67% of global brands today use between 1-5 different tools as a part of their marketing tech stack. That may seem like a large number but it’s really not if you think about all the things marketers are responsible for today. Sadly, there isn’t just “one tool” that can do social listening, marketing automation, web analytics, content performance, keywords research, media buying and audience analysis. In most cases, each of these marketing functions would require different software.
The good news is that CMOs do understand the role of marketing technology and why it’s needed to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. But it’s critical to ensure that you are maximizing your technology investments and spending wisely.
Here are 5 reasons why you should optimize your marketing tech stack as you plan for 2022:
1. Increase Your Operational Efficiency
Despite the high points of adopting new marketing technology, 82% of salespeople and marketers are still losing up to 5 hours a week (give or take) for managing different applications–logging in, logging out, forgetting passwords, resetting passwords, exporting large data sets. In marketing, time is currency, and most would agree that time is much better spent building a revenue pipeline and delivering high-converting creative content to audiences.
Here are a few questions to consider when optimizing your tech for operational efficiency:
- Does it offer integration? Integration can help consolidate all your apps so you have a single source of truth for your data.
- Does it offer speed to insight? How much data mining is needed to get answers?
- Does it provide an open API? APIs allow for sharing of information between applications. An open or public API allows for external developers to build applications that leverage what the API offers.
- Does it genuinely add value or is it just fun to use?
- Does it add to collaboration or take away from it?
2. Optimize How You Use Your Data
The money is literally in the list. You’ll want to audit your martech stack to see if you’re maximizing usage and driving adoption from the entire marketing organization. You’ll want to make sure that you have the best customer data to generate actionable insights and drive sales at scale. The benefit of marketing automation is that it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s an engine and can drive demand and sales on repeat. You can literally turn it on, walk away and it won’t stop working.
The challenge is that it does exactly what it’s supposed to do and nothing more. The data and insights generated from marketing automation must be delivered to the entire marketing organization for everyone’s benefit. The data will then deliver business value versus just campaign value.
3. Align Disparate Teams
Too often marketing teams work in silos within the same company resulting in lost productivity, reduced ROIs and at times, hurt feelings. Marketing technology can help bridge the gap. Audit your tech stack to identify where intelligence and automation resources can be shared to make the end-to-end sales cycle more efficient and your conversion rates higher.
Here are a few basic examples of how to integrate this from a technology perspective:
- Map the percentage of leads generated by marketing that have been followed up on by sales vs. how many have converted to sales (an indication of the quality of the leads). Document the results in a marketing dashboard and share with it with the marketing and sales team.
- If your sales teams need more touch points to convert, identify if there’s a misalignment with the messaging provided at the marketing stage. A social conversation analysis mapped to the buyer journey is one way to do this.
The most effective way to align disparate teams is to launch fully integrated global marketing programs. This will force collaboration with marketing, sales and PR teams across all regions.
4. Reduce Your Software Spends
The costs of building and maintaining your tech stack can peck away at a sizeable chunk of your company’s budget. On the one hand, you’ll want to factor in how effectively your software meets your larger goals of achieving targets, streamlining workflows, and providing the best possible user experience.
You’ll also want to consider the following:
- Can you reduce the number of users? With marketing technology, some pricing plans can vary depending on the number of users.
- Are there tools you can do without? Audit your tech stack to see if you’re currently using other software that can essentially perform the same tasks.
- Are you using more data than you need to? You may be able to get on a lower pricing plan if you get rid of data that’s redundant or no longer useful. With many social listening vendors, they charge by data usage and that can add up really quickly.
- Are there less expensive alternatives in the market? Technology is constantly evolving, particularly in the martech space. You may be able to find more cost-effective solutions now than were possible years before.
5. Gain a Competitive Edge with Innovation
As your business starts to grow, you’ll want to make use of newer and more innovative technology for all components of your marketing team whether its’ SEO, social media or even performance marketing. Customers evolve and their behavior change constantly. Technology is also evolving. If you’re not keeping up with customers, you can easily lose out.
Innovation can help you get more creative with your products, break out of stagnation, and help maximize your marketing budgets and investments. It can be challenging keeping up with the continuous evolution of marketing technology. But innovation doesn’t necessarily need to come from outside.
Meet regularly with your sales and marketing teams and encourage innovative solutions through rewards schemes. Everybody becomes invested in innovation when it trickles down from the top.