Chloe Washington, HubSpot
Technology is necessary to keep up with modern marketing, and it extends well beyond social media and advertising. There are a host of different tools to address marketing’s needs and many can be stitched together to create an integrated system. In 2017, almost half of all marketers (48%) had built martech stacks with multiple-point solutions. With the industry rapidly evolving, your martech stack–and your pain points–are things that should be reviewed regularly.
There are essential components that will make your life easier, such as a marketing automation tool and a CRM platform. These are standard and likely some of the first pieces your organization invested in. We know it’s tempting to read about the hottest 100+ marketing tools for 2018, but do you need all of them to solve your problems? No! The questions you should be asking yourself are what are my big pain points now and what return on investment am I going to get from this new tech.
We have content, but no idea how to use it
You definitely have a company website that explains your product (if not, we have much bigger issues to discuss), but what about your content? Are you using it to engage with customers and draw them in? Are you organizing it in any way? You need a Content Management System (CMS) that will store, organize, and most importantly optimize your content for the customer experience.
If you aren’t maximizing content to engage customers now, you should really start doing it. Content should be a key component of your customer journey, which means you need a tool like PathFactory or Uberflip that will let you tailor packages of content from awareness to the buying stage. When you’re using content effectively, you’ll see a response from prospects and start creating a name for yourself as a thought leader in your industry. There is so much more you can do with your content than just promoting it on LinkedIn–you’re better than that and your results could be too.
My team is constantly working but deadlines keep getting missed
Tools for actively engaging with customers are usually the first things a marketing team invests in, but those interaction don’t just happen organically. You need something to manage all the marketing activities that culminate in campaigns being pushed out through social media, email, sales reps, and content. It’s easier to keep tabs on a small team; but if you’re growing you need a project management tool, and more importantly you need everyone using it.
Project management is not unique to marketing. Every department should have this tool in their arsenal, which means there may be a company-mandated product. If nothing is set in stone, or you’re currently shopping around, you can choose from some great options like Asana, Clickup, and Workfront. Whatever you’re working with, learn all of its capabilities and use it to the fullest potential to create alignment and visibility in your marketing organization. When your team has insight into plans they work better together and become more confident in their roles.
How do I know that customers are responding to what we’re doing?
Now that you have your projects organized and are engaging with customers, you need a way to assess the effectiveness of your activities. To get to ROI, your marketing team needs access to data analytics. We saved this one for last because it’s a bit of a beast and very likely that you will want to use more than one type of analytic tool.
Google Analytics or Mixpanel is great for things like learning what day and time your website gets the most traffic. Why should you care? Because now you know when to push new content out and get the most eyeballs on it. Free tip: we feel confident saying that the worst time to add new content is 5:00pm on Fridays. But you might also want to know where they clicked, how far down they scrolled, and which sections of the page they found most interesting. For that you need a heat mapping tool like CrazyEgg or HotJar. Knowing how far down the page your customers made it and what they clicked on will give you great insight into how to change up your web design to make it more engaging.
Is it really as easy as installing my new tech?
Now that you know which tools to shop for, you need to know how to get them up and running. Don’t just flip the switch and turn it all on. The devil is in the details. Assign a team member to own each component and have a written procedure for how and when it should be used. Doing this early on will clear up any confusion and make it that much easier for everyone using your shiny new toy.
You should also take care to avoid stagnant products. If you’re not investing in companies that prioritize innovation, you’ll find yourself with outdated tech while your competitors who bet on another horse sail past you to the finish line. You don’t want to be throwing money down the drain on technology that does nothing for you. Make sure that your investments are bringing in returns by picking tools that improve the way your team works and makes their jobs easier.
Looking for more advice on building out your tech stack? Check out our Marketing Operations Tech Stack Essentials.