Defining the phrase MarTech is actually quite simple. It’s just a portmanteau of Marketing and Technology.
In modern workplaces it’s used to describe the huge and often disparate set of software, tools, platforms and technologies that have been created to assist organisations in achieving their marketing (and wider business critical) goals through marketing automation.
When a marketing team uses a group of these technologies in conjunction, that grouping of software then becomes what’s known as the organisations marketing stack.
MarTech, and by proxy marketing automation, have become de facto terms within the marketing sector, with any organisation yet to adopt it quickly falling behind the competition.
MarTech technology is also used to capture, measure and report on the data that measures a marketing teams efforts in multi-touchpoint, omnichannel solution to create actionable business intelligence to improve effectiveness and streamline activities.
What’s Included In A MarTech Stack?
A Martech stack can typically be broken down into several disparate parts.
Marketing tools, platforms, software and analytics all combine to form a cohesive and modern marketing stack.
Marketing tools are the most ‘basic’ tech a marketer can use to help automate and run their campaigns.
They’re used to create and launch campaigns, automate repetitive tasks, measure campaign performance and effectiveness and ultimately drive ROI for an organisation against a predefined set of KPI’s.
Email marketing tools are perhaps the most commonly ‘known’ of these (although there are many others). These allow marketers to very quickly create email campaigns in house through a series of click, drag and drop UI’s, and send to pre-loaded marketing lists.
MarTech platforms create the tech infrastructure to manage ongoing marketing projects with ease and speed. They allow for the easy adoption, implementation (and when needed pivot) of MarTech tools and software, allowing marketing teams to focus on what they do best… creating innovative campaigns.
MarTech Automation Software
Marketing software, whilst similar to marketing tools in many ways, tends to be defined more by marketers using them to improve business performance rather than create and launch actual campaigns. Often also referred to as marketing automation software for that reason, it helps marketers automate repetitive tasks, improve performance and better manage their data, integrating it from from multiple sources.
Whilst we’ve given MarTech analytics its own discrete category here, it obviously has a lot of overlap with tools, platforms and software. It’s separated out by it’s aim, to analyse the results of campaigns and automation previously put in place.
MarTech analytics refers to the tools and processes used to gather, evaluate and measure a campaign’s success.
As an example, a MarTech analytics tool might help determine which ads are most effective at converting leads into customers or measuring how much those customers are worth after they make their first purchase.
One of the key points about MarTech analytics in a modern data stack (such as offered byDoubleCloud) is that the data can be seen, analysed, reported and acted on in real time.
Taken together then; tools, platforms, software and analytics, will form an organisations MarTech stack. They’re an interconnected web of ‘things’ (and yes IoT can also form part of a MarTech Stack) that empower the marketing team to do better.
How mature that stack is will obviously vary from company to company or sector to sector as it’ll need to be tailored to teams and clients specific needs, but more and more people are coming to realise the power of an automated MarTech stack that can react to evolving needs in real-time.
Why Has MarTech Become So Important Recently?
In recent years the marketing landscape has shifted, with the sheer amount of structured and unstructured data available to marketers being overwhelming.
To just keep up, technology is having to play an ever expanding role in the marketing function of organisations.
The pace of change is ever increasing as well, with more data on the customer journey becoming available and with MarTech itself becoming more and more sophisticated, automating journeys and employing AI and ML decision making processes, all of which is allowing organisations to better keep up with the ever evolving and increasingly fragmented touchpoints a customer might have with them.
MarTech then, allows organisations to track that data, collate and transform it into a useable format and execute campaigns based on real insights rather than relying on guesswork or gut feelings.
What Can MarTech Do?
As an emerging field, what MarTech can actually ‘do’ changes almost daily, with more advances coming out all the time. That’s why it’s so important to select a MarTech solution that can keep pace with these changes rather than locking an organisation into a ‘current’ solution that may soon be out of date.
However, it’s functions can be loosely organised into…
Whilst management may seem a broad category of MarTech tools, it’s a useful label to collate quite a wide spread of functions.
Effective management and automation of the marketing teams assets and functions was the original driving force behind MarTech, and still plays a huge role today.
Without this, nothing else can really proceed effectively as it means data and other assets can quickly and easily be accessed when needed and reports can be generated on the current state of play.
Empower Social Media
For a long time, social media was the bane of MarTech. There were tools that would allow organisations to schedule posts but most of the data coming back from the platforms was unstructured, making it too hard to collate and store… let alone derive any business intelligence from it!
MarTech’s come a long was since then though, with a plethora of analytical software capable of analysing unstructured data, be it direct from the organisations own socials, UGC or indeed, their own CRM’s apps or platforms.
Expanding Marketing Reach
The last category of MarTech tends to focus on expanding the reach of an organisations marketing campaigns, connecting with a wider audience or deepening the engagement with a current one.
Tools to aid in that range from social schedulers, to automated email platforms to chatbots on websites.
How To Build A MarTech Stack
Building any size or maturity of MarTech Stack first requires the answer to one vital question… What do you need the MarTech Stack to do?
There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but the answer will flavour everything else going forward so it’s an important one to settle.
What Does Success Look Like And How Will You Measure It?
One of the biggest mistakes made by almost anyone not used to AGILE methodology is not putting in place a system to measure success or worse, not even defining what that success will look like.
Setting goals and KPI’s based on an organisations business model is important as it allows for the establishment of a clear path to success.
The answer to those questions will inform the decision making process on which MarTech analytics are required.
What Do You Need To Do To Achieve Success?
Now we’ve defined what success might look like — how can it be achieved? What automation tools will be needed?
A social scheduler?
This is where it’s important to pause and look at what tools are already being used. There’s no point spending money if it’s not necessary.
Are existing tools still fit for purpose? Can they be integrated with new tech? Are they reaching end-of-life or will they be receiving regular patches and updates?
A bit of stocktaking here will easily scope out what’s required.
Building The Customer Journey / Sales Pipeline
Now we know what we want to achieve and the tools that might be needed / we already have it’s important to scope out a sales pipeline and a customer’s journey within it.
Where are a clients touchpoints within the organisation? How will they be mapped and tracked? How can the organisation engage with them across these disparate touchpoints?
It’s not possible to have any impact on a client without a through understanding of the above.
This Is The Bit Where DoubleCloud Comes In…
Warning: There’s a shameless plug coming up next BUT… even if you don’t end up using DoubleCloud (what? Are you crazy?) then you’ll still need a decent (and cost effective) modern data stack to empower your MarTech.
Now you know what you want to achieve, how you plan to do that and what your customer journey will look like you’ll need to find a way to track, store and most importantly use the data you collect on your customers. That’s going to mean a modern data stack.
To effectively track and use the data coming in from all your customer journey touchpoints you’ll need dozens (at least) of connectors to bring the data in.
Once that data’s collected it’ll need transforming into a format in which can be used, stored in a Data Warehouse configured to your organisations needs and then visualised in such a way as to highlight trends at a glance and identify actionable business intelligence (data just stored in a great big table isn’t useful… you need to be able to ‘see’ it and make sense of it.)
That’s an important part of your MarTech stack and one we’ll happily help with when you get in touch.
Challenges Implementing MarTech
Marketers love the next shiny marketing toy (justifiably to an extent as they try and keep ahead) but that makes implementing, maintaining and updating a MarTech stack problematic… especially if there’s a CFO in the background asking for justification on rising costs.
Selecting The Right MarTech ‘Tech’
Choosing which tech to adopt, which to ignore, which to keep and which to upgrade is one of the biggest issues most CMO’s will face.
Integrating new systems is often a challenge, with a lot of solutions coming with long -term contracts or significant buy-ins. The best thing most marketers can do in that situation is to seek out the solutions that are open-source and that avoid as much vendor lock-in as possible, so if the department does need to pivot suddenly in the future, it can.
Bringing Along The Hearts & Minds Of The Team
With any digital transformation, big or small, department or companywide, the biggest challenge is often in bringing existing staff ‘along for the ride’.
Adopting new technologies can often be a huge hinderance to day-to-day activities, with initial training and on going adoption often slowing teams down. There can sometimes be push back from end-users who’ll continue to use older and outdated MarTech, which, it goes without saying, can waste a lot of money.
Peter Drucker, known as the founder of modern management used to say… “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
Changing company culture to adopt new MarTech solutions doesn’t have to be difficult though. Involving staff from the very beginning to really understand what their day-to-day looks like, the challenges they face and letting them have a say in evaluating the solutions that are being considered will pay dividends in scoping out a cutting-edge MarTech Stack.
Adoption rates of new tech always soar by following that very simple principal.
Cutting Through The Data ‘Noise’
As we’ve already mentioned… there’s a lot of data available in the modern marketing workplace, with customers often having multiple touchpoints within an organisation. Unifying all that data ‘noise’ into a cohesive whole that’s actually useful is probably one of the biggest challenges facing any marketing team.
That’s why selecting the right platform is so important, one that can collate all that data, sift through it and display it in a way that actionable business intelligence can be derived from the noise.
What’s The Difference Between MarTech And AdTech?
Finally, it’s important to realise that MarTech and AdTech can often get confused or be seen as interchangeable terms.
Whilst the two are very similar, it’s important not to get them mixed up.
MarTech tends to include any suite of software that helps create, communicate, manage, facilitate or deliver campaigns, whilst AdTech has a much narrower remit, focussing on influencing buyer behaviours through promoted messages.
That’s not to say a MarTech stack couldn’t (or shouldn’t) include AdTech, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two.