MarTech: up-close and better personal

In the last year, it has become clear that marketers are completely dependent on technology. The last decades marketers have invested increasingly in tools and data-analytics to automate and maximize marketing efforts, resulting in approx. 30% of marketing leaders’ budget being invested into technology. In the GDPR world, the avalanche of roughly 4000 European MarTech solutions continue to overwhelm marketers in different areas: SEO/SEA, data governance, chat bots, CRM, eComm, conversion tools, dashboards, print/video publishing tools, social media apps, workflow management, personalization, influencer marketing, social intelligence, retargeting tools, customer service to name a small fraction. 

Nevertheless, only few companies succeed in laying the complex puzzle of actions during all phases of the customer journey, and struggle with marketing strategies, process and software integration, and personalized content. The ones that do succeed are rewarded with marketing engines that generate leads or other benefits, while reducing cost of acquisition and working more competitively. Still plenty of businesses are often caught in simply not understanding why their marketing fails. Some classic mistakes: capturing contacts or email addresses is not capturing leads. Messages don’t have a proper call to action or are too generic. Marketing budgets are spent on wrong media and tools without any buy-in. Covid-19 has once again underlined that companies should communicate as locally, personally and precisely possible. With 74% of consumers claiming to be frustrated by irrelevant marketing, tailored actions are a necessity, especially with millenials waiting around the corner, ignoring anything that doesn’t truly understand their attitudes, values and behavior. 

Covid has proven to be a massive driver for digital transformation, and the same goes for it to accelerate digital marketing within ‘laggard’ industries such as manufacturing, public health, transport and smaller commercial B2B enterprises stepping into adtech, social media campaigns and marketing automation. The pandemic also pushed marketing out of its internal silos, and decentralized actions into smaller teams focused on specific audiences or moments along the customer journey. These new cross-discipline teams have been obliged to take up agile methods to unroll marketing actions in more efficient ways. This decentralized marketing model actively involves other departments (more technical e.g.) and also creates better company understanding of its marketing activities, lead generation and key metrics. 

Although the puzzle contains thousands of pieces, there is no silver bullet in finding the marketing solution. Companies should start with checking if working processes and the defined marketing strategy is in place before scouting or integrating the right tools. With hundreds of tracking, social and automation solutions, specific data on your audience is abundantly present. Still, before investing budget and man hours, best case; leave room for personal interaction along the customer journey after the asocial and anonymous months we witnessed. 

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