10 Reasons for SMBs to Embrace Marketing Technology

The idea of making the leap into new technology—any new technology—can give the typical small- and medium-sized business owner pause, and for some understandable reasons.

This is true even when we’re talking about Marketing Technology—a.k.a. your martech stack:

  • Change. It’s disruptive, particularly in the rapid-response, turn-on-a-dime world of SMBs.
  • Cost. Will it pay for itself? How will you know? How soon?
  • Uncertainty. Will the new technology really live up to its promises?
  • If it ain’t broke…. The comfort zone is hard to bust out of, especially if the way you operate feels “good enough.” (Hey—it’s gotten you this far, right?).

The reasons however, to fully embrace the power of your martech stack are numerous and compelling. For your consideration, here’s our Top 10:

#1: Martech gives you competitive advantage.

Communicating your brand message over multiple channels; Delivering targeted, relevant content at the right time; Responding rapidly to sales opportunities. Marketing technology can drive all these competitive advantages.

Fact is, now really is the time to look closely at martech—because your competitors are. According to a recent ActiveCampaign study, only 30% of SMBs using email marketing right now have brought marketing automation into their martech stack. But that number is projected to more than double to 64% in two years—and rise to 85% in five years.

#2: Martech can shorten your sales cycle.

Marketing automation workflows on a platform like HubSpot allow you to serve relevant online content to potential customers—answering their questions, consistently engaging, eliminating missed follow-up, and moving deals to close faster.

How? Because you’re engaging with prospective customers where they are along their path to purchase and providing them with content that’s interesting and informative at just the right time—no wasted cycles. Additionally, marketing automation gives your marketing and sales teams the power to quickly discern each prospect’s level of interest in and fit for your offerings. The more they know, the more appropriately they can devote effort and energy to closing sales that actually have a chance of closing.

selling-bigger-and-faster

#3: Martech enables customer engagement throughout the buyer’s journey.

This is where an integrated martech stack of platforms, apps, and tools really distinguishes itself. Gathering data at every touchpoint, your martech stack should provides insights into:

  • How your customers are finding you.
  • How they’re interacting with you.
  • How they can convert into buyers—and then into repeat buyers and advocates for your brand.
  • How you can build their loyalty and nurture them into advocates for your business.
  • How you can personalize your customer messages-making them relevant to your customers’ needs and their stages on the “buyer’s journey.”

You speak to customers differently in person when they’re “kicking the tires” and when they’re ready to give their credit card number. Digital marketing technology, in support of the inbound methodology, enables and automates a similar, customer-centered approach to communication.

#4: Martech simplifies your multi-channel marketing (and opens up new channels to you).

Today, effective marketing starts with strategy that communicates your brand and its messages through all appropriate channels. You have a website, but are you blogging? Marketing via email? Posting on social media? Using video? The right martech tools not only facilitate these critical marketing activities but also integrate them to automate some tasks and assure others don’t fall through the cracks.

HubSpot’s marketing automation platform can host your blog, integrate it with your website, provide templates that simplify posting, and trigger automatic social media posts to promote what you’ve posted. (And that’s just scratching the surface!)

#5: Martech is mobile.

What are you doing right now to reach your audiences on their mobile devices? Did you know that mobile web usage has surpassed desktop? And that Google has begun to rank websites based primarily on their mobile versions? Today’s martech tools allow you to be where your customers are with mobile-optimized brand messages—from website to emails to video. And even let you manage it from your OWN mobile device.

#6: Martech satisfies the need for speed.

Two hallmarks of successful SMBs are agility and velocity. How well can you shift gears to seize a new opportunity? And how quickly can you put your strategies into action?

The right martech stack enables rapid creation, testing, and deployment of promotions and campaigns, whether strategic or opportunistic. Measurement is virtually instantaneous, meaning that you can optimize what’s working and improve (or put aside) what’s not.

#7: Martech builds one-to-one relationships with your brand.

Social media technology most definitely counts as martech, and it is indispensable for brand building and brand advocacy. According to Hootsuite,

  • 83% of Americans have at least one social media account.
  • Nearly half of Americans have interacted with companies or institutions on at least one of their social sites.
  • 59% of Americans using social media agree that customer service via social makes it easier to get questions answered and concerns resolved.

And one more from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs: 83% of B2B marketers are using social media as a content marketing tactic. (Bonus: You can link your social platforms to a single platform, like Hootsuite, Buffer, or HubSpot, that allows you to manage and measure all your social activity in one place.)

#8: Martech minimizes guesswork.

If used well, your martech stack is going to feed you data, data, and more data to inform virtually ALL your decisions. Your marketing automation platform can measure site visits, email response, content engagement, and much more. Google Analytics drills down deeper into your site, revealing a wealth of actionable insights into site traffic. With Hotjar you can see at the web page level where eyeballs are looking and mouses are clicking. Finally, Databox enables visualization of the data that matters most to you, so you can see and respond to trends more quickly. Goodbye guesswork, hello “smarketing.”

#9: Martech proves its value.

It’s not like the old days anymore where this adage rang true—half of my marketing is definitely working, I just don’t know which half! The rich data that martech tools serve you not only support marketing decisions but also provide attribution of results to your marketing efforts. From social likes and shares, to content downloads, to actual sales, marketers can now demonstrate the ROI of their marketing technology practically on demand.

#10: And speaking of value…

“Investments in technology” can feel like code for “costly budget line items.” As nearly all martech tools today are cloud-based, SMBs can often build martech stacks that get them into the game (and get demonstrable results) quickly and for surprisingly short money. HubSpot, for instance, offers a configuration with free marketing automation functions, free CRM, and their free Sales Hub. Not a bad way to dip your toes into the martech pool!

Let us help you make sense of martech.

Right now, there are more than 5,000 marketing technology platforms, apps, and tools out there. That’s a lot for a busy SMB owner or marketer to sift through.

We’re here to help you discern which ones belong in a martech stack that will add REAL, sustainable value to your enterprises. Reach out to us anytime.

Read the article: “Building an SMB Marketing Technology Stack”

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