An average company will dedicate around 26% of its marketing budget to marketing technology (MarTech) alone. Service providers in this area offer a wide array of solutions, at various prices. James Thomas, CMO of MarTech startup Allocadia, says such a stack for a company the size of Microsoft would cost at least $15 million per year.
However, regardless of the company’s size, often much of this investment remains untapped, as a study has shown that marketing leaders were only utilizing 58% of their MarTech stack’s potential, meaning that a lot of money is still wasted. Let’s say a company is spending €32,000 per month on its MarTech stack. This would equate to roughly more than €13,000 wasted.
CMOs and marketing managers often face a challenge when it comes to building a relevant, necessary, and fully utilized tech stack that will accelerate their companies’ growth in the specific stage they’re in.
For instance, at the very beginning, a MarTech stack may cost as little as €180 per year. However, as it grows, a small company with up to 50 employees may start to spend around €1,920. A business with up to 100 employees will spend even more – about €13,550 per year, up to 200 employees – €32,000, and so on. The amount continues to increase until we reach giants with over 1,000 employees and a whopping €610,500 per year on a MarTech stack.
Where to begin
To begin assembling an ideal MarTech stack for your company, it is essential that you first define your marketing goals. Those could be to grow revenue, increase brand value, improve user experience or operational efficiency, etc. After taking care of this part, consider the best strategies to achieve them. You’ll need to identify your specific technology requirements and start looking for the right tools to help you address them in order to achieve a better customer experience and positive return on investment (ROI).
Since there are over 7,000 MarTech tools on the market, it is difficult to find just one that does everything you need. An average company’s MarTech stack contains around 120 different tools. Often, parts of these stacks will be left underutilized, resulting in wasted resources. This can happen due to a lack of set goals, poorly designed strategies, neglected requirements, and purchasing of tools that aren’t yet relevant to the specific stage of company’s growth.
Hence, it is important to have the right solutions in your stack all working together and supplementing each other. The MarTech industry has expanded so much that now you have plenty of choice – from the best-of-breed to all-in-one solutions. Do note that an average stack will have many overlapping capabilities.
Let’s take a look at the areas that typically need to be covered by a basic MarTech stack in order to facilitate a B2B company’s growth:
1. Content management system (CMS): Since content marketing is the key activity in driving inbound leads, a CMS is at the heart of all your content creation and management, including a blog, whitepaper, videos, infographics, ebooks, case studies, smart site content, and more.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM): Managing all of your company’s interactions with customers and prospects, with the goal of improving business relationships.
3. Marketing automation: The process of automating elements of marketing and sales, saving time and human resources. These elements can include email communication, landing pages, A/B testing tools, analytics, and more.
4. Advertising: Paid advertising options often include tracking and analytics of their performance.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content/keyword research: Optimizing your website and/or other content for organic search, keyword/topic and competitor research, niche monitoring, and more.
6. Data analytics: It facilitates better understanding of your customers, which leads to better understanding of all the interactions and engagements across all marketing channels, including social media, website, ads, and so on, that result in a sale, allowing you to evaluate your campaigns’ performance and effectiveness.
You can either opt for individual tools that deal with each of these areas separately or use integrative solutions that address multiple needs at the same time. Let’s see which of these solutions can be combined for the best results:
CMS + landing page + user experience (UX) research:
The best way to start with a great CMS, responsive landing page, and user analytics, is to combine WordPress, the most popular CMS platform on the Internet, with the page-building plugin Elementor Pro.
Alternatively, you can use Unbounce as a great way to create beautiful landing pages. Combine these with Hotjar, the platform that provides a range of essential analytics features and feedback tools like heatmaps, and you’re ready to launch.
CRM + marketing automation:
Integrative platforms like ActiveCampaign can provide multiple services at once. It will provide you with effective CRM, marketing automation, email marketing, advanced reporting, and more, in a single package. It is ideal if you want to start with marketing automation and expect to have many contacts in the future.
HubSpot is an excellent alternative as it is user-friendly, has advanced features, and is the most advanced platform on the market. However, it is expensive and its pricing rises sharply with the growing number of contacts.
If your area of business is e-commerce, you should also consider Drift which offers CRM, personalized video/GIF creation, chatbot building, and automated email reply management.
Throw the Zapier add-on into the mix and the possibilities will be limitless. Zapier acts as the glue connecting almost any app to almost any other app to facilitate seamless data flow between them and perform countless other actions.
Tracking and analytics:
Without information about how your methods are working out for you, you can’t expect to make any progress. Google Analytics and Tag Manager are a great start, but if you might also want some more advanced features that a paid tool like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Google Data Studio 360 offers.
These features include scalability, advanced analysis, event-based user performance tracking, and real-time reporting. GDS 360 even adds a voice-activated Data Assistant, although it separates tracking from the dashboard/data visualization.
To attract valuable organic traffic, it’s worth knowing what content to provide, what people are interested in the first place, and how to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Here platforms like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and SEO Quake can help with their comprehensive SEO tools for e-commerce and enterprises. Such platforms can guide your content strategy to help you decide on interesting topics for the customers you serve, as well as conduct competitive analysis.
An alternative to the listed tools, Google Trends analyzes, compares, and visually displays the popularity of top search queries/keywords in Google Search across multiple regions and languages.
Incorporating popular advertising tools like Google Ads and LinkedIn Campaign Manager in your entire MarTech stack will help you gain actionable insights into the effectiveness of paid campaigns in actual sales, thanks to combining paid advertising with tracking and measuring capabilities.
Such platforms can also assist you in achieving various other objectives like capturing leads, building brand awareness, driving conversions, and so on.
Assembling the right tools and creating the best possible MarTech stack for your business will drive its growth while keeping it affordable in the long run. If all its parts are working together in harmony, complementing each other without areas left underutilized, you could be paying half the price of what most companies pay. This would place you in the ideal position to accelerate your growth.
When doing this, the most attention should be devoted to its core – CRM + marketing automation and CMS + landing page builder as they will allow you to start off on the right foot and establish a flexible and adaptable structure.
At Comarketers, we help companies capitalize on the best MarTech tools out there and make marketing efforts as efficient as possible. Interested to learn more about the tech stack we use ourselves, and the information behind the tools? Check out yourself at Comarketers, or reach out to get a free consultation.
Sead is a freelance journalist with more than a decade of experience writing news, bylines, whitepapers, blogs, and ebooks. He focuses most of his efforts on new technologies and content marketing. Based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.