Ideally, your MarTech stack should make it easier to plan, execute, measure, and optimize your marketing campaigns. Many modern marketing tech solutions should have advanced capabilities, such as user experience personalization, automation, and campaign analysis available, so you can begin to measure the impact of your marketing tactics and drive more efficient spending.
With so much software out there to choose from for every marketing function imaginable, where is a great place to start digitally transforming your marketing tech stack? Especially when, if not implemented with intention, marketing tools can easily become an unwieldy tower of siloed technology that slows you down instead of improving efficiencies. As with anything in business, the key is setting goals and taking an objective look at your current system.
Take Maximizing Your MarTech One Step at a Time
Given the current economic climate, it’s not surprising that companies are avoiding new tech implementations. However, as we discussed in our previous article, How to Overcome Your MarTech’s Limitations, many marketers' tech stacks are underutilized. There are possibly tools within your existing technology suite that could help you exceed customer expectations and achieve your strategic objectives. You can begin to make use of these new functions by digitally transforming your tech stack.
When beginning your digital transformation journey, it’s critical to use a crawl, walk, run methodology. Start with your current tech stack as your foundation, such as your email service provider (ESP) and customer relationship management (CRM) system.
1. Transform Customer Communication with Enhanced Personalization
According to Saleforce’s State of the Connected Consumer report, 84% of customers say it’s important to be treated as a person when connecting with brands as it’s critical for winning their business. That’s even more reason to ensure your personalization strategy exceeds your audience’s needs. One way to do this is with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (MC) Engagement.
Before implementing MC Engagement within your current tech stack, consider whether you are personalizing communications by:
Including custom fields such as first names or job titles within email
Segmenting customers based on their location
Delivering any dynamic content based on those segments
If not, MC Engagement can help you build and automate email campaigns that send relevant content based on your customer’s preferred channels and device, enabling you to reach customers with the right messaging where it matters most.
Once you are beginning to walk with personalization, you can take it to the next level by layering on MC Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio) for real-time personalization and interaction management. This allows marketers to promote relevant products and services to their customers and prospects in real-time via channels such as the web, email, and mobile with unique, specific offers. Engagement scoring is also useful in identifying website visitors who are ready to purchase and customers who are appropriate for an up-sell or cross-sell.
2. Craft Custom Journeys With Journey Builder
Next stop - are you leveraging any workflow tools, such as Salesforce’s Journey Builder? If so, take a look at your current journeys and ask yourself:
Are your journeys a simple series of emails (crawl) or are you using decision criteria (walk), such as clicks to drive different experiences?
Are you bringing in data from your CRM via the Salesforce Connector to help inform other decision criteria in a journey (such as whether the customer made an appointment or not)?
Are you using just email with Journey Builder (crawl) or are you using other channels, such as MobileConnect, MobilePush, or Ad Studio (walk) to communicate with your subscribers in the channels they prefer?
Are you using Journey Builder to conduct A/B testing (walk) to see which content drives the most conversions?
Journey Builder also offers Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud activities which allow you to automate Salesforce activities, freeing up the representative to focus on other tasks (run). For example, a contact receives an email about a case they opened. That triggers the log message history to be updated and depending on the case priority, a critical task would be created. Later a survey could be sent and automatically recorded in the message history. If the contact clicked “Yes” to signify they’ve been helped, the case is marked closed in Salesforce. But if they click “No,” the case is automatically escalated, ensuring customers get the quality service they need.
That's just one example of the many powerful things you can accomplish with journeys.
3. Monitor Campaigns with Data Visualization Tools
It’s important to monitor your campaigns, even if you’re only currently sending emails. Data visualization is key when looking for trends and other insights. Marketing Cloud offers MC Intelligence Reports (crawl) out of the box with standard dashboards for email, journeys, and MobilePush. As your strategy matures, consider upgrading to MC Intelligence Reports Advanced (walk) which allows for dashboard creation and customization as well as pivot tables, four cross-channel apps, and data query options. Upgrading to MC Intelligence (run) enables you to not only optimize your spend and customer engagement with unified performance data from thousands of sources but also empowers you with automated reporting, customized dashboards, and cost-savings through insights powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
4. Establish a Real-Time Data Infrastructure
Feel like running? Customers today expect experiences with brands to be in the moment, moving seamlessly between various marketing channels, such as web, email, and mobile apps. Unfortunately, most companies don’t have all their various data environments connected in real-time, making it difficult to customize their omnichannel customer experience. This is where a customer data platform (CDP) comes into play, reconciling various customer identities and connecting databases that typically don’t share customer data, such as e-commerce engines, ESPs, and customer service software.
CDPs help you deliver data in real-time so brands can provide personalized experiences throughout all areas of their business. If you are looking to implement a real-time data-driven, we have many resources that can help you begin your customer data transformation:
Leveling Up Marketing Tools Is a Collaborative Effort
Once you’re fully using the capabilities of the systems you’ve already purchased, consider choosing technologies that will help you scale up. Build your MarTech stack one tool at a time, testing things out as you go to make sure everything is running smoothly.
When adopting new tools, never deploy in a silo. Marketing is intertwined with other business efforts across departments, so choosing the technologies without considering cross-departmental interests will result in bottlenecks and other inefficiencies. For example, adding multiple tools at a time could lead to too much performance load on your core CRM and other essential data platforms, slowing down certain systems and affecting other departments. Don’t forget to factor in training and your current team’s skillset. Don’t adopt something just because it’s cool. Make sure you have the resources in place to not only set up the tool but use and maintain it.
Shift Your Marketing Tech Strategy to Be More Customer-Centric
By focusing more on improving the customer journey, marketers will see a better return on their investment. If the next marketing tool you consider doesn’t help personalize the customer experience, don't purchase it. Ensure your system is consistent across all touchpoints, and give the consumer value that differentiates the brand, then step away.
We've helped marketing teams solve their toughest challenges by establishing a digital transformation journey roadmap. Contact us today to discover we can help you make sense of your MarTech suite and transform it to take your customer experience to the next level.