Why Adopting Marketing Technology is More Critical Than Ever
Technology continues to infiltrate nearly every aspect of life and business and that trend has only been accelerated by the events of the prior year. A recent Salesforce study revealed that globally we are transitioning to a truly digital-first lifestyle. According to their survey, the current digital transformation – which started prior to the pandemic – has reached a tipping point, with consumers now expecting to interact more with companies online (60%) than offline (40%) this year and into the future.
Marketing technology will take center stage as businesses continue to adjust to this acceleration. Prior to the pandemic, more than half of marketers were already planning to increase their marketing technology budget and that has only increased. Businesses that aren’t adapting quickly enough risk the chance of being left behind or squeezed out by competitors.
Martech: Small Word, Broad Concept
Marketing technology – often abbreviated in the industry as martech – is quite broad. Whether you realize it or not, you’re likely already using it in some capacity. This comes as no surprise considering that there were over 8,000 martech solutions on the market as of 2020. The question is whether or not you are using it well.
So, what exactly is marketing technology? Martech is any software or other technical tool you use to reach or connect with customers, and manage and measure their interactions and experiences. The most common example is customer relationship management (CRM) software, which typically contains several components of martech.
Some of the most popular multifaceted solutions on the market are Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Standalone martech solutions you’ve probably also heard of include Google Analytics (web analytics), Mailchimp (email marketing), Hootsuite (social media management), and Trello (project management).
Why Martech Matters to Your Business
- Evolving consumer behaviors & expectations – The Salesforce study shows that 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than before and a staggering 80% of business buyers expect to do more business online. It also showed that 69% of consumers say that convenience is more important than brand. In fact, according to online software marketplace Capterra, even back in 2018, 65% of millennials preferred to use chatbots as opposed to traditional customer service methods. In order to continue to capture business, you will need to meet your customers where they are (online) when they are there (24/7).
- Improving efficiency – The intention of these products, in theory, is to work towards streamlining, automating, and creating efficiencies in the business. This will likely require some trial and error and starts with making sure you are getting the most out of any martech solutions you currently utilize. Many CRMs offer several functions and are often underutilized. Several programs also have the ability to connect and communicate with each other. If approached and applied with intention, martech has the ability to bring significant process improvements.
- You can’t manage what you can’t measure – Martech also includes the tools used to capture, analyze, and gain insight from all marketing efforts and customer interactions. It is now possible to measure the effectiveness of campaigns or initiatives in ways that were never possible with traditional methods. The shift to digital interaction, paired with digital analytics, makes it much easier to get a comprehensive understanding of your potential and existing clients throughout every step of the interaction. This is invaluable information that most businesses are still just learning to fully harness but the potential implications are nearly limitless.
- Maintaining competitiveness – What all the points above have in common is that martech will make businesses that adopt it well more competitive than those that do not. It is not simply the act of purchasing a solution but rather the ability to fully harness its capabilities that truly matters. In any case, the abilities of martech are facilitating new ways to connect with and understand current and potential clients. While there are some industries, like retail, that may benefit more than others from thoughtfully adopting marketing technology, it has a place and will provide an advantage in every business.