Essential Tools for an Impactful B2B Martech Stack
As many organizations evolve to working in an entirely digital environment, B2B marketers have been forced to focus efforts on their online channels in order to effectively engage with their audiences. To navigate this changing landscape and account for the loss of in-person meetings and events, the need for a reliable marketing tech stack to support and maximize the success of marketing strategies has never been more clear.
In today’s digital world, having an innovative tech stack can no longer be seen as a competitive advantage for your business; it’s now a necessity. To help you build a cohesive tech stack that effectively fills the gaps in your marketing strategy, let’s explore the key elements of a marketing tech stack.
Key Elements of a Marketing Tech Stack
Though there are an overwhelming number and variety of marketing technology tools available today, the right marketing tech stack should be based on quality, not quantity. While you might think that more technology in place means more efficiency for your business, it’s important that each tool serves a distinct purpose tied to your desired marketing outcomes. To get you started, here are a few of the building blocks that every B2B marketer should consider adding to their tech stack to support their marketing efforts.
Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) helps you create, manage and modify content on your website, all without the need for technical programming knowledge. Your CMS acts as the content control station and handles the basic infrastructure for creating landing pages and hosting brand assets and resources on your website. WordPress is one of the most commonly used content management tools due to its user-friendly interface that allows marketers to easily manage and publish content on your website, all without knowing how to code on the back-end. By handling the core infrastructure of your website, a CMS enables you to focus on generating relevant, impactful content to support inbound marketing and SEO efforts to generate leads.
Customer Relationship Management
A customer relationship management system (CRM) allows you to track and manage your interactions with customers to help improve your relationships and move prospects through the sales process. Used as a tool for storing contact information, identifying sales opportunities and managing marketing campaigns, a CRM like Salesforce is an essential part of a B2B marketer’s tech stack, as it helps with lead nurturing, customer relationship and client retention through all stages of the lifecycle.
With a CRM, marketers can combine lead information, like job title and company revenue, with engagement data sourced from your marketing automation platform (more on this below), like website visits and content downloads, to create a lead scoring system that can automatically categorize and identify sales-qualified leads. By focusing on the right leads, sales can prioritize opportunities that they can win and marketing can identify prospects that may need more nurturing in order to become qualified. A CRM can also help bridge the sales-marketing gap and make the exchange of information between teams seamless by keeping your contact information clean and storing reliable information on the progress of your sales and marketing efforts.
As marketers, you can also use your CRM to access a comprehensive view of your campaign analytics, making forecasting and sales attribution efficient and accurate. With clear insights and visibility of all your campaigns, leads and opportunities, a CRM can offer you a better understanding of your sales pipeline which can allow you to prioritize your future marketing efforts to generate a positive ROI in the future.
Marketing Automation Platform
When done correctly, marketing automation can be one of the most effective ways to streamline interactions with your customers to nurture prospects through the sales funnel. A marketing automation tool like Marketo, HubSpot or Pardot can help you increase productivity, reduce human error and maximize your resources by automating processes across multiple channels.
With marketing automation software, you can track and acquire user behavior data like website visits, page views, content downloads and email open rates to give you key insights on lead activity. This will allow you to build comprehensive prospect profiles to effectively nurture prospects through the funnel. With enhanced customer insights, marketing automation can help you deliver personalized ABM campaigns or build nurture campaigns with tailored content and messaging for each lead based on their profile.
Marketing automation platforms should also be integrated with other tools in your tech stack to streamline your marketing efforts even further. For example, by integrating your marketing automation platform with your CRM, you can gain a holistic view of your prospects using the behavior tracked from your marketing automation software to their lead profile in your CRM. You can also integrate with your CMS to embed forms on your website that track and route into your marketing automation platform and automatically add leads into your system. By strategically connecting your marketing automation software with your existing technologies, your marketing efforts will be more effective and your audiences will receive the right messages at the right time.
Social Media Marketing Tools
By driving web traffic to your content hub, social media marketing is a proven digital strategy for growing brand awareness and generating leads. Incorporating a social media marketing tool into your tech stack can help you scale your social efforts and enhance your presence across platforms. While there are a range of social media tools at your disposal, a social media management tool like Sprout Social offers a suite of capabilities all in one platform – from automated post scheduling to social media monitoring and performance reporting.
Using a social media management tool can not only save you time with scheduling and publishing social content, but it can also offer key insights on the most optimal post times to help you maximize impressions and boost your audience. The collaboration features of a social media management tool also allow internal team members to approve social posts drafted by their colleagues or assign responses to any social mentions to ensure brand engagements don’t go unanswered. With built-in analytics features to help you track and measure your social performance, including a social media management tool in your tech stack is a sure way to drive meaningful engagement and results from your efforts.
A final essential component of your tech stack are analytics tools to measure your campaign performance and help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your ROI. While many marketing technology softwares have built-in reporting and analytics features of their own, using a web analytics tool like Google Analytics or a data visualization tool like Google Data Studio can help you gain more actionable insights into all of your campaigns and marketing activities.
The measurement capabilities of analytics tools ensure that all your campaigns are tracked appropriately and can give you insights into what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments to your strategy accordingly. The reporting capabilities of analytics tools allow you to communicate your marketing performance to all internal stakeholders to help you receive buy-in on your marketing efforts and set expectations for success.
While each of these tools can play an essential role in strengthening your marketing efforts, there are countless ways to customize your martech stack with tools focused on sales enablement, customer experience, content experience and more. Ultimately, your company’s martech stack should be unique based on your specific needs and goals. Learn more about how to optimize your tech stack to find your marketing success for your company here or get in touch today to find out how Walker Sands can help you leverage technology to enhance your marketing strategy.