There is a holy grail in our industry called One-to-One (1:1) Marketing. Basically, the goal is to be able to communicate on a personal level to each and every member of a target market. Not just personalized communications, but truly personal messaging that takes each individual’s unique perspective into consideration.
A local business owner in a small town might be able to know all his customers and possibly even remember enough about each of them to provide that kind of treatment, but even he or she would have difficulty living up to that standard.
Now imagine trying to personalize your messaging to an audience of millions. It would be nothing short of impossible. But, thanks to advancements in marketing technology (martech) that capability is slowly becoming a reality.
Martech refers to the platforms, software suites, cloud applications, and other tools that enable marketers to target, reach, and track their customers, as well as optimize, measure, and analyze their communications to them.
Martech Stack Fundamentals
The field is expanding rapidly but right now there are several options out there that can be used independently or in concert to make the business of marketing more manageable at large scales and more effective to boot:
Marketing intelligence relies on tracking codes in webpages, emails, social media, and other channels to follow the behavior of users. More than 80% of small businesses rely on Google Analytics, the most popular tool for tracking website traffic, but every company needs some means of gathering data about the activity of their audience.
Repetitive tasks like sending follow up emails to leads that are reading your messaging can now be automated by a number of software and cloud suites. Marketing automation helps you pick and segment your target market, and then schedule and track campaigns– all with an eye on moving leads down the sales funnel. HubSpot is one of the fastest growing players in this sector.
Customer Relations Management (CRM)
When you have thousands or millions of customers keeping tabs on each of them is a daunting task. CRM is a systemized means of tracking both prospective and current customers to ensure they are receiving the proper messaging at the proper time. Salesforce is the leading provider of such services today (they even chose “CRM” for their stock symbol).
Websites have various tags (identifying pieces of code) that perform tasks such as making the site easier for search engines to index them, affiliate marketing, and analytics. Tag managers provide an overview of the tags you’re using (which makes it less likely you’ll end up with a disjointed, inconsistent tag-soup) and ensures you can rapidly deploy existing tags to new launches. For small or medium sized business Google Tag Manager should be enough to oversee your tags. Larger businesses might need a more extensive option like Adobe DTM or Tealium.
Ad networks like Google Adwords, DoubleClick, and increasingly, Facebook Audience Network have their own tracking codes and systems. They typically provide their own marketing capabilities such as retargeting (directing advertising at users based on their previous behavior).
Getting to 1:1
Those are the some of the most common components of a marketing technology stack, but there are numerous others… and no shortage of companies offering them. At last count there were over 3000 martech products and services available. It can be an intimidating task, so make sure you are investing in the right technologies at the right time.
If you want to achieve that lofty goal of true 1:1 marketing you’ll need powerful tools: “Ashu Garg, general partner at Foundation Capital, predicts that by 2025, chief marketing officers will spend $120 billion annually on technology. That’s a 10x increase from $12 billion we were spending only a year ago.”
There’s a lot at stake. Move too slowly and you risk getting left behind as smarter, swifter, and more adaptive competitors take advantage of these new tools. Adopt too quickly and you might end up throwing money at the wrong solution.
But, finding the right martech stack supercharges your marketing, helping you target the highest quality prospects, track their experiences and satisfaction levels on multiple channels, and develop the content and promotions that will convert them not just into customers but loyal brand advocates.