You may have noticed there are hundreds of marketing technology products out there. So, how do you differentiate these tools to ensure you are building the most effective marketing technology stack?
To answer this question, you need to take inventory:
- What is your budget?
- How big is your team?
- What is your bandwidth?
- What is your biggest need?
The answers to those questions will help you build the framework for understanding which pieces of technology are essential and which are just shiny toys that are not effective for your marketing strategy.
Your Marketing Technology Stack Should Support Your Goal
Ultimately, the marketing technology stack needs to support your primary function: targeting prospects who are most likely to buy your solution. If the technology you are considering does not align with improving your targeting, then it is not necessary.
What is necessary are the building blocks to form your marketing technology stack. I am confident that every marketing department needs to have these three elements in place:
Consider each of the following methods to build these three important elements into your process.
To have a conversation about how ProSales Connection can help support you in each of these areas, contact our team today!
Method #1: Incorporate the Best Sales and Marketing Tools
Every business needs an effective means to capture customer data, build out profiles, and organize and verify contact info using a CRM application.
What separates a great marketing team, though, is collecting and organizing the data in a way that builds a complete prospect profile. Then, your team needs to be able to track activity on the buyer’s journey that will help you capture a prospect’s decision to purchase your solution.
To achieve this goal, you need to create a CRM strategy to hand off qualified leads to the Sales team. Your strategy should include a zero tolerance policy that the information delivered to Sales must be accurate and complete. Why is this important? Your CRM is the lifeblood of your business because it starts the sales process.
I suggest that every business should manage their complete pipeline within the CRM so that it’s very easy to connect the opportunities generated by the marketing team to the customers who are converted by the sales team. This is also important for managing sales performance and forecasting future activity.
Taking inventory of your company’s size and need will help you decide which CRM application is the best choice to support your marketing function.
- Salesforce CRM is popular because it can be customized to meet your specific business and the data is securely managed in the cloud. This is important for niche or small businesses that need stability when building their marketing technology stack.
- Other popular CRM programs include Pipedrive, Infusionsoft, SugarCRM, and Hubspot’s free CRM solution. Pipedrive is sales focused, Infusionsoft offers customization, Sugar is driven by customer service, and Hubspot easily integrates with their marketing automation tools. Be sure to compare Salesforce to the other options on the market to determine the best fit for your needs.
Method #2: Obtain the Right Marketing Technology
Another essential element for your business is a marketing automation platform. Ideally, this is integrated with your CRM application, but it is not required.
If your marketing automation platform is integrated with your CRM, this allows information to flow between both systems to improve the quality and completeness of your data. This enhances your team’s ability to target prospects and determine whether leads are a fit for your solution.
This function is critical for your team to:
- Prioritize prospects for sales engagement
- Manage outbound email activity to prospects
- Develop lead nurturing programs for reaching out to prospects
- Manage social media engagement with prospects
Tracking social media engagement is not available in every marketing automation platform. If that capability is important for your marketing activity, be sure to find a platform that captures social media.
- MailChimp is one of the most popular services for marketing automation, especially for small or niche businesses. You can build custom email templates, connect with your contact list, and engage with prospects who show interest in your solution.
- Other popular platforms include Drip, Marketo, Pardot from Salesforce, and Hubspot. Drip is a popular platform for small businesses or ecommerce businesses, while Marketo, Pardot, and Hubspot are scalable for medium to large businesses that have complex marketing activity.
Once you select a platform, you need to develop a strategy to utilize your automation platform. This is critical to achieve the ultimate goal of identifying prospects who fit the customer profile for your solution. If a prospect is not a fit or if they opt out of your marketing activity, you need to have a process to segment them out of the database so you can better target the people who are most likely to buy your solution.
Method #3: Measure the Results of your Marketing and Sales Activity
Once you select a CRM application and build an automated platform into your marketing technology stack, you need to measure the results. This is important for two reasons:
- Tracking the success of your marketing strategy.
- Determining if you need to scale up, scale down, add features, or remove features from your programs.
Without the ability to measure results, you won’t be able to make adjustments to improve your targeting. It’s important to remember that your marketing activity does not occur in a vacuum. You should always be collecting new data and analyzing market changes to build more complete customer profiles.
Measuring the results in real-time allows you to continually analyze whether you are qualifying prospects for your solution and also make decisions about when to adjust the size and scope of your programs.
That is why I recommend integrating your CRM application with the marketing automation platform to track the entire lifecycle from prospecting to converting a customer.
- There are numerous tools geared toward businesses to measure results, such as Eloqua from Oracle, Cognos from IBM, and Adobe Analytics Cloud. The key for your business is deciding which tools are necessary and which are not cost efficient or useful for your purposes.
Focus on the Marketing Features That Fit Your Business
When building your marketing technology stack, you need to make important decisions to ensure you have the right tools for the job. Otherwise, the tools could get in the way of targeting prospects to purchase your solution.
Do you need guidance on how to build a marketing strategy that will generate quality leads? Download our free ebook today on the Active Demand Generation methodology!