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It’s a recent industry.
It’s constantly changing.
It’s rapidly growing.

Yes, we are talking about Digital Marketing.

To put in perspective, just 3 decades ago, the World Wide Web was invented.

The Information Age had arrived.

Here everything was researchable, shareable and connectable. We embraced it, never looking back.

For marketing, the Internet was a goldmine.

The industry quickly turned the Internet’s evolution to a playfield, where companies made big strides in collecting information on consumer behaviour and adjusting their strategies to this new way of doing things.

Shortly after the introduction of Social Media, marketing strategies began to shift towards more inbound, personalised and user-centred design.

A powerful quote from Unilever’s Vice-President of Marketing, Marc Mathieu illustrates the new shift perfectly:

“Marketing used to be about creating a myth and selling it and is now about finding a truth and sharing it.”

This turn of events caused marketing to embrace modern technology to keep up with the eruption of data, subsequently evolving into a breed of marketing and technology.

We call it – Martech.

Now we live in the new age where 40% of all consumers use five screens on a daily basis, demand personalised experiences when interacting with companies, share their insights about everything, and can’t be bothered to visit a physical store.

Surely, marketing calls for technology to clarify how to go forward.

From big organisations to leading marketers and all the way to the birth of a Martech industry, the marketing sector has been profoundly affected by a strong wave of change.

Which leads us to a conclusion – there is no going back.

To get the full picture, Martech revolution provokes businesses, professionals and consumers to embrace the transformation in the following ways:

 

  • Organisations are now out in the open world trying to rapidly increase their use of new technology and improve their consumers’ experience, from the first touch point to the last. They are adopting new technology faster than they can fully utilise it, stacking one solution on top of the other. Every way you look, new is becoming the constant. And the traditional approach of reviewing businesses software systems every 5 years is surely a thing of the past.

 

  • Leading marketing professionals are constantly searching for new technology solutions that will help innovate and embellish the processes they have, while they build new strategies. They are lost in the sea of software that offers magic bullets for their problems. The strategies they have have been using are now rebuilt to match the increase in possibilities.

 

  • Consumers are setting new expectations when interacting with companies. They demand personalisation, real-time response, and relevance. They no longer buy without research, nowadays consumers are very adept on getting the information they need. And authenticity and transparency are becoming the main values consumers look for today.

 

  • In the meantime, the Martech sector has become a giant industry, filling up the marketplace with software competitors; all offering the new shiny tool that will be everything you want and need. Scott Brinker, author of the Chiefmartec.com blog has depicted this in a Martech landscape illustration he built:

 

As seen in the illustration; In 2011, there were around 150 vendors offering a software solution for marketing automation. In Scott’s explanation, we see a rapid expansion of Martech sector throughout the past 7 years,  bringing us to 2018 where there is approximately 7,000 vendors in the same Martech space.

The opportunities of marketing technologies are enormous and exponentially growing.

But the challenges lie in the same space.

There is a problem with plenty.

It mostly comes down to marketing leaders to rise above the challenge and utilise this technology abundance.

So in this crowded space, the real question is:

What does it mean to be a successful Martech user in 2019?

Part 1: What does it mean to be a successful Martech user in 2019?

 

To begin this journey we will recognize the technology is continually developing and expanding.

We will acknowledge that today’s Martech is far too “mutable”. To hold on the same tech stack or even the same process for a longer period of time would mean becoming outdated in the blink of an eye.

We will also keep in mind the consumer’s behaviour is changing, they are expecting way more from companies today than they did 10 years ago.

So, how do we, as leading Marketing technology users, be and stay successful in this environment?

This is what we will discuss here today.

To begin our exploration, firstly we will address the pillar of any marketing – the data.

Marketing Data Quality And Integration

 

Data is like air to marketers.

And today, there is no shortage of consumer data.

To put it another way, 90% of the data we have today was created in just the past two years.

Much of the marketing done today is really about applying this data that we gathered using the technology we have at our disposal.

Today, every single decision made, every click on a website, and every share on social media can be tracked, recorded, and stored in comprehensive demographic profiles.

Thanks to the rich troves of data now available marketers stand on the front line, competing vicariously to get better insight and fuel their decisions. 

Because of this, marketing leaders face enormous possibilities and an enormous challenge. 

The challenges lie in the fact that marketers usually inhabit a marketing technology landscape that is complex, fragmented, rapidly evolving – and in short – overwhelming. 

To overcome this headache, we must first ask the right questions. 

Are we gaining the right kind of insights to have a clear picture of who our customers or prospects are or are we simply creating more work by adding systems and point solutions that don’t share data? 

We don’t want to use technology for tech sake, we want technology to work for us. 

To break this down, there are 2 main challenges Martech users face today when it comes to data:

 

  1. Data quality
  2. Data integration

Data Quality

The importance of data quality is very clear: people can only make the right data-driven decisions if the data they use is correct.

Without sufficient data quality, data is practically useless.

Sometimes even dangerous. 

To make sure your data leads you toward better business decisions (and not toward your demise) there are few things to consider: 

  • Organisation

Is your data properly stored? If you can’t easily search your data, you put yourself in a position of disadvantage. Time is off major essence here and you don’t want to waste it on challenges that can be easily avoided.

  • Right data

Even if we have the best systems in the place too much data can be counterproductive. You need to focus on metrics that matter to your business, to milk the best juice out of it.

  • Duplicates

With so many solutions companies use today, duplicate data is extremely easy to slip in, making your decision-making process inconsistent and dangerous. Make sure you have streamlined your solution to work for you before you fall down this rabbit hole.

  • Incorrect data

Keep in mind that data decays at a rate of 2.2 percent per month. Therefore, it’s almost definitely going to be the case that some of your data is outdated, which is going to make it incorrect data. It’s a massive issue, as anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of data has errors within it. 

In addition to data quality, there is another twister that causes marketing teams to despair.

 

Data Integration

The whole point of marketing technology is to help us bridge, nurture, automate and measure the interaction a customer is having with our business.

It helps us understand how people are moving through this journey and how they might behave in the future.

But if our technology is not speaking to each other, it is going to be a lot harder to stitch that picture together. 

One of the most common causes of poor data integration are data silos that exist within a company. 

Data silos are created for different reasons, some of which are: 

1.Structural: Data is collected by a particular team within a company for a specific purpose. Teams are not used to sharing the data to other departments.

2.Growth-related: If a business goes through a change of management, acquisition or a change of direction, many systems they had in place previous to the growth will become incompatible. 

3.Vendor constrain: Many software solution providers have invested interest in keeping you as a customer, which causes them to lock the data with the system. This makes it harder for businesses to cancel the software licence and keep the data at the same time. 

Data kept in silos is a major challenge to leading marketers, because it’s not actionable.

We can not form a full 360-degree customer picture, and more importantly, we are unable to estimate their future behaviour. 

The solution? Unified data.

We achieve this by zeroing in on marketing practices and technology that supports those practices: 

Employee training: Make sure companies employees have the right skills set to collect, enter and analyze data. By investing the time to study the marketing trends we advance along with them. 

Focusing on data quality: More is not better. All data sets should be complete, relevant and up-to-date. 

Extracting data: Trapped data in legacy systems is a wasteland. We need to turn it to gold by extracting, cleaning and preparing its future use. 

Building processes: From start to finish the data management process should be like a well-oiled engine. The departments should all work together to ensure consistency of data and data flow between them. 

Technology: Having the fitting marketing technology is of crucial importance to blow the wind into marketers back, and empower them to hold the vision of future success.

Marketing Technology

 

Technology helps us understand our customers so we can serve them better and build stronger relationships with them. 

Among these technology solutions nowadays, modern marketers main focus will be around the following: 

> Web technologies that allow us to track people across the web and to understand browsing behaviour

> Social technologies that let us measure influence and understand who is driving the conversation on specific topics

> Advertising technologies that enable us to test messaging and understand which messages resonate most with which market segments

> Retail technologies that let us track how customers navigate our stores and understand what merchandising methods are most effective

> Business intelligence technologies that allow us to establish correlations between the above data sources

 

To build a 360 view of our consumer, we need to evaluate how to build the marketing technology stack that will work for our companies best benefit. 

Many marketing leaders of today have spoken on the topic of “how to build a marketing technology stack” which we analysed for our use here today.

Minimum Viable Marketing Technology Stack

Given the fact that our technology needs to provide automation and right insight, we can not start digging into choices before we give some thought of where we stand. 

To paint a picture, according to Gartner research, an average company is using 22 tools in their Marketing Technology Stack. 

Additionally, you may have noticed this –  if you ask an average CMO about the number of tools they use, they wouldn’t be able to provide a correct answer.

 

Which brings us to a conclusion that the problem with today’s luxury of choices lies in its luxury. 

Guided by their “shiny object syndrome” companies stack technology on top of each other, without the effective strategy that drives the technology. 

To start this journey of discovering the best marketing stack for your business we need to remember, marketing technology is here to support our marketing strategy and not the other way around. 

Step 1. Think of Strategy 

It’s an obvious one – get your strategy straight. You do not want to put an engine on the wrong train. 

Your marketing strategy should be fueled with your technology and not the other way around. It’s the foundation you build your technology on.

To gain clarity on your strategy ask yourself these questions: 

  • What marketing processes are my teams doing today?
  • Where do we lack processes?
  • What needs to change to reach our marketing goals?

Once you answer these questions you may begin to notice that some of the processes that already exist in your company might have become obsolete, while others need more attention. 

Step 2. Review the technology you have today 

A great number of businesses have frameworks that help them implement new solutions with more ease. It starts with a holistic overview of the technology they have today. 

For instance, take a look at how Cisco presents their marketing technology stack:

For simplicity sake, they have visualised their technology stack by dividing it into 4 circles, each of which represents a business intent of use. 

The first outer circle represents the technology they continuously renew, second shows the reinstall and use intention, third shows the necessity to shop and buy an additional tool, while the fourth and final circle displays the awareness of the tools out there, leaving it for future consideration. 

It’s a clear indication of companies maturity when it comes to using new tools, showing they can be aware of the technology, however, at this stage, the new tool might not be necessary. 

Also, it’s important to notice, there are 4 major areas that get affected when they choose a new tool: customers, partners, sellers and data operations. 

This holistic overview of their marketing technology landscape makes it so much easier to decide whether a solution is actually needed or it’s just one of the many shiny objects out there.

 

Step 3. Think of dependencies 

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution out there. 

Each company has a different set of dependencies which influence their use of marketing technologies. 

To start with, dependencies might include: 

  • Company stage of maturity
  • Team & talents
  • The scope of the funnel & customer experience you’re trying to create
  • Your data model (B2B vs B2C; account-based vs. lead-based)

In each stage of a company’s evolution, there are different priorities when it comes to technology. 

For example, if you are in a Start-Up stage of company maturity, your marketing stack will differ greatly from a company which is in a Scale-up/Enterprise stage. While a Start-up might work perfectly well with Spreadsheets, an Enterprise needs a full-blown CRM and CDP. 

Same goes for Teams/Talents you might have available in your company.

How your team uses tools and whether they can dedicate time and focus to use them properly, has dramatically more impact than adding additional tools. 

Additionally, if you are building a stack that will serve your customers better, you might consider what would be the scope of the funnel for ideal customer experience.

Each segment of the funnel needs a tool to optimize processes in that segment. 

Let’s not leave out the type of business you have, as this will impact which technologies you might find important. For example, a business that sells products or services to consumers (B2C) will use different channels and techniques to acquire customers than a business that sells products or services to other businesses (B2B).

 

Step 4.  Think about the ‘single source of truth’ 

More tools will always be needed as we evolve our marketing strategy and grow our business.

It is of crucial importance that a business can keep up from early on with the full context of the customer journey.

The big mistake companies often do is when they let individual teams take individual ownership of the whole company’s data, which inevitably leads to data silos.

Best practice sees teams acknowledge and address this issue early on. Each functional team needs the data in their tools, but the source of truth for all these key tools is a centralized, company level problem.

Common types of technology that can act as a single source of truth for your customer data are:

  1. CRM
  2. Marketing Automation Platform
  3. Customer Data Platforms
  4. Data Warehouses

As you are scaling up, the need to combine your data into a centralized point grows.

Without a clear, deliberate strategy to build a truly unified single source of truth, your company will never be able to get the 360-view of the customer journey.

 

Step 5. Think Scalability

If you followed these steps we mentioned before, you will reach a point where you have your technology working like a well-oiled engine.

However, as the future unfolds and better solutions become available, you will want to ‘tune-up’ your stack to work even better.

This is why this step might be the most important one.

We know that a tool is rarely best-in-class at multiple channels. That is the reason why you need multiple tools. Having multiple tools means having to propagate changes and updates to all of them.

And that is why you need to think about scalability in terms of possible future integrations.

As you reach an enterprise level, the technology you have might become obsolete, however, if your core technology stack was built to scale, you would avoid a major inconvenience of starting all over again.

   

Trend towards Marketing Cloud

Today we see a major trend among enterprises to lean towards using “Marketing Cloud” solutions which integrate natively as a part of their feature.

For example, Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers a set of marketing tools built on a unified platform to provide easy integration and scalability.

From marketing automation, social studio, unified data platform to analytics and advertising tools, you can literally build up as you go.

To be more specific, Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides features like:

Journey Builder: This feature lets you control how your recipients receive messaging based on impressions and interactions or even a lack thereof. With it you’re able to make sense of a customer’s timeline.

Pardot: The B2B marketing automation platform that connects your marketing and sales teams with the ability to close more deals in a fraction of the average transaction time.  It allows you to integrate data with different types of messaging and enables your development of a marketing journey that’s driven by customer activity and data points.

Social Studio which help you drive your social media marketing. It empowers you to have conversations with your customers through various social channels, allowing you to build meaningful relationships. Social Studio combines all of your social channels into one, easy-to-use interface.

Content Builder that provides a centralised place for all your content. You can write and edit your articles, blogs, emails, and social media posts, and you can also directly edit images. Content Builder allows you to sculpt your perfect message with ease.

Mobile Studio feature allows you to interact with your customers on the go! It disseminates brand messaging and offers via SMS text, push notifications, or group messaging. It makes it easy to connect with your brand through text appointment confirmations allowing your sales team to never miss a moment.

Same goes for their competitor, Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Available on a subscription basis with several optional components that range in specialty from Adobe’s creative foundation to analytics platforms, campaign management tools, and social media integration, Marketing Cloud aims to be a one-stop shop for organizations needing a comprehensive solution without relying on different vendors.

For you, the goal should be to create a learning ecosystem, one that connects insights to outcomes as part of a continuous, self-improving cycle. 

Which bring us to our next point of discussion. 

Creating an Omnichannel Journey.

 

Omnichannel Journey

When talking about a connected and well-integrated technology stack, there is no way of skipping the omnichannel topic.  

Today, for retail companies, an omnichannel strategy is no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive.  

As we know, the omnichannel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out. 

All omnichannel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omnichannel.  

You can have an amazing marketing strategy, engaging content, and a wonderful lead-nurture process, but if they don’t work together, it’s not omnichannel.  

Retailers who fail to deliver an omnichannel journey risk major losses to revenue, diminished brand loyalty, and customer defection.  

Based on the study of Periscope, a McKinsey Solution, some of the main challenges to implementing an omnichannel approach include:  

  • Lack of customer analytics across channels (67%)
  • Siloed organization (48%)
  • Poor data quality (45%) 

 

To elaborate, it’s true that we are still in the early stages of customer data analytics. As indicated by a survey of 400 marketing leaders conducted by Forbes Insights and Treasure Data, it still takes marketers too much time to analyze and draw conclusions about the success of a marketing campaign or a change to the customer experience—47% say it takes more than a week, while another 47% say it takes three to five days. 

Not only that, it becomes even more difficult the execute the omnichannel journey if the analytics data is not stored in a single source of truth. Data that is dispersed among different systems can do a lot of damage to a business. Firstly, it won’t provide the clear 360 view of the customer which we need, and secondly, if data is of poor quality, it would lead executives to make wrong decisions in their attempts to building the perfect omnichannel journey. 

To build a great omnichannel journey and to enhance your customers experience while passing through it, you need to first be clear on few things: 

1.The Customer Journey Must Be a Consistent Experience Across All Channels. 

2.The Omnichannel Customer Experience Needs to Include Interactions With the customers, Online and Offline. 

3.Customer Data Will Help Omnichannel Marketers Recognize Customers on Any Channel They Visit. 

4.Marketers Need to Be Able to Access Customer Data From Their Core Records in the Channel the Customer Is Using. 

5.With That Customer Data, Be Able to Reference Historical Customer Experiences in Real-time. 

6.Enable Customer Conversion, Purchases on Any Channel. 

7.Omnichannel Strategy Should Enable Customer Service Interactions Wherever the Customer Wants to Have Them.  

So how do we get there? How do we reach that stage where our omnichannel journey is impeccable?  

Well, we must start with Customer Journey Mapping. We need to walk in our customer’s shoes through each stage of the process and do so in every channel we interact with them. 

“86% of buyers will pay more for better brand experience, but only 1% feel that vendors consistently meet expectations.” Oracle research. 

 

Customer Journey mapping will help you: 

> Create a strong brand experience and identity

> Identify the so-called moments of truth, i.e. critical moments which gives the customer an opportunity to change an impression about the company, whether negative or positive 

> Create positive emotional and rational perceptions 

> Identify the touch points and related omni-channel, to reach customers and let them reach you  

Customer Journey mapping is like building a lego. 

 

Customer Journey path

 

We have built a framework containing 7 main blocks, which will guide you through the mapping of your customer journey.  

What is important to mention about this framework is that it builds the Customer Journey map from the customer point of view 1st utilising an outside-in approach.  

Often with Customer Journey mapping initiatives, there is a tendency to start with the internal processes and then try to impose them on customers. The result is very often that they don’t necessarily match customer expected outcomes, needs and appropriate experience.  

So let’s get started on those 7 bricks of building a Customer Journey:

 

Brick 1 – PERSONA CLARIFICATION – What client segmentation base are we engaging with and which type of persona profile?  Depending on the complexity of the product or service, there may be several different persona profiles using or impacted by your solution. 

Brick 2 – PERSONA CHARACTERISTICS – Gives us some information and data on what we know about the persona profile – what are the typical characteristics? 

Brick 3 – MILESTONES – Defining the macro milestones of the Customer Journey as perceived by the customer. What will they need to have achieved in order to move from one milestone to the next? 

Brick 4 – KPI MEASUREMENT – What are the expected sponsor or persona CO and associated KPIs to measure? 

Brick 5 – CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – What is the required customer experience for this persona profile? 

Brick 6 – ENGAGEMENT TOUCH POINTS – What is the persona engagement model and touch points across the customer journey? 

Brick 7 – PROCESSES ALIGNMENT – How is all of the above aligned with your internal organisation and processes?

 

It’s important to remember that applying analytics to the customer journey map will help your business better understand customer interactions and bridge the gap between devices and channels for a more unified customer experience.  

Not to mention, by mapping and analyzing existing customer behavior, you can design paths for your customers that encourage satisfaction and loyalty.  

We have seen amazing results companies have achieved once they recognised the importance of building customer centric omnichannel journey.  

There is no denying: benefits that come from building the omnichannel journey are remarkable, even more so if applied together with personalisation.  

Which is our next topic of conversation.

 

 Advanced Personalisation

Advanced personalisation marketing automation

Based on the research Sailthru provided in 2017, companies which are fully invested in all types of personalization by 2018 will outsell their competitors by at least 30%. 

Personalisation is becoming even more important as we move forward into the future. 

However, many companies struggle to meet the customers expectations when it comes to that 1 on 1 relationship. 

Some companies, like Amazon or Netflix are rocking it. For example, Netflix has started to personalise the artwork used to promote programmes based on people’s viewing tastes. So if you watch a lot of romance, the artwork you see when Good Will Hunting is promoted will be much more couple oriented than if you were into comedy. 

So what is holding the rest of us back? 

First of all, the core definition of personalisation varies from company to company. Internally, the stakeholders are often not clear on what part of business personalisation falls into.

We have seen a lot of businesses defining personalisation as a marketing tactic, which is not quite the right assumption. 

Also, it is important to note that when you are planning for years ahead you would need to create a responsibility chart of who should be involved in personalisation implementation.

By identifying the departments and individuals who are responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed you’ll have a framework for working cross-functionally.  

Secondly, measurement and testing of personalisation is still in that shady area. The most popular approach to measuring personalisation is still email-response rate. This can be very helpful metric, however it doesn’t measure long term impact on business revenue.

As personalization implementation becomes more advanced, marketers must shift to cohort-driven analysis to favor metrics like lifetime value. 

We will always recommend to build your personalisation strategy based on the long term goals, which will allow your team and those you collaborate with across your organization to work backwards from that long-term vision. 

Lastly, as many of us know, implementing cross-channel personalisation is a milestone many companies still have to reach. Most of businesses have implemented email and website personalisation, which is a great start, however there are plenty of channels left to explore, such as  mobile or social media. 

Remember, Millennials and Generation Z demand connected, personalized experiences across their entire customer journey. 

Considering that by 2020, Generation Z will make around 40% of all consumers, advanced personalisation will be a necessity, rather than just a great revenue growth strategy. 

So how can we, as leading Martech users, arrive in the future prepared?

  

Build Your Personalisation Roadmap

 

To start with the roadmap to personalisation, we would like to point out that you’ve got the old mass marketing approach on one end and the hyper-personalized, predictive personalisation on the other end. Segmentation lies somewhere in the middle. 

There are a few phases we need to complete to get to that final predictive personalisation stage. We will go through them together.

 

Phase 1 

In the first phase, we need to start with the batch and blast approach as a basic first step. It refers to a single message mailing process where we lay the basic groundwork to better personalisation. It kind of stands for a clean slate or a starting point.

 

Phase 2 

The next phase is characterized by the insertion of something personal, often the first name, the city a customer lives in, or gender-specific information into marketing messages. 

There are basically two sources of data you can tap into to evolve your personalization:

  • Use your own data that you collect and “model” for campaign and content selection.
  • Leverage an outside service that collects information at the time of open and can serve content relevant to that information

 

Phase 3

Segmentation of your customer base using demographic data such as location.

Use the data that you know about your customers based on their location, weather, device type and so forth.

This way you can better segment which content to show each individual.

 

Phase 4

Behavioural recommendations mean looking beyond what you know explicitly about your customer, this next phase gets into what you know implicitly about them. What do they look at on the website? Where do they click on? How much time do they spend on your website?

The addition of behavioural recommendations in individual channels is a pivotal step to individualizing the experience.

 

Phase 5

Omnichannel. Every channel is integrated and talking to one another in this phase. Marketing communications are optimized across all channels, not only pulling in data from all these channels but also actively pushing it out to them.

 

Phase 6

Predictive personalization means using historical data to determine what customers are likely to do in the future.

Here, predictive intelligence drives personal customer experiences at scale and success at this stage fundamentally changes companies.

It enables you to automatically optimize messaging based on a customers’ future behaviour.

When you can anticipate what kind of communication a customer will respond to, if they’ll purchase, how much they’ll spend — or if they’re at risk of opting-out — you can personalize content, messaging, calls-to-action and even discounts in a way that optimizes revenue with every engagement.

There is a lot of talk around achieving personalisation at scale. Businesses are under pressure to reduce acquisition costs, therefore they’ve shifted their focus to maximizing the potential of existing customers, and personalization is one of the most cost-effective and ROI-driving strategies to do that.

When talking about personalisation at scale, companies are well advised to implement or increase agility within their workforce.

Without going agile, the technology advancements and the increased customer expectation will swallow your effort to deliver better personalisation with traditional approaches.

Agile, in the marketing context means:

  • Using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real time
  • Deploying tests quickly
  • Evaluating the results
  • Rapidly iterating

This is the essence of personalized marketing. A high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and multiple new ideas every week.

Many marketing organizations think they’re working in an agile way because they’ve adopted some agility principles, such as test and learn or reliance on cross-functional teams, however, their agency and technology partners aren’t aligned on the need for speed and can’t move quickly enough.

Simply put: if you’re not agile all the way, then you’re not agile.

Which brings us to a cross-departmental collaboration topic, the dream team – marketing and sales.

Increased Marketing/Sales Productivity

 

These days, as customers have more complicated journeys and demand ever-more across different channels and multiple devices, countless non-linear paths appear. 

As leading marketers, our great task is to leverage and measure these journeys to maximize sales opportunities. 

We know that until now sales and marketing teams didn’t always work well together. 

In fact, research shows that 53% of sales professionals are unhappy with the support they get from marketing (source). 

Very often, we see that many of the leads forwarded to sales are bypassed or completely ignored because salespeople feel that the leads are not qualified. 

On the other hand, when sales receive unqualified leads, it doesn’t necessarily mean the marketing department is not doing their job. 

More often it’s a result of poor communication: the sales department has its own definition of a qualified lead, while marketing has another. 

So, how do we solve this misunderstanding? We implement Lead Scoring to increase sales and marketing productivity. 

A survey conducted among 164 B2B marketers by Adweek BrandShare, reported that relatively few are utilizing Martech features such as lead scoring. 

Lead scoring is the process of ranking the sales-readiness of a lead using a predetermined methodology.

Assigning precise numerical values takes the subjectivity out of the lead-qualifying process and by doing so, it ensures that you only send high-quality leads to sales.

The first step is coming with a shared definition of a Sales Qualified Lead between your Marketing and Sales department. This may mean fewer leads make it to the sales team, but ultimately, lead quality will be higher.

After the marketing department comes together with the sales department to define the specific criteria that make up a qualified lead, your lead scoring implementation can start.

To make sure you are on the right path, consider the following steps:

1. Give your form fields numerical values. For example, a lead’s job title might be more valuable than its location. By assigning numerical scores to each criterion based on their importance will assure your leads are quality over quantity, which will help the sales team deliver better performance.

2. Determine what a sales-ready score is: You will achieve this if you first analyze which leads usually convert to paying customers. Leads that come in higher than your pre-determined threshold will then be considered sales-ready.

3. Leverage the power of sales and marketing automation tools: There’s no way around it – lead scoring is difficult to handle manually. Despite the name of this tool, marketing automation platforms can be just as useful for your sales team.

Marketing automation can often be used to automate emails and other sales outreach, monitor selling activity, implement lead scoring processes, and much more.

To illustrate, we have listed below some of the best ways that you can use marketing automation to improve your sales productivity and lead conversion rates.

Reduce Lead Response Times

A study by Harvard Business Review found that prospects are 7x more likely to buy from you if you respond to their enquiry within one hour, as opposed to after an hour.

Lead Scoring

Automated lead scoring provides an objective system for grading the quality and urgency of leads, leaving no room for human error when prioritising which leads to focus on.

Visit Tracking & Real-Time Alerts

An amazing feature that most marketing automation tools provide is a snippet of code for your website that records every page your contacts visit and when.

 

Not only is this useful for attributing where your leads come from, it also enables you to set up SMS or email alerts to your sales team the moment a potential lead visits your website.

 

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is a mid to long-term sales strategy. For high ticket-price items or B2B services, lead nurturing is a powerful strategy for improving your conversion rate of leads to paying customers.

Use Progressive Profiling to Capture More Lead Information

Progressive profiling enables you to capture more information about a lead each time they visit your website – without having to ask for the same information over and over again. 

For sales, this enables you to gather more information on leads while increasing the conversion rate of leads engaging with your offers.

 

Increase sales output with personalized templates

One of the most profound ways in which marketing automation assists sales is by improving the efficiency of how you contact leads. Using personalized templates, you prevent yourself from writing the same emails over and over again.

Automate Leads Handoff from Marketing to Sales

Having a standardized leads handoff process can help with marketing and sales alignment. Most marketing automation platforms let you create workflows for this process.

There are many ways sales and marketing teams can push marketing automation platforms to do more in the retention and acquisition of customers.

By using these tools, marketers can be sure their campaigns are operating at maximum impact, while sales teams will enjoy qualified leads and more optimised leads handoff, which will subsequently result in higher conversion rates.

We have seen great examples of companies adopting this superior approach where collaboration between sales and marketing becomes more enjoyable for both teams.

For example, one of our clients, a real estate investment company – Perial, has increased its customer acquisition by 6 times using the Pardot marketing automation platform.

Not only that, by simply launching online campaigns through Pardot, and then qualifying the leads for sales, they have streamlined the inbound marketing which allowed their sales team to convert 23% of SQL’s into won opportunities.

They started with placing prospects on sophisticated drip marketing tracks that would allow them to keep in touch as well as gain additional opportunities for interaction with prospects. Through integration with Salesforce, the sales team was able to easily adopt Pardot as part of their process.

Together the two teams have successfully achieved positive ROI and made the process of qualifying leads simple and painless.

 

Clear ROI Measurement

If you are still struggling with positive ROI on your Martech investment it might be helpful to know, you are not alone.

Wipro Digital recently released a new study which indicates that despite the emphasis on MarTech expertise, many marketing departments are struggling to reap the full potential of their investment and deliver expected ROI. 

The cause for your ROI issue might not have anything to do with your technology stack, most of the trouble with ROI comes from the lack of expertise. 

Although it can vary from technology, process, information (data) to people. 

 

  • If the problem is strategic it must be solved at that level, and revisiting strategy might be worth considering.
  • If the problem is execution related, it is essential to understand and manage the end-to-end marketing processes.

Smart marketers know that technology is not a universal cure; rather, it requires diligence and a thoughtful strategy in order to be used effectively. 

Marketing automation technologies like Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua have enabled marketers to attribute specific buyer activities to real revenue dollars. 

What’s less clear is how to measure which activities should be attributed to the ROI of MarTech. 

So to get a clear understanding of your ROI, there are few data points you should pay attention to.

 

1. Increased funnel conversions

A natural place to start would be at the top of the funnel. From there, you want to work your way down through to the closed-won deals at the bottom of the funnel, calculating the conversion rates between stages.

These conversion rates refer to the percentage of opportunities that your team of sales reps is progressing from one stage to the next, and so on all the way down to the bottom.

 

2. Improved Funnel Velocity

The rate at which marketers are able to convert leads into opportunities—and opportunities into actual customers—is a great way to measure how effective your marketing technology is. This is important because it can help identify which processes are helping move prospects down the funnel toward a sale; the quicker a technology can help achieve a sale, the more revenue a company can expect to see from those processes. 

 

3. Productivity Gains during Content Creation 

Marketing technology that enables productivity gains within a content operation is a good metric to pay attention to when determining the ROI of technology. These productivity gains could result in a number of outcomes as a marketing team implements a technology.

Some examples include a technology’s ability to enable marketing teams to produce more content in less time, more content with fewer creators, or less content of higher quality.

 

4. Cost Savings

Investing in a technology that holds content creators accountable for their exact role in the creation of content is crucial in being able to reduce the amount of money spent on agencies. Being able to templatize workflows of certain assets and campaigns ensures that people are following the proper steps to create quality content in the most timely manner possible. 

While there isn’t a golden rule when it comes to proving the ROI of marketing, let alone your tech stack, these are some helpful things to pay attention to when adopting new technology. 

Proving the value of marketing efforts is important when it comes to strategizing, planning, and budgeting for future initiatives and marketing technology.

  

Part 2: Futureproofing your Marketing Teams and your Martech use

With the future closing in on our marketing efforts – there is no denying – change is the new constant. 

From consumers, company departments to marketing technology, we have been sucked in the middle of a new technology vortex. It’s everywhere we turn, and it’s not going away. 

So how can we prepare for the future, to make sure we come out not only more productive marketers but also the leading Martech users of tomorrow? 

Well, we keep a close eye on the innovation. 

For this purpose, we have compiled a list of new technologies that have been introduced in the past few years and that we believe will play a major role in the direction Martech will evolve in 2019 and beyond.

 

1. Geolocation

2. Artificial Intelligence/Chatbots

3. IoT

4. Natural Language Processing

5. Augmented and Virtual Reality

  

Geolocation with Mobile

Leading companies like L’oreal, McDonalds and Starbucks have been using the power of geolocation for years. 

Considering the forecast that there will be around 2.5 billion smartphone users in 2019, marketers can grab this opportunity to conduct a right message, to the right person at the right time. 

Data about where consumers eat, shop and socialize is increasing, and leading Martech users will continue to lean on these insights to tailor data-driven advertisements based on real-time location. 

There are several ways to use geolocation to your advantage, some of which include: 

Beacons

They are small sensors which retailers use to see a detailed picture of how customers are shopping by tracking things such as foot traffic and browsing time. 

Retailers are among the earliest beacon adopters, however, they aren’t just for marketers from brick-and-mortar retailers. Beacons are also being deployed in sports and concert arenas, airports, trade shows, schools, and museums that hope to engage and learn more about their customers. 

The two biggest players in the beacon market are Apple and Google, and they both have their own standardized BLE beacon implementations. 

Shoppers with the Apple Store app installed on their Bluetooth-enabled, iOS devices with active location services can receive in-store notifications about deals, new products and more. 

Not only can beacons be used to get more customer insight, but marketers can also get the attention they want for their marketing messages when they use beacons. The geo-targeted messages beacons transmit can increase the “open rate” of mobile marketing messages significantly.

In fact, people open standard push notifications about 14%of the time, but they open messages transmitted by a beacon 53% of the time, because they’re more immediately relevant, according to mobile advertising firm Beintoo. 

In many cases, the goal behind beacons is to increase customer engagement and, thus, sales and loyalty. 

Predictive Analysis

Predictive analysis algorithms can be used to predict a user’s location or possible activity based on previous behaviours and actions. 

For example, if a person visits a grocery store thrice a month, predictive analysis of the location history will be able to tell interested businesses when their communication is most likely to get the desired results. 

Also, dynamically changing the messaging or discounts being offered according to these insights can become an excellent tool to pull in a lapsed customer.

To illustrate think about the last time you purchased a new mobile device. 

If you are like most of the consumers out there, you prefer to do the majority of your pre-purchase research online, but you also prefer the instant gratification of holding the new device. 

US Cellular used predictive analytics to determine what exactly is the role of website actions in driving in-store sales. 

By applying predictive analytics on a range of digital and offline data sets, they were able to identify just how valuable different online behaviours were to an offline, in-store transaction and activation later in the purchase cycle. 

The data told a story with many elements we might have expected: Add-to-cart actions and beginning a checkout process were indeed predictive of an impending offline purchase, and locating a nearby store also showed up as an action predictive of purchase intent. 

But browsing device galleries and using the chat feature were among the more valuable actions, and the single most important factor in purchase intent was interacting with the current special offers. 

US Cellular had optimised the data by prioritizing and focusing testing plans on the objective of getting users to interact with offers, an activity that they discovered to be highly predictive of offline value. 

This action had amazing results: It drove 23% more visitors to offers interactions, translating to a 61% lift in visitor lifetime value.

 

Geofencing

Geofencing essentially creates a zone around a business solely for the purposes of advertisement targeting. If a customer is playing on their phone in one location for example, they might see specifically-targeted adverts for businesses in the local area because they are within their Geofencing zones. 

A Volvo dealership in the New York Tri-State metro wanted to increase brand awareness among its target audience of luxury car buyers, and bring those prospective buyers into its showroom.

While leveraging geofencing marketing, the dealership and its marketing partner took these steps:

> The marketing team built geofences around areas with a very high concentration of car shoppers in the luxury market, including local competitive dealerships.

> The marketing team set up a conversion zone around the actual dealership so it could successfully track customers who entered the established-target geofences and those who saw or clicked on the ads served, as well as those who actually visited the dealership’s showroom.

> Along the way, the marketing partner and its team optimized the geofencing campaign

The results? 

Not only that the marketing team was able to track the dealership’s natural foot traffic compared to campaign advertising foot traffic, the campaign also delivered results such as: 

> Over a 30-day campaign test period, the marketing team delivered over 300,000 impressions;

> 500 clicks were driven to the website (exceeding click-through-rate industry norms by 50%);

> The campaign drove a minimum of 132 people to the dealership;

The average cost per visit was approximately $21.

  

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Another form of innovative technology that relies on Geolocation is Augmented Reality. This is the technology behind the wildly successful Pokémon Go game. 

Using the same technology, advertisers can craft virtual experiences around a brand or product. 

According to the Digital Marketing Institute, around 75% of the biggest brand in the world have integrated VR into their marketing strategy to date. 

To get a sense of how big companies use VR to their Marketing Advantage we bring a story of the New York Times. 

A few years back, the New York Times delivered Google Cardboard glasses to all of their subscribers in order to watch a VR film. 

The newspaper giant segmented its audience and presented different films based on their preference. 

The emotional intensity that this experience provided viewers would have reinforced brand loyalty for all three of the products: the glasses, the New York Times, and the featured films. 

The immersive storytelling and the showcasing of products in curated environments or virtual experiences, VR creates a heightened platform for translating ideas into experiences that people are engaged by. 

A recent study showed 53% of people would prefer to buy from a company that uses VR over one that doesn’t. 

We can already see, how the industry is adopting WebVR, allowing people to experience VR by simply loading a VR-enabled web page, and viewing that website using a VR headset. 

Additionally, changes are happening in the devices themselves, including advances in the lenses, the onboard computer platforms, and in the communications technology, allowing for untethered headset experiences. 

This all results in portable and multi-venue applications, and for B2B marketing and sales, that opens up a new world of application potential.

AI/ Chatbot/ and IoT

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) technology is more interconnected than ever before. 

We use virtual assistants (Google Home & Alexa), smartphones, wearables, vehicles, social media in our everyday lives, which means there are a virtually infinite number of ways to connect to your customers digitally. 

Through AI marketing, digital marketing practitioners have managed to improve their personalization approach. In turn, this increases productivity and performance. This data-driven marketing strategy has taken the digital marketing industry by storm. 

And personalisation is not the only way to use AI. Through AI systems, brands are able to discover, gather, and present digital content to target consumers. 

AI can improve Ad performance. Through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, it is possible to gain insights, on which online advertising efforts work. Through such insights, companies can know where to invest and where not to invest. 

AI improves search engine capacity so that customers are able to find products easily.

For instance, if you use the Amazon search tool you will get tens of suggestions once you start typing. We tryed typing Food into Amazon search engine and this is what we got:

This is courtesy of Machine Learning, which is part of AI strategy. 

Therefore, whenever you search on the E-commerce website, you can easily get relevant results relating to the search term used. This allows the E-commerce website to optimize the chances of making more sales. 

On the other hand, bots bundled with AI and IoT are a vehicle to cross all of the communication channels with an intelligent interface. 

Bots can not only perform tasks, deliver alerts, and serve customers, but also leverage artificial intelligence to anticipate their needs and learn from the conversations. 

Why using Chatbots is an addition to your marketing strategy?

1. Customer Retention: Chatbots are unique because they not only engage with your customers, they also retain them. This means that unlike other forms of marketing, chatbots keep your customers entertained for longer.

2. Data collection: Your chatbot offers the perfect opportunity for you to gather feedback from your customers.

3. Make communicating with your brand more fun. Chatbot interaction makes your marketing more fun and interactive, leaving a lasting impression on the user.

4. Lead nurturing:  Chatbots allow you to gather the information you need to then create personalized messages that can help guide your users through their buyer’s journey.

5. Keep your social media presence fresh. With a chatbot, you’re making yourself available to consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because they are constantly available to answer any social media queries, they will keep your online presence fresh.

Voice Search & Sentiment Analysis, Natural Language Processing

It’s no surprise that companies like Google and Netflix use AI in abundance.

It’s also no surprise that businesses of all sizes are taking note of large companies’ success with AI and jumping on board. 

There is another relatively new technology that has been stirring up a conversation within the Martech arena. 

It a form of AI, called natural language processing (NLP). It focuses on analyzing the human language to draw insights, create advertisements and more. 

To illustrate, when you’re typing on your smartphone, you’ll see word suggestions based on what you’re currently typing. 

That’s natural language processing in action. 

While natural language processing isn’t new science, technology is rapidly advancing thanks to an increased interest in human-to-machine communications.

Why is NLP important in marketing?

1. Considering the staggering amount of unstructured data that’s generated every day, from medical records to social media, automation will be critical to fully analyze text and speech data efficiently.

2. Sentiment analysis by identifying the mood or subjective opinions within large amounts of text.

3. Social media analytics. Track awareness and sentiment about specific topics and identify key influencers.

4. Subject-matter expertise. Classify content into meaningful topics so you can take action and discover trends.

A 2017 Tractica report on the natural language processing (NLP) market estimates the total NLP software, hardware, and services market opportunity to be around $22.3 billion by 2025. Advanced Martech users know that there are plenty of conversations happening that include your brand that really aren’t worthwhile, however, some might be. For instance, sentiment analysis may be performed on Twitter to determine overall opinion on a particular trending topic. Companies and brands often utilize sentiment analysis to monitor brand reputation across social media platforms or across the web as a whole.

One of the most widely used applications for sentiment analysis is for monitoring call centre and customer support performance. As companies seek to keep a finger on the pulse of their audiences, sentiment analysis is increasingly utilized for overall brand monitoring purposes.

 

 

Interruptive-based advertising: a thing of the past

As Ryan Steelberg, president at Veritone explains, “in 2010 we saw the emergence of on-demand media where it went from linear environment to DVR to streaming. Right now, it’s about on-demand selection and minimal interruptions.” That trend is likely to continue into 2018 and might even reach a tipping point according to Steelberg. 

“We believe that the traditional model of interruptive-based advertising may be a thing of the past.” However, it’s not all bad news for advertisers, when it comes to traditional methods, Steelberg also predicts that “old school sponsorship models may become premier strategies for awareness, where a whole compilation is sponsored by one brand.”

 

MadTech: Collision Between Adtech and Martech

 

You don’t understand a difference between AdTech and MarTech? Don’t worry, because pretty soon you won’t need to. As technology continues to advance, the two segments of marketing will continue to merge, using the same data sets to reach audiences in smarter and more personalized ways. Ads will be micro-targeted, and campaigns will be increasingly customizable. 

Given the competitive nature of budget allocation between ad tech and martech, it’s no wonder many executives dread their convergence. Take it from Joe Stanhope at Forrester, though: This convergence of ad tech and martech is nothing to be afraid of. 

In a recent CMO.com column, Stanhope shared the two major benefits of the convergence: economic throughput and contextual marketing. Convergence redefines the path of marketing spend across technology, data, media and content, he wrote. 

As for the latter, it also advances the technology stack and drives engagement across touch points, devices and stages of the customer life cycle.

I’ve written about this convergence myself here at MarTech Today, including the skills you’ll need to navigate this brave new world where ad tech is automating markets and martech is scaling business outcomes. Marketing technology has grown rapidly to claim a 33 percent stake of the marketing budget, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016, and you should expect that to grow in 2018 and beyond.

Dig into this great read on “Becoming a martech mastermind: Agility, proficiency and accountability” to learn more about the mindset and skill set that will best lend to your success as a hybrid marketing leader.

Bridging CRM and CEM

What is Customer Experience Software? 

Customer experience software, also known as customer experience management software, CEM or CXM, is a software tool that allows companies to track and organize all of their interactions with their customers in the different stages of the customer lifecycle. Its main purpose is to make sure that the customer has positive experiences throughout the entire lifecycle, in addition to improving customer retention. 

Unlike customer relationship management (CRM) software, customer experience software focuses on the point of view of each individual customer, helping companies develop a brand experience that’s unique and catered specifically to their audience. With the help of customer experience software, businesses can consistently exceed the expectations of their customers by designing experiences according to the customer feedback that they receive. 

The numerous tools that are offered by customer experience software allow you to find new ways to form personal connections with the audience. In turn, this not only increases customer satisfaction, but can have a huge impact on customer loyalty and brand image.

By keeping consistent and in-depth customer records, businesses can map out the entire customer journey, seeing it from the customer’s perspective with the help of feedback mechanisms, as well as reviews and surveys. 

But with customer experience management tools, the possibilities go beyond just reacting to customer feedback. The software also allows you to track and analyze numerous metrics, gaining insights that help you personalize each customer experience. 

Providing a generic, unspecified experience is no longer an option. Companies that fail to understand the experiences that customers have with their products inevitably fall behind the competition. But how does customer experience software differ from customer relationship management (CRM)? 

Well, even though both serve crucial functions in discovering new sales opportunities, there are distinct differences between the two.

CEM vs CRM

There are countless software solutions available for understanding and predicting customer behavior, but most of them fall under two categories: customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience management.

But while these two software types are intertwined in their functionality and purpose, there are very important differences that need to be understood in order to make the most out of each. With customer relationship management (CRM) software, it’s all about the big picture. The goal is to find the trends in your customer behavior data so you can draw insights that can help find ways to improve performance and discover new sales opportunities.

Customer experience software covers similar functions, but with one crucial difference: instead of looking at the customers as numbers on a spreadsheet, it focuses on dissecting the interactions that each individual customer has with the company. In addition, it also helps you see the entire experience from their perspective. 

With the help of real-time data from websites, support calls and social media, companies can integrate that data with CRM and see the full picture of each client experience. This in turn allows you to gain a well-rounded picture of how to provide the best service possible every step of the way. 

To put it more simply, both software solutions can be used to optimize and improve customer relationships, but each of them work from different sides of the spectrum. CRM software provides numerous benefits that help improve relationships from the organization side, while customer experience management software helps track and understand the customer experience side, providing invaluable insights on how to improve it. 

That’s why there’s no danger for either CRM or CEM software to become obsolete. Both serve a vital function and work best when utilized together in order to give insights into all areas of the customer experience. 

Still, to get the most out of CEM software, here are some of the main benefits it can offer when compared with CRM:

 

Increased Customer Loyalty 

Customer experience software is all about making the customer want to stick around, so it’s most prominent benefit is the huge potential of increasing customer loyalty. 

The top CXM solutions on the market make it easy to track and improve your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is the industry benchmark for measuring customer loyalty. This provides educated approximations on how many customers are praising or criticizing your brand. It also gives companies complete control over improving customer loyalty, enabling them to compare their NPS with the industry standard and gain insights into how exactly the numbers can be improved.

 

Increased Revenue 

According to the EY’s Customer Experience Series, businesses in Australia are losing $720 on average for every single negative customer experience. 

This statistic shows as clearly as possible that when your customers are unhappy, it directly influences the bottom line. In this case, the only viable solution is to make the customer experience a top priority. 

With the help of CEM software, it becomes much easier to set clear and data-based goals for improving your customer experience, implement any necessary changes and get the most out of every customer interaction. 

 

Bridging CRM and CEM

More Customer Advocates and Business Referrals. 

Accenture’s Customer Loyalty Report reveals that 55% of U.S. consumers show loyalty to the brands that they like by recommending them to friends and family, which is a number that’s difficult to ignore. And it’s exactly what CXM software can help you achieve. 

By gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences your customers have with your brand, you can make improvements to better match up with their individual needs, forming a loyal following of customers that are willing to spread the word about your business.  

Choose the Right Customer Investments  

Finally, the ability to see from the perspective of the customer results in a much easier time figuring out how to improve your products and customer service so that the customer reaps the most rewards. 

Whether it’s adding new features or implementing new technology, by gaining insights into your customer preferences, you can make educated decisions about which investments matter to your customers, and are therefore more relevant.

Conclusion

 

We need to prepare.

Prepare for more changes and faster evolution of technology than ever before.

Virtually every industry analyst has predicted that marketers are about to spend more on technology than their IT departments. 

Faced with a flood of new marketing technologies marketers need a new approach, new practices and technology expertise. 

The traditional approach has become increasingly impractical. 

This is why adoptive approach has become essential for marketing teams. There is no rapid change with the linear approach. 

Agile is the new way to go.

 

Organisations and their teams must be agile

 

Generally, the goal of implementing Agile in marketing context has been to improve speed, predictability, transparency and adaptability of change in the marketing function. 

Companies that embrace an agile approach do so because of the competitive advantage it offers to those competing in rapidly evolving markets. And consumers have quickly adjusted their expectations based on companies that do this well. 

Consumers are also much more likely to be vocal on social networks about companies that fail to meet their expectations. They have become accustomed to consumer application experiences that change on an almost daily basis. 

An agile approach will allow teams to work faster while building stronger relationships with customers. This is part of shortening the feedback loop between the market and the company. 

The ideal approach for the Martech users of the future is to treat their work environment more like a start-up than a mature business. 

This will soon become the imperative considering the tremendous amount of innovation that’s taking place in the technology industry. 

Remember the famous quote by Charles Darwin?

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent ones. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

 

Agile is optimal in situations where it’s difficult, if not impossible,  to accurately estimate project scope – and where poor estimate will lead to wasted effort and squandered resources. The goal of implementing Agile in marketing is to improve speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability of change to the marketing function. 

As with any change, introducing Agile Marketing into an organization will require a thoughtful approach: 

1. Get educated on Agile values and processes

2. Appoint an Agile leader

3. Assemble your resources

4. Enrol management early and often

5. Start with a small, well-defined project

6. Share your results

 

Certain areas of marketing can evolve easier than others, so it would be smart to start with one of those: digital marketing, email campaigns, case studies, social media campaigns etc. 

On the other hand, the marketing leaders of tomorrow will need to stay on top of their game and keep their skills relevant. 

Staying relevant in a Martech world affects everyone: It doesn’t matter if you’re the chief marketing officer, the chief marketing technologist, or an individual contributor on the team. 

Adobe research found that 40% of marketers wanted to reinvent themselves as marketers, but less than half — only 14% — knew how to do that.

For marketers to succeed in this competitive, converged media environment, they should possess a few key characteristics. Developing these mindsets and skill sets can help to further their professional careers and empower them to provide a greater service to their brands.

These hybrid marketers who can reach across speciality borders are like glue, bringing the entire marketing department together.

A Martech future user will be:

> Digitally savvy, search-led

> Content-centric

> Socially apt

> Commercially aware

> Technically proficient

> Data-driven

As the digital marketing world becomes more sophisticated, it’s not just brands that need to make adjustments to their strategies; professionals themselves need to be able to adapt and master new roles.

Focusing on these skills can help brands and marketers together remain relevant within the online marketing industry.

 

Marketing Must Be Cross – organisational

In this age of high demands, the entire organisational structure is due to change.

We strongly believe the entire organisation needs to have a customer focus, not just marketing.

Creating true customer centricity comes from joining up the entire business around common goals.

This ability to engage teams across the business will be crucial, especially given 54.3% of marketers surveyed as part of the Future Marketing Organisation study believe marketing’s future role will be collaborating with other functions such as IT, sales and finance to deliver business strategy.

By creating cross-functional teams that are diverse in nature you can promote creative thinking and potentially identify more creative solutions to problems your business is facing.

However, for teams to work together efficiently, the data must be easily accessible to each team member.

Remember, different departments within your business should all work together to ensure the consistency of data and data flow between them.

How does your business develop its own data strategy?  As we already mentioned earlier, it’s an evolving process. It’s not a one-time sprint to the finish line, but a long-distance race dotted with technical and human hurdles.

But businesses that start investing in a robust data strategy and proprietary infrastructure now can set themselves up for a win in the long run.

To sum up, the future use of Martech would include more open collaboration, integrated technology solutions, skills evolution, agile approach and quick changes fueled by actionable data.

So how do you prepare to be a part of this Martech future?

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