SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Tips for Getting Started With Your Marketing Technology Stack

Being a marketer today means running a data-driven operation that delivers sales-ready leads resulting in revenue. That’s pretty scary isn’t it? Most likely, you aren’t a data scientist or a sales expert.

Your expertise probably lies in targeting audiences with creative campaigns, advertising, and content. But increasingly, you are asked to show ROI on your marketing efforts and give sales better leads. How do you do that and keep your marketing efforts on track? Marketing technologies.

Marketing technologies allow you to automate and scale many of the manual aspects of your marketing programs. They help you create and manage scalable sources of qualified leads, track effectiveness, manage suspects and turn them into prospects, and deliver content to multiple devices, among other automation tasks. 

In short, marketing technologies make your life easier.

But there are now more than 3,500 marketing technology options to choose from, and even the top ones don’t offer all-in-one-solutions tailored to every industry. Most likely, you will need multiple technologies in your toolbox like analytics, customer relationship management software, email marketing, lead scoring — the list can go on and on.

So, how many do you really need? It depends. The average company deploys more than 35 vendor technologies, according to marketing tag management firm Ghostery.  The resulting mix of marketing technologies is what’s referred to as a “marketing technology stack.”

No Magic List of Marketing Technologies
I’d like to say that there is a silver bullet marketing technology stack or a one-size-fits-all. But I can’t. Just like your business isn’t exactly like anyone else’s, your specific needs are going to be different than the needs of others.

So with 3,500 different technologies to choose from, how do you get started? They all seem really cool. The demos are all pretty awesome. They all have logos of cool customers on their home pages that receive massive value by implementing their solutions. And the promise is that you could be just like them.

So, you say, this is easy. Step 1: assemble marketing technology stack. Step 3: become billionaire. Ah, if it were just that easy. It’s that missing step 2 that causes a lot of trouble for many of today’s marketers.

Some marketers jump in and purchase marketing software thinking with just a single click, it provides all the analytics, whiz-bang features, and business value they will ever need.

Six months later, these marketers call us asking for help deciding whether they should stick with the chosen technology or switch to something different. Maybe the software wasn’t implemented correctly, or they weren’t fully trained on the technology. Others didn’t understand how long it would take to get the full value out of the software, or who, in fact, would be responsible for running it.

Begin at the End: Determine Business Value
Before you start evaluating technologies, you need to consider your business needs and decide what marketing, sales, and the overall business want to accomplish. Ultimately, you are trying to understand who your best customers are, and how to help prospects with those same attributes become customers at a faster rate.

You need to figure out how the technology will integrate into your marketing and sales processes, who will be the point person for the technology, and what types of marketing elements and human resources you’ll need to allocate to get the job done. You need to choose technologies that help you drive profitable business actions and use that filter during your evaluations.

Remember to look at total ROI, not just cost of the software – including internal or external resources, training, any new staff or even staff time that will be devoted to technology that was formerly devoted to something else.  If a technology doesn’t help you reach your business goals, you probably don’t need it.

What Tech Do You Already Have?
After determining the business value you want to drive, work with IT to identify what technologies you already have in place. Most companies with websites already have content management systems like WordPress or Drupal, and they use analytics software such as Google Analytics to track visitor traffic. New tools should integrate well with existing systems critical to your business operations.

Whether you are building a technology stack yourself or engaging an outside consultant, remember every hour spent properly planning saves dozens of hours down the line in implementation frustration.

Marketing Technology Foundation Built on CRM
The goal of marketing is to reach prospects with the right messages at the right time to help them become buyers. But before marketers can target likely suspects, they need to know who their best customers are. The easiest and fastest way to figure out what your ideal customer looks like is to crack open the company’s CRM system.

It’s no longer the sole domain of sales, but a vital marketing tool. A CRM has critical information such as which leads converted in to customers and the dollar values those customers represent. The CRM is the foundation of your marketing tech stack. Without it, you’ll never get to the “R” in ROI.

Marketing Automation and CRM – the Core of the Stack
One of the key pieces of technology you want to consider putting in place is a marketing automation platform. Without one, it’s hard to handle all the individual steps you’ll need to take as part of your marketing programs such as creating landing pages, creating outbound email functions or a nurture function for people who downloaded content or otherwise raised their hand; or even implementing lead scoring and grading to identify your most qualified prospects.

Marketing automation tools let companies set up lead nurturing programs, automatically add people to an email list, automatically move prospects through a typical buyer journey, automate CRM follow-up tasks, or send a follow-up message after an event. The software allows marketers to truly show return on investment and revenue impact through the campaigns and channels generating it. Major players include Eloqua, Pardot, Hubspot, and Marketo.

For many companies, CRM and marketing automation are the basic foundations of the marketing stack. Many organizations don’t go much further until they have these pieces right.

The Next Components
That said, the next wave of technologies many marketers add to their stack are typically technologies that help drive new prospects into the funnel or reach prospects deeper in the funnel. These can include:

  • Advertising platforms such as Google Adwords
  • Social media sharing and public relations platforms like Cision
  • Search engine optimization programs like Moz
  • Lead conversion tools such as landing page testing
  • Lead nurturing or remarketing technologies

I’ll tackle the next wave in a future post. It’s most important that you derive the appropriate business value from your foundation before you explore the other 3,500 or so technologies. If you are curious as to what others have, check out Chief Martec.com’s stackie awards, which gives you a peek at 21 different marketing technology stacks.

Stackies Example

When evaluating new technologies, remember:

  • If the technology is not driving profitable business actions, you probably don’t need it
  • Audit technology already in place so you can leverage it
  • Understand how the new technology will integrate with legacy systems

Marketing Technology Key to Marketing Success
Marketing technology is a very valuable tool for proving ROI, and elevating marketing to the C-suite. With so much technology available, there is a lot of software to wade through. The key is making sure whatever technology you chose provides the business value you need. If you are not 100 percent sure where to start or need help, ask an expert.

Want to get started on your marketing technology stack? Download “The Five Critical Questions Before You Make the Marketing Automation Decision” to get going on the first pieces of the puzzle. If you get stuck, let us know. We can help with the rest.

The post Tips for Getting Started With Your Marketing Technology Stack appeared first on Right Source Marketing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Will Davis

Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

Latest Stories
Inzata is a powerful, revolutionary data analytics platform for integrating, exploring, and analyzing data of any kind, from any source, at massive scale. Powerful AI-assisted Modeling and a patented analytics engine help users quickly load, blend and model raw and unstructured data into powerful enterprise data models, actionable real-time analytics and engaging visualizations. Go beyond spreadsheets and slides and compose a powerful narrative about how your business is performing, and how y...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
All in Mobile is a mobile app agency that helps enterprise companies and next generation startups build the future of digital. We offer mobile development and design for smartphones, tablets and wearables. Our projects cover the latest and most innovative technologies - voice assistants, AI, AR/VR and more. We excel at solutions for sports, fintech and retail industries.
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is on a mission to commoditize the storage industry. Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Wasabi blog...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As ...
Big Switch's mission is to disrupt the status quo of networking with order of magnitude improvements in network e ciency, intelligence and agility by delivering Next-Generation Data Center Networking. We enable data center transformation and accelerate business velocity by delivering a responsive, automated, and programmable software-dened networking (SDN) fabric-based networking solution. Traditionally, the network has been viewed as the barrier to data center transformation as legacy networkin...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous importa...
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional data management practices to copy data between different developer and test environment. This problem doesn't scale as teams are adopting faster software release cycles. In this session, Dhiraj Sehgal in Product and Solution at Delphix, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused strategies to update hundreds of developer and test copies with updates from a master...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history. Unfortunately, there is no single deployment model that solves all of your business goals. You need to maintain the fl...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching o...