MarTech is short for Marketing Technology, and essentially describes the software and tools used to market your business. Technology fuels most parts of the modern business landscape, but it’s particularly popular when it comes to marketing. This is mostly due to the constant need for accurate data to inform marketing decisions, but also the fact that automating your marketing tasks saves time and money.
The other terminology you may hear is a ‘MarTech stack’. This refers to a collection of tools used by marketers to address several different aspects of marketing.
The importance of marketing technology
In many respects, marketing is like a race. You need to reach your audience faster, more effectively, and in a more meaningful way than your competitors. Technology is at the centre of this pursuit, because the right MarTech helps you do more with less. Remember the days of compiling a list of customers and cold-calling them? While this is still a method used today, you’re more likely to keep a customer directory and use technology to reach those customers.
The other main factor is cost. The effectiveness of marketing technology is often determined by the ROI. Software and tools are an investment, so you need to see a return for your money. The very simple idea behind investing in MarTech is to reach more customers and generate more revenue.
Components of a marketing technology stack
With more and more tools being added to the marketplace, it’s not always easy to identify which ones are best, or even which ones you need. Naturally, you’ll achieve better results by putting together a comprehensive MarTech stack, but small businesses may prefer to focus on one or two programs to kickstart their marketing efforts.
Let’s take a look at the common components of a marketing technology stack.
Content management system (CMS)
The CMS, in simple terms, is the back-end of your website. It’s where you create new pages, publish blogs, and install other features to engage with your customers.
Most businesses use a combination of advertising technology, such as search engine ads, display ads, remarketing and ad tracking. By using a mixture, you have a better chance of reaching more customers at the right time.
Data and analytics
Analytics and insights are used to inform decisions on future marketing efforts. For example, the analytics dashboard of your POS software gives you plenty of data. Most businesses will also use tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic. Marketers often draw data from several different sources to access all of the information they need.
Email is an extremely popular tool for reaching your clients. Often, if you use a CRM or other marketing software, certain email automation will be built in. Alternatively, there are standalone email list builders out there to help reach your customers.
Customer experience software
Once you start attracting more leads, the next step is to convert those leads into sales. The customer experience plays a huge role in this, which is why many marketers use software and tools to analyse both the performance of marketing campaigns and how customers interact with those campaigns. Popular tools include A/B testing, which is used to test ads, landing pages and websites to see which works best.
In the modern world, businesses need to have a presence on social media. That often includes purchasing paid advertising, so you’ll need some software or tools to monitor your impact on social media.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of ranking higher in search engines for certain keywords and driving more traffic to your website as a result. It takes time and effort but is extremely worthwhile when done correctly. There are plenty of tools available to help identify keywords and find the right types of searches you should be trying to rank for.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
A CRM is essentially an all-encompassing small business marketing and sales tool. CRMs can store customer information, segment your customers, initiate automated email marketing and perform sales automation.
Top 5 marketing technologies
As we mentioned, there is an enormous range of products out there, so it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed by choice. Of course, all of them promise to solve all of your marketing problems for good. They all boast an incredible ROI. In the right hands, most MarTech products are probably true to their word, however, that doesn’t mean every piece of technology is suited to your business.
When choosing software, it’s important to have a clear vision in mind. Identify the types of marketing you want to engage in because it’s unlikely you’ll want to do everything all at once. Settle on your marketing strategy ideas, and then source the technology you need to make it easier and more effective.
Here are some of the popular tools on the market today.
Google Analytics is great because it’s free. If you own a website, you can access Google Analytics for a huge range of website traffic data. You can get geographical visitor data, see where your traffic comes from (organic search, ads, social media links etc), and even see how long people stay on each page. It’s great for identifying areas of improvement, and even determining where to invest more of your marketing budget.
When trying to improve your customer experience, tools like Optimizely are invaluable. You can A/B test certain ad variations, landing pages, websites and much more. Optimizely also has tools for personalising the customer experience to increase conversions.
When it comes to building email marketing lists and distributing marketing material, Square Marketing is a great piece of software. Remember, though, it’s all about how you use it. Email marketing gets a bad name because of spam, but you don’t need to use it that way. Build a list of customers who actually want you to contact them, and deliver meaningful offers regularly.
AdWords has two great functions for small businesses. Firstly, the obvious one is setting up Google ad campaigns to attract more website traffic. But the other great function is the Google AdWords keyword planner, where you can identify keywords to target in your ad campaigns and also your content marketing for SEO.
Have you ever visited a website and then found that the company’s ads seem to follow you around the internet? That’s thanks to tools like AdRoll, where you can advertise your business throughout the web. It’s a great remarketing tool because you’re targeting only people who have already shown an interest in your business.
Whichever tools you choose, make sure they help you achieve your marketing goals. As you build your Martech stack, you should be able to access more data, achieve better results and do more with less.