What Is MarTech and Why Is It Important?

What Is MarTech and Why Is It Important?

MarTech – or marketing technology – is a big business. Spending worldwide reached more than $121 billion last year, according to “MarTech: 2020 and Beyond.” In North America alone, MarTech now accounts for 30% of the overall marketing budget spend, up from 14% in 2017.

With the increasing demand comes an explosion in new solutions. There are more than 8,000 MarTech solutions on the market today – up more than 13% since last year – as vendors seek a share of this lucrative, growing market. But more choice among differing vendors makes it complicated for organizations to figure out which solution or combination of technologies is the right for their needs.

With such a robust market and escalating interest in MarTech, here's a primer on what it is, why you need it and the types of solutions available.

What Is MarTech?

Martech is what the technology – software, cloud-based solutions and platforms – that marketers rely on to plan, execute and track campaigns, then measure and analyze results. It can be applied in many different ways within an organization – from advertising and promotion, content and experience, social and relationships, to sales, data and management.

These MarTech tools have become vital to the success of marketing campaigns, particularly in the increasingly digital world. With so much data available from digital platforms, like social media, content, email and search engines – technology is required to help automate processes, target customers, and collect and analyze data on a scale that is impossible to achieve with traditional, manual processes.

With the right MarTech stack, organizations can improve and optimize their marketing processes, discover new ways to connect with customers on an individual level, and evaluate campaign results.

The Importance of Marketing Technology

In many organizations, there is a silo effect in which different departments, such as sales, customer service and marketing, have limited views of interactions with customers and access only to select data. By not having a holistic view, it is difficult for all departments to work toward common corporate goals and deliver a cohesive and optimal customer experience.

MarTech can bridge these divides, offering a common, centralized platform to keep data in one place and give all departments a view into not only the various pieces of the marketing puzzle, but the big picture overview. too.

By integrating MarTech with other key platforms and systems commonly used in business, marketing teams can understand customer interactions through every touchpoint. The insights derived from this data will enable marketers to quickly pivot and address areas that need improvement, or change strategies to better engage customers throughout their journey.

Martech Offers a Variety of Benefits

The MarTech ecosystem can deliver a number of benefits. By automating repetitive and time-consuming manual tasks, marketing teams can streamline workflows and do more with less. These MarTech tools also reduce internal friction, allowing all departments to work together toward common goals.

Relying on powerful computing tools to gather and analyze data enables marketers to create content, offers and campaigns that are designed uniquely for each individual customer, achieving the marketing nirvana of true 1:1 personalization. This individualized marketing results in stronger customer relationships, greater loyalty and ultimately growth in the customers' lifetime value.

Challenges Related to Martech

Even with MarTech platforms in place, there can be some challenges to overcome. First is the marketing team. Along with advanced marketing technology, you'll need individuals who know how to leverage it.

Organizations also often lack access to quality data that is clean and consistent across all marketing channels. And there can be issues trying to integrate data within a centralized platform to create unified views of customers. Without a strong data acquisition and integration strategy, it will be impossible to derive valuable insights from the data and achieve the pinnacle of personalization marketing at scale.

What is a Martech Stack?

A MarTech stack is a combination of marketing technologies and solutions that can help marketing departments meet their, as well overall business, goals. The different technologies can include email marketing platform, content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, customer data platforms (CDP) and analytics tools.

The types of tools that make up the MarTech stack can vary depending on the company, its brand goals and whether its focus is business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). As a company builds its marketing stack, it must start with a strong foundation, and be sure that any additional tools will support and enhance existing efforts.

By continually maintaining and updating the marketing stack, companies can gain efficiencies, and achieve personalization at scale that engages and inspires loyalty among its customers.

The Top Tools: Building a Comprehensive Martech Stack

There are six key categories of marketing technologies that can be combined to create the MarTech stack:

  1. Advertising and promotion – These include search engine marketing (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads); social media advertising through Facebook or tools like AdEspresso and StitcherAds; and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered programmatic advertising through solutions such as Simpli.fi and SmartyAds. Additionally, customer loyalty software and offer automation platforms like Formation help brands strengthen their relationships with their customers at scale.
  2. Content marketing – These tools help create and distribute content through a variety of digital channels. CMS like WordPress enable brands to host websites and blogs. Search engine optimization (SEO) solutions, like Google Search Console and Keyword Planner, allow brands to improve website rankings and generate more traffic. This category also includes marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot; email marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp; and mobile marketing solutions, such as LeanPlum and Serve.
  3. Social media marketing – Managing a brand across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other social channels can be overwhelming without management tools, like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Depending on the brand, influencer marketing can be effective, so you'll want to find and connect with the right people through tools like BuzzStream and FollowerWonk. Monitoring interactions with customers on social is important too. tools like Brandwatch Analytics and TweetReach can help you track industry trends and what's being said about your company.
  4. Commerce and sales – Sales, CRM and customer support tools are all important components of the MarTech stack. Sales automation solutions, like Prospect.io, can help automate everything from prospecting to lead nurturing and improve productivity. CRM systems, like HubSpot and Salesforce, provide a central solution from which you can manage business relationships and related data. And customer support solutions provide helpdesks, knowledge bases, decision-tree software and virtual assistants that improve engagement.
  5. Data and analytics – Leveraging data from multiple sources is key to getting a holistic view of customers and what is needed to optimize personalized marketing. These tools include CDPs, such as Evergage, that help create unified customer profiles by aggregating and organizing customer data; and data analytics that help turn complex information into valuable insights, like Tableau and Klipfolio. Web analytics, such as Google Analytics and FreshMarketer, also help optimize website and campaign performance.
  6. Management and collaboration – To support productivity, it is important to have tools that support communication between all parties, such as Zoom, Slack or GoToMeeting. And to ensure that everyone is on the same page with project management and workflow, solutions like Asana and Basecamp can help track and manage all important tasks.

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