Make technology work for your business.
Whether your business is a brick-and-mortar, an e-commerce site, or a mix of both, technology is your best ally to be leading in your niche. If you already have a well-developed product and a growing customer base, below are top marketing tech that may just be the secret sauce to skyrocket your business.
Public Relations Technology
Public relations and marketing are terms that may be easily interchanged. But the two have a stark difference.
PR is about the strategic communication process that builds your brand’s reputation, while the latter is directed towards achieving direct revenue. Marketing is relatively easier to measure, but PR technologies are now on the rise that allows efficacy of multi-channel efforts to be measured.
AirPR, for instance, is a measurement solution that connects PR to business metrics to reveal which strategies on which channels result in the most brand engagement. International micro-lending non-profit Kiva has used the solution to find out which placements and media coverage have led to an increase in traffic. This allowed the non-profit to conduct targeted media outreach that drove a 175% increase in potential Kiva lenders.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI or machine learning has had a wide application in marketing that ranges from curating content, ad targeting, predictive customer service, the development of chatbots, to language and speech recognition, and even web design.
An example of this is Facebook’s messenger bot that allows for bots to answer queries sent to a business’ Facebook messenger. For web design, The Grid, has pioneered AI technology that uses ‘intelligent image recognition and cropping, an algorithmic palette and typography selection.’
With e-commerce paving the way for your customer base to be in the thousands (or even millions), it won’t be possible to keep a 1:1 relationship with them; more so, continue to grow your audience if you’re doing tasks such as customer segmentation, data integration, and campaign management manually.
With the development of marketing automation platforms, you won’t have to spend precious time and resources cold calling. The platform can send out pre-programmed campaign emails for you, and provide you with a report on how many people opened it, how many clicks your website got, and how many opted out.
ActOn is a marketing automation software that offers email, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media, customer relationship management, and analytics. US Fleet Tracking, a company that manufactures and distributes GPS systems, used the platform resulting in 25% of email recipients requesting for a follow-up call. The marketing automation campaign generated $30,000.
One of the ways technology has significantly altered marketing is through data analysis.
With reliable analytics providing metrics for each stage of a strategy—from product and market fit, customer acquisition, to scaling growth metrics—businesses can now be sure that they’re getting a bang for each buck they’re investing.
Netflix seems to have mastered big data analytics as it estimates $1 billion in savings from the algorithms they use for customer retention. With over a million subscribers, data analytics is used for targeted advertising—tailor-fitting videos displayed on each subscriber’s page that reflect their watch data and searches.
Custom application programming interfaces (APIs)
Don’t let the acronym intimidate you, as APIs are simply a set of rules that allow different applications to talk to each other.
With the rise of these third-party platforms, data—say, from Google and Facebook—can be integrated to better inform businesses on their marketing strategies.
Oscaro, an online US-based auto parts company hired digital marketing agency Zebra Advertisement to ‘enable scalable growth and accurate ROI tracking’. With the use of custom API, data from Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and other traffic sources were merged and analyzed that identified conversion patterns and determined where increased spending could lead to more sales. This resulted in an ROI of 352% on google and 72% on Bing.
This marketing technology is particularly apt for those who have online platforms that complement their physical stores. With offline tracking technologies, digital campaigns can now be measured for their impact on actual store buying behavior.
Placed, a start-up focusing on location analytics helped a leading retail company attribute its digital campaign to offline sales through their technology of placed attribution. The campaign’s location-targeted audience drew 34% more store visits and resulted in a 5% increase in in-store purchases.
As consumer attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, marketers have been resorting to technologies that enable them to create an individualized marketing experience.
These marketing strategies vary to meet the user where they’re at in their buying journeys or are tailor-fitted according to age, location, demographics and the like. This is especially needed when running social media campaigns as a one-size-fits-all tactic is a no-no. Developing a strategy is key.
Stafford Global, a distance learning provider optimized its content and approach depending on which country inquiries where coming from. Using HubSpot, a marketing and sales solutions provider, one of the key insights Stafford Global gained to cultivate leads is that based on location, some users wanted to be immediately contacted by phone while others preferred an email or text message first. Stafford Global now generates 1,500 leads and is able to acquire 65% of students through its website every month.
Voice agents like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri aren’t just for random questions, weather updates, or song-playing. Their reach has impacted the marketing industry, as analytics firms are now integrating the system for its users. This is so marketers can access any information they want at the prompt of a question.
Datorama, a marketing analytics platform offers such a service as it has integrated with Amazon’s Alexa voice agent. Typical dialogue can sound like: “Alexa, ask Datorama: What is my top performing campaign by clicks last week?”, and Alexa will answer, “Your top performing campaign is ‘Holiday Free Shipping’ with 8,000 clicks.
Account-based marketing (ABM)
Similar to content optimization, ABM is a business-to-business strategy that makes it possible for marketers to narrow down to a specific audience and create a campaign for them. Similar characteristics of users (demographics, location, and the like) are taken together and merged into an account—allowing for distinct messages to be crafted for specific groups.
With Demandbase, a B2B solutions provider, US-based financial solutions company Broadridge was able to gain insight on then anonymous traffic on their website and develop marketing tactics for conversion.
Behind the Technology
At the end of the day, all these marketing technologies can only be properly leveraged by marketers. Knowing which are appropriate to use and will add value to your current market strategy is a process that cannot be automated and will ultimately need human insight.
Considering all the available marketing technologies, deciding which to invest in and utilize for your business may be daunting. Remember, these technologies when used properly should be able to complement each other—not overwhelm you. Prioritize, focus on the essentials, and also look at what the technology must-haves are for top companies. Then get experimenting. Happy marketing!