High-performing sales teams are more than twice as likely to be heavy tech adopters as others, according to new research. So wouldn’t the same be true of marketing teams? And what specific technologies would define a high performing marketing organisation?
A study by Salesforce.com indicates that successful sales teams are more likely to use technology, especially analytics and mobile. They also use data to make more informed, ‘behavior-based decisions’ to drive sales – relying on technology to crunch data and highlight trends such as sales rep productivity and opportunity conversion rates.
Over the last decade, the marketing department has also transformed to the point where Gartner has predicted that marketing chiefs will soon spend more on technology than CTOs. As a dedicated technology PR firm, we supply public relations services to a number of marketing technology companies, so I’m especially interested in what are the must-have tools and technologies for a high achieving marketing team. Here are my suggestions:
Online attribution technology
People visit your website in a number of ways – marketing emails, search ads, display ads, social media etc – but many marketers still credit the final conversion or sale to the last channel the visitor clicked. So if the last click came from a search ad, they attribute that ad for the whole value of the sale – despite the fact that the customer may have visited their site via a number of different channels in the days or weeks prior. This simplistic approach severely distorts marketing planning, so I reckon most successful marketing depts. would very likely be using more sophisticated attribution mdelling technology.
Market research platforms
Data is everywhere and marketing is turning into a truly data driven discipline. So I’d assume that high performing marketing departments would be spending a fair amount on data and analytics. And possibly using in-house tools rather than farming it all out to an agency. There are self-service survey and feedback collection platforms available that can automatically poll customers and potential customers via any number of digital channels. These can help build a deep understanding of the customer experience and what customers like and dislike about their brands as well as provide feedback on areas such as new product development.
Marketing automation tools
For years Enterprise Resource Planning tools have been automating processes in finance departments. Now i believe more and more high achieving marketing teams are following the same trend and adopting automation tools for marketing. These systems streamline processes related to everything from budgeting and planning, workflow and approvals, the marketing calendar, internal collaboration, digital asset creation and management to tracking incoming marketing leads until they can be handed over to the sales team. The key benefit here is supporting operational efficiency within the marketing function.
Cross-device tracking systems
With massive adoption of smartphones and tablets, one of the biggest areas of interest within digital marketing is how to cross the gap between digital devices. In other words, how can you track someone who has clicked your mobile ad and ensure you target them again when they are on their laptop? This is sure to be on the radar of forward looking marketing teams – especially as research shows people use their mobiles to research products online, but tend to feel more comfortable making their purchases on a computer. Both Google and Facebook have developed their own systems for cross-device tracking using data on logged-in users. But another approach called ‘probabilistic matching’ uses data such as device type, operating system, IP address, Wi-Fi network, cookies etc. coupled with big data systems to algorithmically track a person across devices. While it sounds a little ‘big brother’, this approach does not actually identify individuals.