There are a lot of marketing technology solutions out there and it seems like a new one pops up every day. And they all do amazing things such as provide new data points, measure a different channel, track the customer journey, and more.
While all of these martech solutions have important benefits and could benefit your business, the sheer quantity of options can be overwhelming for marketers. The 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic was just released by Scott Brinker of chiefmartec.com, showing over 5,000 solutions available to marketers today. The martech landscape grew an astonishing 40% in the past year alone.
Feeling like you’re drowning in technology? Here are three tips to help you safely maneuver the ever-growing marketing technology landscape.
Get Your Data House in Order
Before you get wrapped up in any new marketing technologies, it’s important to have a strong foundation to build upon. Many of the martech tools available either supplement your existing data, improve the data you have, or use your data to drive automation and intelligence. If you can’t rely on your marketing data as it stands now, that should be addressed before looking at any new technologies.
Your data foundation should also exist in one central repository. Having a single source of truth for all of your critical marketing data makes reporting and analytics much simpler and gives you a base platform to build upon. For many marketing organizations this is often a CRM solution like Salesforce or a marketing automation solution like Marketo. Once you have a primary platform as the main data hub and have a solid base layer of data, you can begin expanding your martech stack.
Make Sure Everyone Plays Nice Together
Unfortunately, not all marketing technology solutions get along. An underwhelming 26% of marketers believe that their analytics tools are well integrated. Siloed tech stacks are one of the biggest sore spots for marketing executives. Their teams are left with too many different tools to manage and the disconnected data stuck in each tool becomes significantly less valuable.
Before diving into a contract with a new marketing technology vendor, one of the most critical aspects to investigate is integration capabilities. You should determine whether or not the tool has an open API you can connect to or if it has an out-of-the-box integration with your main data repository.
For example, a call attribution solution can be extremely powerful for informing your digital advertising if you can easily integrate offline call conversion data into advertising platforms like Google AdWords and bid management platforms like Marin Software and Kenshoo. If this call data is stuck in a silo, you’re left counting calls instead of optimizing your advertising based on who has called you, what page they called from, what keywords they searched for, and more.
Be Prepared to Do Something With All That Data
You’ve seen the landscape, marketers now have access to a vast amount of data to drive innovative campaigns and enable powerful optimizations. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of piling on additional martech solutions and new data streams. But unless you have an army of analysts, much of that data will go unused and your ROI will be diminished.
To get the most out of your marketing solutions, ensure you have an action plan for your shiny new data before implementation. Build a business case around the new solution and how your marketing team can integrate the data and use it to make significant improvements within their current workflows. Adding new data to your system can be a powerful advantage – but only when it’s put to good use.
Following these three tips will help ensure you don’t get lost in the vast ocean of marketing technology solutions and your precious marketing budget doesn’t go to waste.