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In the last ten years, marketing has undergone an industry-changing digital transformation, with data and technology significantly altering the way marketers do their jobs. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated this shift, forcing brands to complete years worth of digitization in a matter of months.
Another factor driving change is customer expectation. As consumers become more adept at filtering out ads both mentally and with ad blockers, brands and marketers must increasingly use technology to personalize their offers in order to break through the noise and stay relevant to their audience.
Previously a differentiator for smart marketers and advanced brands, marketing with technology is now a must for staying in business. We’re examining what strategic priorities will matter most in the coming decade, and how to build a marketing technology (MarTech) stack to support them.
Marketing with technology in 2020 and beyond - 3 critical factors
Achieving that relevance that consumers expect will require brands to make their customer data actionable, which will call for a new level of sophistication in marketing with technology. According to Andy Devey, Knowledge Management and Training Lead at Google, it’s not enough for brands to have the data. They need to “be smart with it and use it in a way that adds value in [their] marketing communications every step of the way. This is how to truly put the consumer at the heart of [your] strategy, capture their needs and grow [your] businesses.”
Devey asserts that there are 3 factors marketers need to prioritize in this technology driven era:
Breaking down organizational and technological silos
Most enterprise-level companies are currently siloed not just by department and business unit, but by the disconnected nature of the technology they use. This can negatively impact the customer experience and the resulting loyalty. To combat this, marketers should choose technologies that “play well” with other departments that affect the customer experience, such as customer service, community management and customer success. That means getting buy-in from these stakeholders as you choose and evaluate your marketing technology tools.
Staying relevant at every point in the customer journey
Devey endorses personalization as a way to achieve this goal, using the example of a marketing campaign for the Google Search app. The marketing team delivered personalized marketing executions to 80 million consumers based on their preferences and locations, ultimately achieving an 85% increase in app use.
A company like Google is able to dedicate significant marketing staff and proprietary technology to this kind of endeavor, but brands with fewer resources won’t be able to personalize at scale without the right technology. Marketing technology solutions that use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to rapidly act on customer data in order to personalize communications and offers across the customer journey.
Measuring interactions to understand customer value
Most marketers are already using a number of different analytics tools in their MarTech stacks. But two things need to happen to make those tools effective: all the disparate data from them must be synthesized into cohesive insights about the customer, and the data and insights must update continuously as new customer interactions, or behaviors, are recorded. Only then can companies accurately measure each customer’s lifetime value (LTV), identify their most valuable customers and direct resources toward retaining them.
Building a modern marketing technology stack - how to get started
Most marketers are already doing some amount of their marketing with technology, but to make sure those platforms and apps integrate into one cohesive stack, you’ll need to evaluate what’s working, what’s missing and how to fill those gaps. These three considerations should guide your evaluation:
- What are your goals? Whether you’re looking to increase incremental revenue, boost repeat visits or just retain the highest number of customers possible, make a list of all your key business objectives. Then evaluate how each technology you use is helping you achieve those objectives, and consider whether it supports your personalization efforts.
- Does it offer a single view of the customer? Different marketing technology tools will reveal different facets of customer behavior, from shopping patterns to underlying motivations. All of these components should work together to combine that data into a singular representation of the customer.
- Is your view real-time? The customer data and insights you gather need to be actionable, which means that your MarTech stack needs to continually update them. Ideally your stack will also incorporate marketing automation, and be able to act on your data automatically using parameters you set.
How to choose your marketing technology solutions and vendors
Creating a future-facing MarTech stack will require not only the right technology, but also the right partner to provide it. Here are a few key criteria to look for from each of them:
Top Marketing Technology Capabilities
- Can create, deploy and manage your offer campaigns from a single platform
- Leverages AI, ML and automation to enable personalization marketing at scale
- Aligns marketing offers to business objectives and drive measurable results
- Measurably improves marketing efficiency
Top Technology Vendor Capabilities
- Acts as a strategic advisor and helps create a plan to meet your business objectives
- Offers support for implementation, launch and post-launch, including integration
- Can help you calculate your potential ROI with their technology solution
Personalization will lead the way in marketing technology trends
As the growing digitization of all industries turns digital convenience into a point of parity, building relevance by personalizing the customer journey will allow brands marketers to stand out. But building a MarTech stack capable of that will require investment. To learn how to build a business case for your marketing modernization, read our latest white paper.