Why marketing technology will be your competitive advantage

Category: Data and analytics

Everything in our lives seems to be powered by technology these days; whether it’s mobile banking, online shopping, virtual meetings, or the internet of things technology in our homes.

Technology is playing more of a leading role in marketing, too. In fact, I’d argue that marketing is now as heavily reliant on technology to deliver successful campaigns as our cars are on GPS systems to get us from A to B.

Over the past decade, a plethora of marketing technology tools have emerged – from customer behaviour analysis apps to AI-powered content creation software.

In response, marketers are switching on to the power of martech.

In fact, 23% of marketing budgets are now spent on martech, showing just how much of an investment firms are prepared to make.

So what’s the big deal? For businesses still navigating the early stages of their martech investment, which challenges will martech most likely solve? And how can you get the most from whatever marketing technology investment you make?

Hey big (martech) spender

Back in 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2017 marketing departments would be spending more on technology solutions than IT departments.

While marketing may not have completely overtaken IT in its tech spending, it has narrowed the gap significantly over those five years.

It’s not surprising. With 84% of marketers saying they are now prioritising revenue growth in their list of objectives, martech tools can help deliver a significant competitive edge.

But with a constantly evolving martech landscape, it can be tricky to know which technologies will make the smartest investment – and how big of an impact each will have on your business’ bottom line.

At Mediahawk, we make a point of understanding in great detail the challenges our clients are facing and how they plan to tackle them. Through daily conversations with clients, we know that the most successful businesses are consistently investing in three key areas of martech.

Martech investment opportunities you need to know

Customer behaviour analytics

Today, the performance of everything to do with marketing – whether it be the channels you’re using, conversions, ads, messaging, or more – is fully trackable. Free analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, can help you break the surface and dip into some of the customer behaviour-based insights that can help lift your campaigns to greater heights.

But the truly successful, market-leading businesses are going much deeper than that. They make a point of investing time and budget into analytics tools that track the entire customer journey, from start to finish.

By doing this, they can access a far wider range of data around customer behaviour than free martech tools can alone.

Read how Dormy Care Communities uses customer behaviour insights to better understand their care home target audiences.

Conversion optimisation

Of course, once you have a deeper grasp of customer behaviour trends, you’ll need to take an agile, proactive approach to driving conversions.

For savvy marketers, martech tools are now a go-to for developing hugely successful conversion optimisation strategies.

You may be converting customers through online forms or via phone calls. However you do it, the marketing technologies available to you now mean that conversion rate optimisation no longer needs to be left to guesswork and trial and error tactics.

This can be of particular good use for marketing agencies, where demonstrating a consistently high conversion rate on campaigns becomes crucial for client retention.

Read how marketing agency Bamboo Nine used conversion rate optimisation tools to deliver consistent results for clients, and achieve a 98% client retention rate to boot.

Marketing automation

The third area in which our clients are seeing great results from their investment in martech is when they automate processes.

Whether that means automating email marketing to keep customer engagement high, or using automation to take the manual labour out of data collection; there’s an increasingly good business case for using marketing automation technology to improve efficiency and cut costs.

In fact, automation technology can provide support for almost every facet of your marketing function. From campaign analysis, managing social media campaigns, sending customer data to your CRM and back, and much more, automation technology can help processes become slicker, quicker and way less labour intensive.

Read how Platinum Wave Campers uses marketing automation to bring live customer data into its CRM during phone calls.

Developing the right martech culture

We’ve talked about the technologies every marketing team should invest in right away.

But there’s more to the challenge of making martech a success for your business. It’s not just about simply securing the budget for investment.

When discussing martech implementation with our clients, we often talk about two sides to the challenge: there’s the technical implementation side, but there’s also the potential need for a culture shift in the marketing team to get the most out of new technologies.

This means that marketing teams must be supported in learning how to harness the power of martech, to help them deliver the best results possible for tech-led strategies and campaigns.

A ‘culture shift’ may sound ominous for businesses that have operated the same way for decades. But it’s often critical to the success of martech investment that marketing teams adjust their thinking and approach to campaign strategy when new technologies are brought in.

For example, many new types of marketing software facilitate a far more agile approach to marketing, where strategies can be adjusted on the fly as new trends and customer behaviours are brought to light. It can often result in the traditional 12-month marketing plan being rendered obsolete.

Of course, objectives and goals are still required and must be worked towards. But they can now be realised in a much more proactive manner, where pivoting a strategy mid-year may lead to improved results and even greater cost efficiency.

Martech: the driver of your competitive advantage

Thanks to our pioneering clients, we’ve seen how game-changing results can be achieved when businesses invest in the right martech stack – particularly in analytics technologies, conversion rate optimisation and marketing automation.

And time and again we see that our clients’ successes are rooted, not only in choosing the right technologies, but also in supporting the marketing team to make good and proper use of the tools and software available to them.

The martech landscape moves quickly. It’s impossible to know what it might look like in ten years’ time, for example. But one thing is for certain: martech has become an essential part of every marketer’s toolkit.

It’s no longer enough to simply deliver marketing campaigns; today’s marketers must now use technology as an integrated and embedded function, delivering a stronger competitive advantage as a result.

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About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.

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