Marketing is a function that relies increasingly on technology, and as more technology tools emerged to meet the needs of modern marketing, these Marketing Technology tools have collectively become known as MarTech. The blended name concept is one that has cropped up in other sectors as well, such as DevOps (Development Operations), a term used in the world of software development. Let’s take a closer look at MarTech and its impact on the marketing field.
Definition of MarTech
MarTech, otherwise known as Marketing Technology, is the term for the software and tech tools marketers leverage to plan, execute, and measure marketing campaigns. MarTech tools are used to automate or otherwise streamline marketing processes, collect and analyze data, and provide various means of reaching and engaging with your target audience. The suite of tools a company leverages for marketing processes is known as the MarTech Stack.
Aligning MarTech with the Enterprise Digital Marketing Architecture
According to Theresa Regli, a digital asset management expert with Real Story Group, the MarTech Stack can be best understood in the context of the four technology layers in the enterprise digital marketing architecture. These layers include (from the bottom to the top):
- Enterprise Data Foundation – This foundation consists of business intelligence, analytics, and customer and product data.
- Major Marketing Technology Platforms – These technologies include other foundational components, such as digital asset management, marketing automation, social media engagement, and web content management, that fuel higher-level technologies and services.
- Prototypical Marketing and Sales Services – These technologies rely on the layers below to streamline the execution of specific functions, such as e-commerce management, content delivery networks, online video platforms, and self-service portals. Note that these technologies all require content in some form.
- Major Channels – This top layer includes the many channels through which marketers carry out marketing strategies to engage their target audience, such as email, mobile, social, television, print, websites, and even kiosks. In the context of the buyer’s journey, these channels are touchpoints.
DAM is the Heart of the MarTech Stack
A MarTech Stack typically consists of a few core tools, although the specific tools used can vary from company to company. Some companies have complex MarTech Stacks, while others rely on the essentials. A complete MarTech Stack should address every stage of the marketing cycle: attracting, engaging, converting, managing, and understanding your target customer. Some of the most common tools and technologies in the MarTech Stack include:
- Digital Asset Management – A DAM solution is widely considered the heart of the MarTech Stack. It’s where your content is aggregated and managed. As content is the driving force behind marketing, having a single, centralized resource for managing a large volume of digital assets is the key to marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
- Analytics Tools – You can’t improve what you can’t measure, and that’s why today’s enterprises rely on analytics solutions more than ever before. The competitive landscape is tough in many industries, forcing marketers to constantly step up their game to outpace the competition. Analytics tools provide a quantifiable means of measuring the effectiveness of marketing messaging, campaigns, channels, and more.
- Lead Management – Lead management tools help marketers engage, nurture, and qualify potential leads to determine sales-readiness.
- Customer Relationship Management – These tools help companies keep track of their customer base, providing a central resource for sales and customer relationship team members who need to interact with customers and prospects. Email marketing may be a built-in technology or procured as a separate service, but seamless integration is essential between a CRM and email marketing solution.
- Marketing Automation – Another technology often integrated with email marketing and CRM, marketing automation tools can streamline the process of nurturing leads by initiating specified actions based on consumer behavior.
- Content Management System – These solutions allow marketers to manage a company’s web presence, including primary websites, blogs, landing pages, and more.
- Social Media Management – Social media management tools simplify the process of managing and engaging users across the many social media platforms today’s consumers use.
These are just a few of the common technologies that exist in most modern MarTech Stacks. With thousands of tools and technologies in the MarTech landscape, it’s quite possible that no two companies’ MarTech Stacks are alike.
Benefits of MarTech
MarTech offers obvious benefits, such as automating processes and saving marketers time, making it possible to manage a multitude of marketing channels with ease. Companies that make smart, strategic investments in MarTech are able to build a comprehensive suite of tools that integrate seamlessly, functioning much like a single, well-oiled machine.
MarTech has transformed marketing into a much more cost-efficient function by enabling the ongoing analysis that can inform decision-making. Years ago, marketers carried out lengthy campaigns and hoped for the best, often waiting months to have enough data available to evaluate effectiveness. Lackluster results meant money lost, as those insights arrived far too late to change strategy.
That’s no longer the case: Thanks to MarTech, marketers have vast quantities of data at their fingertips, providing deeper insights about their target audiences than ever possible before, complete with actionable insights that save marketers the daunting task of extracting insights from raw data. What’s more, those insights often arrive in real-time, allowing marketers to pivot when things aren’t going as expected.
In essence, modern marketing simply doesn’t exist without MarTech. Even the channels marketers engage their audiences on are primarily digital. While the MarTech landscape continues to evolve, it’s not going anywhere. MarTech is, and will continue to be, the catalyst for reaching and engaging the modern consumer, and DAM will become increasingly crucial for organizations as more and more assets are necessary to fuel those higher-level tools and technologies.