Forum Sheth, AVP - Content Marketing, WebEngage

Forum has always been passionate about content. With over half a decade of being in the B2B SaaS space, she currently leads the Content Marketing Team at WebEngage. She, along with her team members, is on a mission to create content that strikes a chord with the product and marketing professionals, in a massively crowded SaaS space.

 

Consumer marketers, today, can’t call themselves the new age growth experts unless they are eyeing technology as ‘bread and butter’ and not ‘blue cheese and red wine’ anymore. So it has now become customary to pair marketing with technology to sustain digital brands’ ever-growing competitive space.

Today, how can you possibly dominate the world without a nuclear warhead in your arsenal? Seems impossible, right? Similarly, marketing technology is your atomic weapon in the consumer world; only here it’s key to collective growth and a productive future. 

As a new-age marketer willing to adopt all the futuristic ways to ace growth and deliver state-of-the-art customer experiences, you must first identify a suitable Martech Stack that helps speed you up. And once you start exploring all the available options, it won’t be late that the colossal world of martech solutions will overwhelm you to the core. 

The Martech Landscape

To paint a clear picture, let me present the outstanding depiction of the Marketing Landscape by ChiefMartech in its latest 2020 edition. 

It resembles a whole new continent of Martech vendors around the globe, having their use-cases and niche service areas. More than 8000 solution providers currently cover the martech spectrum, with the numbers escalating enormously with every year. Yet, the 2010 landscape listed merely 150 vendors in the space. And now, it has a plethora of choices. But, for an individual marketer today, is this a boon or a bane?

With the sheer number of options available, it is almost definite to end up with tool fatigue and fall short in structuring a wholesome and fully integrated suite for your marketing goals. There might be a tool available for every challenge you face, but building the right martech stack for your brand’s overall requirements will always be a tricky business. You need to not only seek effective software but also ensure their seamless integration with each other unless, of course, you’re fortunate enough to find a one-stop solution that fits all. 

The Right Questions

Well, your quest to build the perfect martech stack has to start with identifying the exact problems and asking the right questions:

  • What are the requirements, goals, size, and structure of your organization?
  • What portion of the marketing budget can you invest in martech tools? Will it be practical to onboard different expensive legacy software?
  • How successfully can you integrate all the necessary tools to ensure a seamless flow of customer data and execute intelligent campaigns?  
  • How can you manage customer data? To what extent can you see a unified view of customer profiles? Does it include behavioral data?
  • How many channels can you possibly cover while orchestrating an omnichannel campaign?
  • How actionable are your customer and campaign insights? Can you leverage it to deliver hyper-personalized consumer experiences?

Essential Martech Elements

Nobody can claim to be ‘best of breed’ and ‘one size fits all’ together at once in such a diversified industry. As a digital marketer, you need a custom approach to choose the necessary elements that perfectly fit your goals. But, irrespective of your custom requirements, there are a few foundational elements that circumscribe almost the entire martech universe.

Customer Data Platform

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is the foundation of any martech stack you want to build. A robust platform can ensure storing customer data at scale, which you can rely on as a single source of truth. In addition, it should have a built-in insights engine that provides actionable and real-time insights on consumers’ personal and behavioral data. This is essential to run intelligent customer lifecycle campaigns and optimize conversions. So, to briefly state, your CDP forms the bedrock of every functionality your martech stack can possess. 

Omnichannel Campaign Orchestrator

Your efforts for building a pyramid of customer profiles are futile if they eventually remain underutilized. You need a campaign orchestrator that integrates well with the CDP ensuring seamless utilization of data. Digital consumers today interact through different touch-points, and it is highly critical to mark your presence wherever they are. Your tool should function on all the available channels and facilitate a smooth cross-sharing of campaign insights to run intelligent omnichannel customer journeys. 

Personalization Suite

Personalization is the most crucial cog in the whole of the martech engine. It is the most critical metric to assess engagement campaigns and is a key to an escalation in conversions. If fed with behavioral data (campaign-wise & platform-wise), you can utilize customer profiles for even a hyper-personalized customer experience. It steps ahead of first name personalization and facilitates contextual and timely communication to each consumer per its behavioral attributes.

To Sum Up

Building the right martech stack starts with how well you identify your needs. It is also essential to avoid a clutter of unnecessary tools which might pose integration issues. Then, all you need to do is stick to the ground and build on your foundational martech elements. These elements piece together a complete Operating System you need to ace customer retention and growth. After all, it is now your ‘bread and butter’ and not ‘blue cheese and red wine’ anymore.

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