For those of you just starting off, you’re probably wondering what martech is and why you should be using it. Martech is most commonly confused with marketing automation, but they both serve the purpose of making your life a bit easier when working on marketing activities. With the vast amount of available martech tools (estimated to be over 6,800), you might already be using some of them without realizing it. As Part I of our martech series, we’ll explain what martech is, why it’s important, and which tools you can use to enhance your in-house marketing efforts.

Marketing Automation vs. Martech

Martech (marketing technology) is comprised of any tool or software used by marketers to execute their work. The majority of marketing executed today requires the use of marketing technology to carry out daily activities. Martech can be used for many aspects of the marketing workload from creating campaigns and collecting data to event tracking and creating landing pages. Essentially, martech allows marketers to create, manage, and track everything that happens online across all channels at scale.  

Marketing automation is the process of making things like email marketing and social media easier to do, but it can be especially helpful with lead nurturing. Platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft, and many more are popular marketing automation platforms used by businesses to help move customers down the funnel and turn them into loyal brand advocates. 

Why Is Martech Important?

One of the magical things about martech and marketing automation working together is that they show your entire team the whole picture. Many times, different departments (sales, media, accounts, etc.) get only a limited view of the organization’s marketing activities which can cause efforts to become siloed and stray from the overarching goal. This is why having a centralized platform where you can keep all your data in one place is a great way to ensure everyone is seeing the big picture as well as all of the tactics that are involved.

As martech implementation grows within business processes, more organizations are utilizing it to respond quickly to changes in the market. It’s also being used as a way to be proactive with customers and make better use of the data they’ve collected along the way. Martech has provided businesses with the power to automate and streamline many of their internal marketing processes and efforts, thus allowing them to work smarter and more efficiently.

Types of Martech Tools

There are a lot of tools on the market, and it can be difficult to categorize them, so we’ve outlined several categories that we feel are important to most martech stacks.

Advertising Tools – Advertising tools and platforms help manage your paid campaign efforts so you can focus on the areas that are really going to impact performance, like targeting for example. Tools under this category include social media advertising tools, native and programmatic advertising tools, and search engine marketing tools.

Analytics Tools – When you have a website, you definitely want to know who your customers are, how they are behaving on the website, and how they got there. So, using analytics tools is a common first step when starting with marketing technology.

Analytics tools will help you manage your data, evaluate the effectiveness of your website, and provide predictive analytics to help you enhance the customer journey and improve the user experience. Other tools that fall under this category include event tracking and tag management tools like Google Tag Manager, which help you keep track of important actions you want users to take on your website. 

Content Marketing Tools – Using a content management system (CMS) platform is important because it is a central place for publishing content on your website. Some of the more popular CMS platforms include Drupal and WordPress and they have content editing tools that enable users to edit content themselves, without the help of a developer. The benefits of CMSs are twofold in that they save you money and give you full control over content updates.

Other tools under the content marketing umbrella are those that help you make strategic content optimizations. These include tools like a landing page builder or an A/B testing platform, which require little to no development help as most of these tools include easy to use drag-and-drop features. Search engine optimization could be its own category since there are a lot of elements that go into SEO. However, we kept it under content marketing because SEO also intertwines with your website content and the keywords, metadata, and best practices used to boost your organic rankings and increase your website visibility.

Sales Tools – Sales tools are a key element of the entire customer journey. Having some sort of sales software, like a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, allows you to manage and nurture your customers and leads which gives you opportunities to engage at every touchpoint or interaction they have with your brand. 

Some sales tools include customer support components that answer questions, which could be automated further into a chatbot. Many businesses leverage chatbots to handle common questions and provide instant assistance to anyone who is on the website at the certain times. 

Social Media Tools – Social media may not be a priority for your business, but with over 2 billion people on social networks, it’s very hard to ignore the value of having a presence. There are tools to help you to manage and track your social media campaigns and get access to reporting across all your networks. 

There are other types of social tools that can also help with listening, content curation, and conversation management that is happening online. Social media tools will help your team streamline their social efforts and give them more time to really focus on content that will engage the core audience. 

How Do I Start Building a Martech Stack?

Before you start building your marketing technology stack or thinking about all the platforms and tools out there, it’s important to first set your strategy based on what you’re trying to accomplish. You also want to consider how these tools will affect the customer experience because, in the end, they are the ones that keep your business running. 

When creating your strategy, think about your approach and how you plan to use the tools versus the features they have. You should have a clear vision of where you want to take your business and how the proper tools will help you get there. Think of your strategy as the foundation, the building block of your entire marketing stack. Evaluate the way your team is doing things currently and identify the areas where they lack an efficient process. That’s a great starting point to help you decide what type of tools you’ll need for your business. Set a strategy and then find the marketing technology that will help you carry it out.

Conclusion

Here at New Target, we’re all about helping businesses grow, whether its internal processes, lead generation, or sales. As a digital agency, marketing technology helps us prioritize what we need to focus on in order to get your business where you want it to go and beyond.

In our next blog post of our Martech Series, we’ll dive deeper into martech stacks and explain how to choose the right tools for your business. If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve and grow your business with us, read our Web Insights Blog or visit our services and solutions pages. 

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.