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Powerful Strategy on How to Maximize the Impact of Your MarTech Stack

New technologies and automation processes continue to play an increasingly important role in modern marketing, and with this has come, an exponential growth in MarTech tools. The MarTech landscape is vast and the industry is expected to grow further in the next couple of years with a wide variety of available solutions.

And while the twinkling lights of an appealing new dashboard can be alluring, the sheer choice of MarTech on offer can be both intimidating and overwhelming – leading marketers to focus on solutions for just their departments, rather than the whole business.

For MarTech to truly be the answer to a marketer’s dreams, it must help them break out of their departmental silos so that all areas of the company can own and use it. After all, what good is it for marketing managers if they have a shiny dashboard showing their campaigns are successfully acquiring new customers, but it goes unnoticed that regular customers are leaving in droves in the long term.

So, what can businesses do to break down the barriers to success and use MarTech to their full advantage? How can they align tools to gain a holistic view of how their marketing activities are impacting the whole business?

Invest in Martech, but make it targeted

First of all, a core  success principle of marketing applies equally to MarTech: the level of investment is decisive. Companies need to integrate solutions into their business strategy and use them to their advantage. 

Obviously, not every company can invest billions, but the technological advantages of platforms over simple Excel sheets should be clear to marketers. 

One might think that it is enough to provide each department with the “right” tools, and in some osmotic way everyone will know what to do and be able to promote and share  their evaluations. But just having the tools isn’t enough –  what gets the most out of the investment is the holistic connection of all data points. Which brings us directly to the second point.

Stop the siloed thinking – act as a team

For large businesses, managing cross-departmental marketing activities is not an easy feat, and as marketing becomes more complex and data-driven, this presents even further challenges.

For this reason, many businesses let departments choose their own marketing tools set up, and often these decisions are based on more superficial factors such as appearance, rather than choosing the best tool to support the bottom-line of the business. This is often the case with solutions that market themselves as fast and appear ‘simple’ at first glance, such as Multi Touch Attribution (MTA). They give instant results and validation, but what is the long-term effect of the campaign? What good does it do to the brand?

The risk is that these solutions over-promise; they may deliver attractive dashboards but they are, in the end, limited to individual areas of the business and only support short-term results. To be successful, businesses must abandon this siloed thinking and start looking at all the touch points – and this is where a holistic approach to MarTech can come into play to gather and combine all data from a business at one point, and then use it to create a model of the entire company and its business drivers.

Data analysis can take various forms and will ideally be supported by additional products and solutions. A/B tests can review a strategic approach or explore new offers in test markets. Live modelling also allows significantly faster evaluation, so companies can react quickly – and at the same time granularly – to market developments. 

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Consistency is key 

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It is often easier said and written than done but it can’t be stressed enough: putting strategies into practice within such a complex environment requires commitment from all sides – but is too often neglected or even misconceived. The successful introduction of MarTech does not solely rely on the tech itself. Getting all teams and departments to agree on platforms and software can be a challenge – even before the strategy has been addressed.

Therefore, active change management and the involvement of all stakeholders is important. In the end, company goals are met by the whole company, not a single department.

When the results are based on data as well as ‘external’ analyses, the decision-making process in the company is more likely to be accepted – for example when it comes to budget allocation. In this way, all relevant areas are included and given equal consideration.

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Draw on connected experiences

Human influence plays a significant role in a MarTech strategy being successfully adopted. Decision-makers often work with certain assumptions, images, or segments of customers in mind – albeit unconsciously. And with the ever-increasing volumes of data available for analysis, the customer picture is extremely complex making the marketer’s job more challenging. As a result, they may simplify and develop heuristics that help them to deal with complexity better.

With the support of independent advice, MarTech solutions can uncover previously undetected connections that, once understood, help the business going forward. In this context, they act as a radar or measuring instrument for decision-makers to check their heuristics and, if necessary, to break them up. They introduce measurement, clarifying decisions and introduce verification with data-supported results. Misjudgements can be mitigated and avoided in the future with quantifiable adjustments.

The goal must be to connect all teams so that the result for the consumer is aligned at all stages – from strategy to creation to user experience. Because what remains important and true despite all the recent changes, is the interplay of message, time and recipient. Companies must not neglect this principle and must always think from the consumer perspective to address their needs.

Companies today are at very different stages when it comes to managing their customer relationship  – online and offline – and so resort to different solutions. There is no established script on how best to master these challenges – the model must fit the individual company to help it efficiently transform. 

Use the right kind of data

Speaking of the consumer, tracking them across their entire journey may never be possible, especially with the move to omnichannel and as more regulations and guidelines come into place to protect their data. Technology can help with far greater customer understanding and a holistic marketing strategy that aligns and optimises activity with customers’ needs – if the right data is used.

However, the data available to companies today is literally incomprehensible and many companies capitulate to the sheer volume of data. On top of that, the end of the third-party cookies is completely inconvenient, as you could at least rely on them for targeting and impact measurement. 

Many companies are currently looking for one alternative to the cookie, which can be dangerous. there will be no direct replacement. In fact, a suite of solutions will have to be used in the future, including cohort formation such as Google’s FLoC, contextual advertising and the creation of first-party data.

So, companies have to finally rely on other data and more holistic data analysis now to be able to operate more successfully in the future.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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