More than 3,500 companies spanning six major categories offer some type of marketing technology. So, needless to say, the martech landscape is a complicated arena, one where a detailed plan of attack is needed.
Still, few options are all-encompassing, which often leads to the cobbling together of many small pieces to address a lot of marketing needs — and even then, your martech stack could be half-baked. After all, only 9 percent of companies had a complete stack in 2015.
That’s why it’s so important to have a clear martech strategy. Without one, it’s like buying everything you need to build a new house without hiring an architect. You’ve got an awful lot of supplies on hand but no idea how to build it.
Putting Down Roots
To assemble any martech stack, you need a foundation, which often starts with familiarizing yourself with your sales funnel. You need to identify your customers and understand the non-linear path they take from awareness to consideration to decision. In other words, you need to recognize the customer journey and then determine what information simplifies the buying experience.
What’s more, you need to locate the engagement points between customer and company. Is the first interaction online, in-store, or via a mobile ad or app? Each of these touchpoints often requires a different message to drive people further along the path to a purchase.
Once you understand the sales process, you can develop a strategy and architecture for how you want everything to work. It’s only then you’ll know which technologies match your very specific needs.
Of course, simply investing in the resources means nothing if the wrong people use them. You need someone who can sync martech with your sales process to improve, refine, and optimize the customer experience, all while measuring performance along the way. Optimization is the real gold of martech.
Stacking Each Piece
After assembling a framework from all the available tools, the real trick is making use of them. The last thing you want is be a part of the 59 percent of companies that don’t fully utilize their marketing technology.
The following can help you get started:
1. Create real-time customer profiles. Combine first- and third-party data to get a clearer picture of your ideal customer. Identify what problem your product uniquely solves for that customer and what the next best action step is to provide customers with the best possible experience.
This allows you to prioritize your interaction opportunities based on the propensity to purchase. You know which message to send to which consumer on which channel — and at what time, no less.
Here’s an example. A global logistics company used advanced predictive analytics and propensity modeling to segment and prioritize more than 2 million accounts across its sales team of 160 associates. The results were a 124 percent lift in conversion rate and a 26 percent efficiency gain. Increasing the efficiency of your marketing efforts improves not only your close rates, but also your return on investment.
2. Match ideal customer to ideal associate. Understanding a customer’s propensity to purchase also allows you to route her to the right sales associate. If a soccer mom from Seattle calls in about wireless service, you want her to talk with someone well-versed in your family plans. It also wouldn’t hurt if he understood the competition in that area of the country.
Putting two peas in a pod, so to speak, provides a better customer experience. You’ve matched that customer to somebody who is appropriate for her needs and situation, which can improve conversion rates and ROI.
3. Develop and leverage predictive conversion rates. Prioritizing potential customers can be a challenge for many businesses. You’d want to route those with the highest propensity to purchase to your best closers and allow other associates to educate consumers in the awareness or consideration phases.
By tracking consumer calls, browsing history, and engagement based on the marketing campaign, as well as a little tag management, you get a better idea of where that person is on the customer journey. For example, it’s valuable to recognize whether the prospect is visiting your website as a first-time shopper as someone who is ready to make a purchase. This allows you to decide how likely someone is to convert and not waste your best opportunities.
Axtel, a Mexican telecommunications company, started monitoring the customer journey to improve the experience from the website all the way through call and chat interactions. Our company set Axtel up with its martech-enabled service with the idea of transforming the whole customer buying process. By following the customer’s online journey, prioritizing them based on predictive conversion rate, and matching the call to the associate, sales conversion rates jumped from 4.7 percent to 18 percent.
Marketing technology now gives the potential for a 360-degree view of your customers and more insights into their buying journey, which is no longer a linear one. They often jump back and forth between channels and topics.
Having that additional knowledge offers the opportunity to be more relevant and timely with your communications. It puts the right message in the right hands when it matters most to your business.
Marketers who develop their strategies and architecture plans can then implement a martech stack. This optimizes the customer journey analytics and sales processes to drive big improvements in conversion rates and ROI.
Jonathan Gray is the senior vice president of marketing and leader of business development and marketing services for Revana, TeleTech’s Growth Services division. His team oversees marketing analytics and integrated marketing services programs that automate electronic marketing strategies on behalf of industry-leading clients.