sales and marketing through lead scoring and automated alerts to sales people, informing these activities with data from your CRM and third-party sources, and more.
Forecast for the next few years in Mar-Tech
Huge amounts of data about buyers, channels, and competitors can be available for CMOs and it gives endless opportunities. Companies that work in this field become unicorns in several months, not even years. If you compare the number of companies dedicated to this subject from a year ago to now, you will see that the number of them have more than doubled. The best of these companies use machine learning and data science to deliver market insights and capabilities. This is especially valuable for B2B companies, where lead times are longer and purchase decisions are more considered. Companies that are utilizing Mar-Tech are most likely to be here at the right time with the right service for the customer!
About the Author
Hari Vignesh Jayapalan is a Google Certified Android app developer, IDF Certified UI & UX Professional, street magician, fitness freak, technology enthusiast, and wannabe entrepreneur. He can be found on Twitter @HariofSpades.