Solving the Marketing Technology Gap

This blog post is a summary of my podcast interview with Paul Roetzer, author of The Marketing Agency Blueprint and CEO of PR20/20, an inbound marketing agency.

The Problem

Marketers are under greater pressure to produce ROMI (return on marketing investment) but generally feel under prepared and as a result are under performing.

Too many marketers have false expectations when engaging digital marketing agency services. In an Adobe report, 75% of marketers report being most concerned about demonstrating return on marketing investment. When a brand doesn’t have marketing systems in place with basic tracking of data such as customers by industry, product or persona, expectations must be lowered.  The absence of marketing technology prevents insight into the benchmark against which future results will be compared and severely handicaps a brand’s ability to measure ROMI.

One of the five pillars of a social business is strategic use of marketing technology. There are two common scenarios that prevent organizations from leveraging this important element. In some SMB organizations, they lack the budget or the know-how to acquire marketing technology.  Consequently, they operate on spreadsheets or outdated marketing systems. In larger enterprises, they often have many best of breed marketing systems in place, but they are not integrated well or at all. In either scenario, these businesses lose out on efficiencies. They don’t enable their employees to perform their jobs effectively. Simply put, these businesses are in a competitive disadvantage.

These five marketing technologies are the most often under utilized. 1) Web Analytics, 2) Website CMS (content management system), 3) CRM systems, 4) Social Media Monitoring Systems, 5) Marketing Automations Systems (E.g., HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, etc.)

Each of these basic elements of marketing infrastructure range from free to paid with varying degrees of features and complexity. It’s true that the selection and deployment of each of these marketing technologies can be a daunting task, not to mention resource intensive. However, all organizations regardless of size must ask themselves “what choice do we have in the modern business era?”

The marketing technology dilemma is exacerbated by the “digital marketing skills gap.” It’s widely recognized that all brands and agencies are in need of stronger digital skills to succeed in the modern marketing world. Brands must overcome this issue while building and optimizing their marketing systems.

In some cases, the C-suite doesn’t understand the importance of marketing technology.  Marketing systems have become to the enterprise (of any size) what ERP (Enterprise Resource Systems) are to manufacturers – mission critical. No business in the digital age can expect to perform successful marketing without it.

The Solutions

According to the IBM Global CMO Report, CMOs believe technologies will help them reach their goals, with advanced analytics at the top of the list of technologies listed.

The Skyscraper Analogy

A skyscraper needs a blueprint and a strong foundation for the structure to be built with long lasting success. A marketing strategy must similarly be anchored in a foundation of marketing technology.

There is great news for anyone reading this post who feels affected by this topic. Marketing technology solutions exist for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a 10 person company or a 10,000 person company, marketing systems are available to address the needs of businesses small, mid-size and global in size.

Getting Started or Taking The Next Step

Consider your current status of marketing technology in your business. Follow these four steps.

1. Assess your current marketing technology infrastructure. Is it adequate? Are you and your staffed fully trained? Are you using it to its fullest potential?

2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current marketing technology infrastructure. Develop a plan accordingly.

3. Assess your current talent pool. Do you have the requisite skills to leverage marketing technologies? Formulate a plan according to your needs to fill any holes with internal staff or outside resources.

4. Identify areas of specialization where you need talent for marketing campaigns using marketing technology. It’s not enough to have general skills to get the best results. Consider that you wouldn’t hire someone who dabbles in HTML to develop a website. You would hire an experienced website developer. Specialized skills are not an option in effective use of marketing automation systems.

In this scenario, the best investment of your resources is to develop a plan for your marketing technology infrastructure before investing too heavily in inbound marketing campaigns.

Measure from Revenue Backwards

Investment in marketing infrastructure requires C-suite budget approval. Build a solid business case that supports revenue growth. Plan for marketing systems to increase productivity measured in key metrics such as increased conversion rates on landing pages, increased social share of voice, more sales qualified leads, greater ability to measure closed loop marketing to sales, etc.

More Automation Makes for More Human Marketing

Marketing automation makes humanization of marketing more possible. Consider how you can gather more data about your customer and prospective customer, improving your ability to understand their specific wants and needs. These data provide valuable intelligence that empowers marketers to proactively send marketing messages that are more personalized. The better you can understand the unique customer profile, the better you can market to their wants, needs and aspirations. This strengthens a brand’s ability to build relationships and improve communication with customers and prospective customers. And, this is how the modern marketing organization competes effectively.

Listen to the entire discussion between me and Paul Roetzer on the Social Business Engine podcast where we discuss this topic in more detail.

Social Business Engine Podcast: Paul Roetzer interview

 

 

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