Overlooked Marketing Technology Features That Can Drive ROI
The steady progression of digital technology in the workplace is a great, yet often overwhelming, concept for your marketing team. The new features and capabilities available from today's software offerings allow you to connect with your target audiences more closely than ever before. But actually reaching that level of performance is not automatic. Just having the systems in place isn't enough to achieve real value. Your team needs to know how to get the most value out of your marketing technology.
How does technology become underutilized?
It's not unusual for marketing technology to not reach its full potential. In fact, it's common for many companies to have marketing strategies that evolve at a slower pace than new solution development. This means that marketing departments are likely tracking prospects and creating campaigns just as they always have, despite having access to feature-packed technology implementations.
Companies seem to be increasing their ability to analyze data more quickly than their ability to draw actionable insights from that analysis. Adding new components to a martech stack as they are released is not a helpful process unless employees discover how to get optimal use out of their systems, integrating each component and creating a unified environment.
What are some of the top functionality areas companies are missing?
Underutilized and overlooked features in marketing technology stacks are simply wasted potential that could and should be fully utilized. These are capabilities that exist in today's most popular software but are not being used in such a way that can provide maximum return on investment (ROI). While any given company likely has systems that have could be improved in multiple areas, some unique to the business, these are a few commonly missed opportunities:
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are the beating heart of marketing and sales teams -- the place where data is kept and used to inform ongoing relationships with customers. As the most popular CRM platform, Salesforce is commonly used by organizations of all sizes and across all industries. But when the connections between the CRM and the rest of the martech stack are weak, the potential to power outreach and customer engagement also weakens.
As marketing expert Neil Patel points out, companies weaken their customer retention abilities when they don't integrate their customer service platforms with Salesforce. To ensure that conversations with customers are seamless, companies would benefit from giving sales reps access to the customer's history with the company and tracking the interactions that a customer has with customer support. That way, customers can speak with personnel who already understand their experience with the company, rather than start from the beginning whenever they contact the business. These conversations tend to go more smoothly, whether they're held over the phone, by email or text, in chat windows, or any other channel. As service improves, so might customer retention.
Big Data Analytics
Data analysis supports all types of marketing campaigns and activities. All online customer interactions leave a trail of data that can become a strategic guide for marketing teams to follow. However, companies that haven't integrated their technology tools -- or revised their strategies to reflect new capabilities -- may not yet see the value in big data.
According to The Drum contributor Niklas Stog, real-time data analytics software can pair well with communications campaigns, ranging from social media posts to brand videos. This potential is rarely realized, however, because employees have not learned the capabilities and features of big data analytics tools.
When companies actually do make the leap and start using the analytics technology available to them, the results can speak for themselves. Stog mentions companies who have embraced a "digital-first paradigm" that seeks to deliver timely messages to customers. This data-driven approach secures brand relevance in customers' eyes.
How do you start to fully utilize martech?
Your current marketing technology stack likely consists of an extensive variety of software tools from various providers. Each of these systems, alone and especially in combination, hold considerable value -- and most likely unrealized potential. Turning that potential into greater value can begin with a marketing technology stack health check. With this information, you can begin to answer the questions: What is my organization's level of digital readiness? How much return am I getting from my marketing investments, and how can I see more?
A greater alignment of technology and strategy can come from expert insights, as can improved integration between the various tools of your martech stack. A lack of connectivity, along with the presence of new solutions that may have been implemented without proper training, may represent weaknesses in your digital marketing approach. By discovering these issues and correcting them, you can put your company on the road to improved ROI and a more competitive position.