You blinked and there it went, the first half of the 2017 MarTech (marketing technology) game has come and gone. You prepared in Q3 and Q4 of last year, worked hard in Q1 and Q2 of this year, but did you work smart?
The scouting report saw the mobile monster accounting for more than 70 percent of this year’s $83 billion digital spend and looking at the scoreboard going into crunch time, it was right.
Now it’s time for that Lombardi-like halftime speech that not only motivates, but makes adjustments on the fly and implements a game plan down the stretch that will score a W for the good guys.
With currently more than 5000 vendors in today’s Martech landscape offering solutions across advertising, content, data, management, and social just to name a few, it is no surprise MarTech purchase decisions are gaining more scrutiny than ever closing this year and beyond. But the growth from 150 vendors in 2011 to 5000 in 2017 is speaking loud and clear — marketers must find solutions allowing them to excite prospects, differentiate in the market, delight customers, and scale easily in order to be champion of this game.
Here are the key strategies to follow while making MarTech purchase decisions for the second half of 2017:
Strategy No. 1: Adapt to a True Omnichannel Customer Experience
Back in the day, a marketer only had to worry about one channel at a time.
“How is my website doing? What did that ad campaign bring in? Did the in-store promotion perform as expected?”
Then came multichannel — the realization that we needed to sync channels to achieve optimum results. We coordinated ad campaigns with website content, maybe even an email promotion thrown in. That was impactful with an audience experience growth and adopting more information/ads/content than ever before.
Now we have entered the age of omnichannel. The concept that each channel should not just be coordinated for execution, but leveraged from one another to make each touch point more relevant.
“Oh you just visited our website prior to visiting a store? I happen to have that product you were looking at in stock — and you should consider these complementary items.”
The result of this evolution is that current technologies are cobbled together in a hodgepodge way to try and adapt to this new customer experience. Solutions purchased 10 or even five years ago simply were not built with omnichannel consideration. So, as you evaluate new solutions to add to your marketing mix, ensure you are considering abilities and capabilities to support, simplify, and streamline your omnichannel strategy.
Strategy No. 2: Collect and Connect Your Data
Today’s data challenge for marketers is not that they are short on data. The problem more-often-than-not is it’s not the right data, or “useful data.” Resources available to marketing teams today enable a plethora of data to be captured. But often we find ourselves in analysis paralysis looking at data points that just are not relevant to our objectives.
In addition, our data has become increasingly segregated. With each new tool or system we implement, there is another data source to be considered and managed. We find ourselves needing to look in many systems and tools to consolidate data to then analyze to make decisions. It’s become incredibly inefficient and prone to error.
As you consider new tools and platforms to solve your current challenges, be sure to discuss integrations with your current marketing stack and other systems with customer data. The key is to create a single view of the customer — not a different view for each channel in which they engage with you.
Strategy No. 3: Realize Mobile Is the Key
The present-day consumer has rapidly evolved into an expert at consuming digital content. We are constantly glued to our mobile devices — staying connected with each other, work, and our favorite organizations. We welcome the opportunity for open dialog with companies so they can hear our feedback and change for the better to give us improved products and services. It is an amazing time to have the opportunity to market to consumers.
The mobile device presents the key to truly knowing your customer. Our phones are intimate to us — we take them everywhere (often where we shouldn’t!). But they are telling about our true behaviors and preferences. And when used wisely, innovative marketers are using mobile data to complete the picture of their evolved consumers.
So as you journey to adopt new technologies to advance in this mobile-first society, remember who is providing the ROI for these purchases — individuals. Each consumer is unique and likes to be treated as such. If in Q1 and Q2 you were using the shotgun, put it away and go for the rifle.
Amanda Wilson is the VP of Global Marketing at MobileBridge, the leading provider of mobile engagement automation solutions. Her experience blended across marketing, product and sales drives her passion for helping companies market and sell their products through SaaS technology. She has previously held marketing leadership positions at Qvidian and Acquia.