Today’s martech space is made up of thousands of online tools and technologies and is only destined to grow in the years to come. According to our State of Martech report, 88% of B2B marketers today use more than one martech tool on a regular basis, making it evident that in order to keep up with competitors during this time, leveraging marketing technology is a must. However, while most marketers understand the importance of relying on martech to efficiently carry out marketing activities, only about one in five marketers have an operational strategy in place for optimizing their tech stack.
With the vast amount of tech solutions available on the market today, it can be overwhelming to know how to select the right tools for your business, and even more daunting to know how to properly integrate those tools into one unified solution. In order to see impactful results from your marketing technology, you need to make sure all the elements in your stack work effectively together to help you accomplish your unique marketing goals. Here are our recommendations for how to build and optimize your tech stack to find marketing success for your company.
First Consider Your Strategy and Set Your Priorities
The purpose of a martech stack is to support your marketing efforts, so let your strategy be your guide. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, goals have likely shifted and your tech stack can help you be more agile in achieving them. When optimizing your tech stack, start by considering your marketing strategy and overarching goals, along with the tactics you’ll need to execute them. Are you hoping to nurture warm leads through an email marketing campaign? Boost brand awareness through social media? Identifying your current goals will help you determine which technological capabilities you’ll need from your martech to efficiently carry out tasks to reach them.
Audit Your Current Tech Stack
Now that you’ve established your priorities, take a moment to audit your existing marketing tools to analyze what’s working, what’s not and what you can be leveraging differently to achieve your goals. First, talk to your internal teams spanning across marketing, sales, operations and more to identify all the tools your business is currently using. Then, evaluate how individual stakeholders are using them, being sure to note any challenges they face when working with the tool. Understanding what you already have in your toolkit will help you get a better idea of what you need and what can be cut.
When auditing your tech stack, not only should you consider the usability of the tools, but also how they link back to support your specific marketing goals. Martech tools can help marketers connect with customers at every stage of the marketing funnel as they navigate the entire customer journey. Depending on your goals, assess whether you have tools or platforms that target each stage of the funnel, all the way from lead generation to acquisition. Do you have tech that applies to top of funnel leads like social media marketing or ad tech tools? A robust marketing automation platform for nurturing leads in the middle funnel? Compare the functionalities you currently have with the functionalities you’ll need to be successful in the future. Be sure to look for any overlaps to avoid overspending on tools with similar functionalities that deliver the same outcome for your business.
Optimize Your Integrations
Once you identify the right tools for your tech stack, it’s important to integrate them to ensure your technology works together to allow leads to flow seamlessly from one end of the funnel to the next, all while being tracked along the way. To deliver maximum value, an optimized tech stack should work as a system of integrated tools and help you determine which marketing tactics are truly driving ROI so you can focus your resources on the right strategies. Here are some things to look out for to make sure your integrations are optimized for success.
An integrated tech stack can help with lead management by consolidating vital marketing activities and information about your customers throughout their customer journey, giving you advanced insights on how to accurately categorize and target leads at each stage. For example, connecting your customer relationship management software (CRM) and marketing automation platform (MAP) can help with lead flow by transferring user activity data captured by your MAP, like website visits and content downloads, into your CRM to help identify sales-qualified leads. Be sure to set up an effective lead scoring model that aligns with both your sales and marketing objectives to determine the attributes that qualify a lead and increase velocity.
Integrating your tech stack can also help with nurturing unqualified leads through the funnel with personalized tactics based on data captured across your platforms. However, dirty data like duplicate contacts and contact inconsistencies can produce inaccurate information that impacts lead segmentation and attribution. Validate that your lead data in your CRM and MAP are being recorded and syncing properly to make sure you’re targeting the right people with your efforts and attributing touch points accurately.
Data Tracking and Reporting
Tracking data across all your marketing channels is critical to understanding the strengths and weaknesses in your marketing strategy and knowing how to adjust your efforts accordingly. When taking an integrated marketing approach to target leads through both inbound and outbound efforts, data sources must be combined to give you actionable insights into how all your activities are working together to move leads through the funnel. Without bringing together data from your CRM, website and marketing automation platform, proper attribution of sales pipeline and closed opportunities can’t be communicated or assessed. To ensure your reporting is accurate, assess whether your tools are tracking your data across your channels correctly so that you can analyze the full picture.
As marketers, we need to be able to attribute marketing performance to revenue, but it can be difficult to pinpoint which activities are linked to results if your tech stack isn’t optimized correctly. Integrating your attribution program with your CRM and marketing automation is essential for quantifying how your various activities contributed to the success of a sale. Make sure your attribution is accessible and being tracked correctly so you can accurately report on pipeline movement. Are you using UTMs to track touchpoints across your channels? If you are, are they tracking and being attributed properly? Marketing attribution is a long game that takes iteration and improvement, but data is your friend. Setting up your systems and technology now will help you avoid backtracking when trying to attribute your marketing activities appropriately to calculate ROI in the future.
Put Your Customer at the Front and Center
At the end of the day, your tech stack should help you streamline the buyer’s journey by creating a seamless customer experience from lead generation to acquisition. To get the most value from your tech stack, leverage your data-driven insights from your attribution and reporting to create and execute a personalized customer experience. For example, use your lead profiles from your CRM to segment audiences in your MAP and deliver hyper-targeted ABM or drip campaigns that deliver relevant content to nurture prospects through the funnel. Or set up a workflow that triggers marketing emails based on website activity. Keep your customer at the forefront of your mind and take advantage of technological capabilities across touchpoints to enhance the customer experience and maximize revenue.
A great tech stack can help you capture market share and gain a competitive advantage, but optimizing your tech stack is an ongoing process that requires a structured and careful approach. Contact our team of experts to find out how Walker Sands can help you see an impact from your marketing technology.