What is a Marketing Technology Stack?

Let’s go on an adventure- a Digital Adventure! Let the data be our map and the marketing tools be our guide. As we journey through understanding the importance of a marketing technology stack, the tools picked in internal data architecture will be largely dependent on your final destination, and the journey you take to get there.

Choosing your Destination:

You never spontaneously jump on a plane without knocking out a few key details prior to flying. In an article written by Scott Brinker, the second largest obstacle for digital marketers, at 39%, is lack of an effective strategy for their marketing technology tools.

When planning a trip it all starts with the final destination. Once we know where we want to go, then we can start researching various modes of transportation, price, comfortability, ease of experience, etc. that will impact our journey upon arrival. If we look at planning your strategy for a marketing technology stack like planning a trip, it all starts with your goals and objectives. The decisions about the tools to use will all stem from having a clear vision of where you want to go.

In the first ever Stackie Awards- we now have the top 4 marketing technology stacks recommended for digital marketers: (Travel Channel has nothing on us!)

  • DataPipe
  • Intelligence Bank
  • UberFlip
  • John Wiley & Sons

(See Stacks)

These 4 stacks are determined by function, buyer journey, system architecture, and technology integration. What’s most important to analyze about these stacks, is every tool chosen keeps the central goal in mind. Every tool added into the marketing technology stack can be integrated and/or stacked together to help the marketer reach their final destination.

Building your Itinerary:

The experiences/activities you pick for your itinerary are largely defined by the objectives of your trip. Do you look to travel for common tourist destinations or do you travel for cultural immersion to gain unique memories that no one else will have? Like travel, your technology stack imparts similar goals. Do you want a simple set of tools that will scratch the surface with tracking data or do you want a full immersion into the depths of data that 25+ tools (when integrated properly) can provide?

Some of the experiences you can get from the tools are:

  • Lead Management
  • Sale Enablement & Automation
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Data & Programs
  • Content & Social

When pairing your objectives and destination, the amount of tools chosen in your architecture could range anywhere from 5 to 35 and beyond.  

Culture Immersion:

Digital Culture is still relatively new. What’s the proper etiquette for gathering consumer data? Where should your data live? What are the most widely accepted platforms vs. the new platforms that one might consider trying?

When we immerse ourselves into the culture of the journey and the destination, the outcome is comprised of the 4 P’s of marketing- product, price, place and promotion. The technology stack that we use to collect consumer data, influences the external decisions that marketers make for product design, shelf placement, sales distribution models and more.

For example, an untrained shopper that’s never been immersed into the digital marketing realm doesn’t realize that the reason they’re being shown product A vs. product B has been predetermined by a series of algorithms that have studied their search history, buying habits, and other potentially influential data.

When you look at tools in your marketing technology stacks, it’s’ important to pick tools that will grow with you as the increasingly savvy consumers get more accustomed to relinquishing more access to their data.

Another critical factor to consider when selecting tools is the total cost of ownership (TCO). It is evident to determine initial project costs when setting up, but ensure complete success by encapsulating business needs for product maintenance, required people skills, and necessary support processes. Decisions should always be justified by forecasting a return on investments, but also delivering on actual business value.

Alright digital explorers! You’re now ready to begin your digital journey. Remember, the tools you pick in your marketing technology stack will determine the experiences that you create on your journey to marketing excellence.

references:

https://www.ensighten.com/blog/what-marketing-technology-stack-and-why-should-you-care/

http://chiefmartec.com/2015/06/21-marketing-technology-stacks-shared-stackies-awards/

http://chiefmartec.com/2015/10/integrating-marketing-technologies-thats-easy-part/

 

UX Marketing Competitive Advantage

Developing a user experience without consumer data is like trying to diagnose a patient without an examination. Gone are the simple days where marketing could push messaging to consumers with little insight into their responses. In today’s digital world, marketing has morphed into brand interactions and creating brand experiences. UX plays a significant role in the flow of communication, and luring consumers to engage in a buyer journey.

UX and flow of communication

Every interaction between mobile devices, is done through the flow of communication with data. The healthcare sector is the best example for us to breakdown to explain how strong UX is needed to improve systems, continue to collect data, and personalize!

The current challenge

Healthcare is enriched with data and many looming industries that would benefit from it. The challenge is that most of the data collected stays stagnant, and therefore keeps innovation in technology for healthcare stagnant as well. UX can help solve this problem by creating an intuitive and easy flow of data between primary physicians, public health sectors, and other adjacent industries that might benefit from the merging of data.

The solution

“One of the simplest things people want is intimacy with applications,” says Debra Lilley, vice president of cloud services at Certus Solutions. While this is a great quote, it’s not a simple one. Like a medical diagnosis, creating an individualized intimate user experience, has a brevity of variables and considerations; culture, environment, traditions, personal tastes, personalities are all influences on a potential UX strategy.

UX and the competitive advantage

Since healthcare is extremely slow to innovate, it’s creating huge opportunity for startups to enter the market and disrupt the industry:  “Oscar is a health insurance startup that hopes to change the way that people buy and interact with their health care coverage by using technology paired with simple and intuitive design”, Gigaom. Oscar’s competitive advantage is leveraging simple user interface, to make the flow of information and establish connections between providers, physicians and the user. This experience is vastly different from the headache of calling providers, and relying on outdated technology that’s inefficient.

By now you’re probably wondering what’s the tie-in to consumer data? Well, we are consumers of healthcare. Consumer data when it comes to healthcare, can help companies know when you moved, and recommend providers based on where you are now instead of where you were. Consumer data can help marketers know when it might be allergy season and to notify you that you might want to stock up on allergy medication because you’re sensitive to pollen. Consumer data can tell us a lot.

References:

https://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/102419/business-software-trends-update/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2015/10/05/3-tech-must-dos-for-a-smoother-user-experience/

http://www.business2community.com/marketing/5-marketing-trends-you-should-be-tapping-01346271

http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/06/773908/10151831/en/Closing-the-Data-Divide.html  

https://gigaom.com/2015/09/16/why-google-is-taking-a-closer-look-at-disrupting-health-care/

 

It’s Getting Personal

I’ve been reading many articles on data personalization as it relates to content marketing and I keep arriving at the same conclusion – It’s all about the story. But what story are we actually telling? A person doesn’t just have one story, they have multiple stories. Trying to reach someone when they want to be reached can get tricky. Are we appealing to them when they are working? Or do we try to reach them at home? These are questions data is hoping to help answer.

The B2B Story

You arrive at the office and you’re immediately bombarded with emails that never seem to end. You get called into your morning meetings where someone in the room is trying to ‘sell’ something – an idea, a campaign, a new tool that the company should buy, etc… Before you know it, it’s time for lunch. While at lunch you login to Linkedin and you’re flooded with even more ads – new job offerings, new services, new startups, etc…

Remember the famous quote: “It’s not personal, it’s just business?” While reading an article on B2B content personalization, the core message became clear; before you waste precious time on that powerpoint, find out how your boss wants information delivered. Marketers are presented with the same challenge. When creating the B2B message – find out exactly how the target audience wants information delivered. This will save you ample amounts of time in delivering the right message at the right time to the right person, because after all… time is money.

The B2C Story

You get off of work, and now you’re just an ordinary consumer faced with an amplified amount of places or things to spend your hard earned money. In our last blog, we talked about the importance of data personalization and why consumers want individualized messages, so it resonates as an emotional and relevant message.

If you aren’t familiar with Simon Sinek, he is famous for his Ted Talk on the ‘What’ vs. ‘Why’. He explains the seduction involved in storytelling and describes the brilliance behind Apple’s marketing messaging. Where Apple has the competitive edge over many businesses from access to their unique data asset. They understand their consumers so well, that their messages dig deep to connect with who they are… because ‘It’s all about me”.

The Differences in Constructing the Story

There are two main differences in B2B and B2C data. B2B data is more quantitative or objective in purpose, so it is typically used for lead generation. B2C data is more qualitative or subjective and help marketers piece together profiles to understand who you are, so there is more of an emotional connection. The ultimate goal in marketing, would be one-on-one, aka. personalization. When constructing these stories, it’s important to remember that people don’t become an entirely different person when they bounce from their B2B to B2C roles. To gather all of these puzzle pieces, it’s either ridiculously expensive or the data sets are very jumbled. The solution would be to have a robust platform enabling marketers the flexibility to select the correct data sources to construct the compelling marketing messages that they can apply to their target audience, at the times in which they would like to be reached.

Data still has a far road ahead for marketers to reach personalization, but we are slowly crossing the chasm to deliver the optimal value for their end customers.

 

Resources:

http://m.bizcommunity.com/Article.aspx?l=196&c=423&i=132915

http://techcrunch.com/2015/08/14/the-future-of-consumer-marketing-is-personal-2/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

http://www.business2community.com/b2b-marketing/b2b-personalization-is-still-far-from-wash-rinse-repeat-mode-but-you-can-create-the-right-framework-01280978