President & CEO of MarcomCentral, a leading digital asset management company helping marketers build better brands.
As any business owner or marketer can attest to, there are limitless tools available to help your organization generate awareness and support sales efforts. These are known as marketing technology (or martech) tools. As the world continues to rely on technology to make connections and bridge the gap between us, it’s more vital than ever to truly understand the tools and technologies available to you, especially if your company is considering making an investment.
The martech industry has seen tremendous growth recently and, as a result, is valued at over $121 billion worldwide. In fact, over the past few years, martech spend has increased significantly in the U.S. and the U.K., which just goes to show how popular and widely-used martech is.
As the CEO of a martech provider myself, I realize that exploring a martech investment can be overwhelming. That’s why in this article I’m going to break down what martech is, why you should care and how to go about implementing it. After all, at the end of the day, martech can improve your business functions and make it easier for you to reach valuable customers.
What is martech?
At its core, martech is technology that’s designed to help you better achieve your marketing goals and, ultimately, your marketing strategy and bottom line. It can help you and your marketing team more effectively create, execute and measure the success of marketing assets and efforts, essentially freeing up your marketing team to do more of what they do best.
Here’s an example: Martech can be a useful tool to help facilitate sales and allow marketing and sales teams to seamlessly collaborate and support one another’s efforts. By using a tool like digital asset management, sales teams can customize their own marketing materials by editing only preapproved sections of marketing assets without worrying about compliance or legal flagging issues. This freedom with control saves time, money and resources when trying to generate sales leads.
Why should you care?
Whether you’re working with a customer relationship management tool, an analytics tool, a marketing automation platform or a DAM system, nearly all martech can prove to be an asset for sales enablement, helping your business gain and keep customers.
As outlined above, martech is designed to make marketing easier. Since the digital landscape is always changing, so is martech. Martech providers are always working to better their products to keep up with the market. By implementing a martech solution from a provider that is constantly innovating and bettering their product, you are creating an investment that will adapt — and therefore help you adapt — to changing trends.
For example, when the world went remote due to Covid-19, most martech solutions were ahead of the curve with cloud-based capabilities already included, which could have helped their clients to adjust to the “new normal” of remote.
How can you get started?
In conclusion, I wanted to provide a few simple steps you can take to kick off your martech journey.
First, take stock of what your current marketing needs are, how they can be supported and how you hope to grow them over the coming months and years. Discuss your findings with your CMO and CTO, then look for the right technology that can help you get to your goals.
After you know what you need, shop around and ask for recommendations. See what people like and don’t like about their current martech stack. There is no better ambassador for an enterprise solution than the people currently using it.
While the initial price of a martech solution can give a bit of sticker-shock, it will save you time and resources in the long run. The majority of the time, implementing software is a lot less expensive than building your own from scratch.
Ensure that you are working closely with your martech provider, who will lead you through the entire process of implementation and be there for any questions you may have, from initial onboarding to ongoing maintenance. There’s always a bit of a learning curve, but any martech provider worth their weight has an all-star support team.
Take it one step at a time. You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) invest your entire marketing budget into some high-tech solution you don’t know how to use. Start small and simple, allowing your martech stack to grow with your business.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?