Marketing, Sales and ServiceTechnology is a complicated thing. Learning how it likes to dance with everything else you’re already using is even harder. And that’s not even scratching the surface of trying to find out what technology you’re still missing and need to add. Sometimes it feels like it’s a full time job just to keep up with it all!
So today, we’re going to boil this down to your basic nuts and bolts and discuss the kinds of things out there that can help you get a better handle on your business and paint a clearer picture of the things you need to do offline to make it work better.
Let’s jump right in!
Four very broad categories of Marketing Technology
For the most part, marketing technology platforms can be organized by purpose. Early steps in marketing involve research and planning. Later, you’re executing promotions to stimulate customer engagement and purchase transactions. Finally you’re analyzing and reporting on the programs that are being managed and measured.
With that activity-lifecycle in mind you may find it helpful to mentally group your technologies this way:
1. Market + Customer Intelligence Insights - These technologies support automating intelligence gathering, such as social media monitoring and business intelligence tools. The purpose of these tools is to turn competitor, market and customer data into actionable insights. Long story, short – they gather intelligence that makes it easier to make informed decisions about what you’re doing.
2. Project + Operations Management – Think of these as platforms that manage the work. From giving your team a space to get their hands dirty with the data and collaborate on decision making; to resource/asset management, content curation and project management- Project Operations Management technology helps you run the nuts and bolts of your marketing better.
3. Customer Engagement, Acquisition and Retention - In a nutshell these platforms help you do a better job of getting a customer’s attention, selling them something and keeping them over the long haul. Using a variety of easy to understand metrics they monitor everything your customer does from the day they trip over your website, to the days where they buy and become champions of your brand forever. It’s not a coaching platform and it’s certainly not the kind of technology that will do something for you. Relationships are intrinsically human and these interactions are no different. Still, managing things like your email campaigns, customer relationship management, growing your contact database, demand generation, lead generation and sales automation and, and, and... It makes it all easier.
4. Performance Management - These technologies help monitor, measure and communicate marketing′s value, impact, performance, and contribution to the organization. Some of the tools you’ll find yourself using that fall under this umbrella include: marketing analytics, sales attribution, reporting, dashboard, acquisition and conversion models and team alignment and accountability tools. Everything that you use in this space just help you see how well you’re doing.
Now – a word from the wise – we want to emphasize that these systems are great. They really are. But like anything that’s awesome – it comes with a price tag and anything directly customer related can get pricey. That’s why it’s important to either hire a company like ours to help you weed through what you really need; or to take your time and do your homework before making that kind of an investment. Don’t just jump at the first platform that wants to take you to the prom.
Of course this list is not the only way to define groupings of marketing technology, nor does it help you navigate the multitude of options for software solutions in each category. But it does provide a framework to help organize your thoughts by purpose so you can stay focused and hey – one less shuffle through the sock drawer is something we could all use these days.
Did this help you? Let us know in the comments.