By Adrienne Weissman
In an era of increased technological influence and evolution, marketers have adjusted priorities to utilize the vast amount of available data to improve business performance. To effectively use this data, marketers must perform many tasks in concert, including gauging the temperature of a marketing campaign, checking the vitals of marketing initiatives, and taking the pulse of the overall market. Understanding the anatomy of an effective marketing tech stack—and how all parts are connected for optimal performance—is the best place to start in developing a marketing analytics strategy. Class is now in session. Here’s your marketing tech stack anatomy 101.
The Eyes: Social Media Monitoring Tools
What we remember and learn in content marketing is largely impacted by social media monitoring, which allows us to watch behavior in real time, see emerging trends, and learn what is breaking through the noise.
Social media monitoring software utilizes keyword tracking so marketers can instantly respond to customer inquiries and understand customer sentiment as it relates to their competitors and their own brand. In recent years, social media monitoring tools have grown to include a rich set of analytics, complicated, multi-dimensional queries with semantic analysis, and customizable dashboards. Quite commonly, these tools allow users to measure campaigns, the brand and products for quantitative metrics such as conversion volume, when conversations are happening, and your brand’s share of voice.
With social media monitoring tools, seeing really is believing—80 percent of our memories are determined by what we see and 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes.
The Ears: Call Tracking Software
Ears do more than let us hear, they also help us keep our balance. Likewise, call tracking software helps users keep tabs on customer behavior and, in essence, allows them to better listen to prospects, customers, and sales teams for a more balanced marketing approach.
As consumers increasingly use their smartphones to research, browse, and connect with businesses, brands are developing a newfound respect for the inbound call as an integral part of the conversion path. According to BIA/Kelsey, calls to businesses from mobile devices will reach 162 billion by 2019. As mobile usage continues to skyrocket, call tracking software is becoming a critical part of the marketing stack.
Through call tracking, organizations can generate different local and 1-800 numbers for advertisements, locations on a website, and pay-per-click campaigns and keywords. This software then can track which sources are generating the most calls. When integrated with digital analytic tools, it can provide more granular reporting. Simply put, you can track calls just like you would clicks. There are real analytical benefits to using call tracking software. Users can report on the effectiveness of offline—and online—advertising campaigns, develop a fuller picture of how customers are communicating with the company, and optimize conversions to build a stronger, more effective marketing strategy. The software can even shed light on minute demographic details, including geographic location.
By integrating call tracking with marketing automation you can capture the entire multi-channel path to purchase, so that when a prospect picks up the phone, you can tie that call to all previous online activity. This software allows you to hear the entire multi-channel path to purchase.
The Nose: Data Cleansing and Quality Tools
Like hearing, smell is an important sense. Data cleansing and quality is the nose of the marketing tech stack.
Not all data is good data. Data cleansing and quality tools make sniffing out the good from the bad easy for business users. These tools commonly contain modules for data duplication, normalization, standardization, comparison, verification, and mass delete to name a few. When integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, the massive data sets become easily manipulated and standardized for better application to marketing and sales teams. In addition, data cleansing and quality tools can act as administrators of productivity on CRM data.
Humans have about 12 million olfactory receptor cells and can detect more than 10,000 scents. A great data cleansing tool uses its own type of receptors to sniff out fresh, quality data and detect the scent of bad data.
The Brain: BI Platforms
Business intelligence (BI) platforms are the brains behind the marketing tech stack. Did you know the brain generates ten to 23 watts of power? That’s enough energy to power a light bulb. BI solutions make sense of all the unstructured business data and the source of all those graphs and tables that expose those valuable “a-ha, light-bulb going off” moments.
Forward-thinking executives are trying to embrace big data to improve their competitive value, generate revenue, and reduce costs. What’s surprising is 95 percent of marketers and 80 percent of IT leaders admit that their strategy to use big data is struggling significantly. The savior for those struggling? BI software. This software creates automated reports and dashboards that can be deployed to non-technical interfaces so business users can slice and dice the data on their own and perform ad-hoc reporting. By centralizing all of that high-value data, organizations get an automated and trustworthy view into how their marketing investments and partnerships are contributing to the top-line growth of the company.
A fully integrated BI solution is increasingly critical to a complete marketing tech stack; it truly is the “brains” of the operation. Both BI software and the brain act as the powerhouse that keeps everything in order by constantly reviewing where things are and what they are doing—whether positive or negative.
The marketing tech stack has become a carefully orchestrated organism—not unlike the human body—where each part serves a unique purpose that contributes to the greater functionality and success. It’s up to marketers to dissect their marketing tech stack anatomies and ensure content outputs are as robust and healthy as possible. SW
Adrienne Weissman is the CMO at G2 Crowd, a business software review platform, where she is responsible for the company’s sales and marketing divisions. Prior to this role, she served as LinkedIn’s director of marketing solutions, where she worked directly with global B2B and B2C heavyweights including Accenture, FedEx, Ford, Harvard, and Microsoft.
Dec2015, Software Magazine