If digital transformation, and this is an established fact, is a key factor in the economic success for companies of all sizes, in the case of marketing, the use of technology is even more fundamental.
The word “martech,” which comes from the fusion of “marketing” and “technology,” indicates a vast and articulated ecosystem where concepts, methodologies, tools, and professionalism have triggered a real cultural shift. We have already talked about marketing automation.
Martech has made the development of a different and more sophisticated way of thinking about marketing possible. Now, this is no longer interpreted as a succession of separate moments, each characterized by its own dynamics, but as a single, seamless omnichannel process.
Martech is so successful among marketers because it simplifies day-to-day operations and allows the release of creative energies that were previously entirely absorbed by repetitive, low-value tasks. Creativity re-enters the circle, so to speak, in a loop where the technological element seems predominant. It once again comes to the fore as a decisive asset, to be deployed to meet the – now very high – expectations of customers.
Before delving into a description of the benefits that martech enables, we’ll explain what it consists of, using the words of those who practically invented it.
What is martech: definitions by Brinker, Gartner, and Hubspot
The first to specify the meaning of the term “martech” and to highlight its process (and thus its continuous evolution) was Scott Brinker, VP of Hubspot and author of the chiefmartec.com blog.
In an interview in the report MARTECH ITALY 2022 “A Guide to Italian Marketing Support Solutions” published by Vincenzo Cosenza, Brinker acknowledges that by now “Marketing has become a profession that is empowered by technology“.
For Gartner, martech is the set of software used to support mission-critical marketing (and business) objectives and to foster innovation in organizations. Within this definition are all those solutions that enable the management of a wide range of marketing actions such as data analysis, content development, customer experience design, organization, activation and distribution of advertising campaigns, and implementation of direct marketing initiatives.
Also according to HubSpot, martech encompassess software within a single terminology “umbrella”. It enriches the definition with a further specification that involves the impacts on people’s work and the end customer experience: technologies are used to attract and retain customers and to simplify and automate processes thanks to which the marketing team is able to save time and can more accurately assess the success of its efforts.
To make a clearer and more complete definition of martech at this point, we’ll describe the 10 processes where it’s most frequently applied.
The 10 martech applications you should consider
Martech succeeds in streamlining and making processes that marketers need to govern as efficiently as possible both faster and more accurate. Below, we have listed the areas of action where these same processes take place and where martech proves incredibly effective.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): is achieved by using keyword research tools associated with a company’s goods or services. These tools use SEO to create content strategies to help drive organic traffic to the website and landing pages.
- Content marketing: to manage and create content. The platforms used, also known as content management systems (CMS), are systems that allow marketers to manage website (and other digital channel) data and streamline content creation, publishing, and archiving workflows. Marketers use CMS apps to publish assets publicly on a site, but rely on digital asset management (DAM) solutions to share files internally.
- Social media marketing: manages brand-user interactions that occur on the company’s social channels. With social media management software, companies oversee their digital marketing campaigns on each specific platform, schedule social media posts through dashboards, archive content, access analytics features that track metrics, and evaluate responses to new posts from subscribers or influencers.
- Customer journey management: provides users with a single workspace to manage the customer journey throughout the buying process. With customer experience solutions, the sales team can access user data in real time.
- Customer relationship management: with CRM software, companies can manage a company’s interaction with new and potential customers, suppliers, and team members. CRM drives business growth by providing companies with dashboards to manage marketing activities, store customer data and contact information, generate leads, and monitor any problems in service.
- Marketing attribution: allows companies to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. Marketing attribution software collects data describing the performance of different marketing initiatives, broken down by time periods, channels, and objectives. Attribution results influence future budgets and help teams optimize their tactics.
- Email marketing: simplifies the generation of company newsletters, promotions, and exclusive offers for particular target customers, often with personalized content. Email marketing software automates the entire email creation and distribution process, and allows companies to monitor the performance of different messages through A/B testing and segmentation.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): is made possible by tools specifically developed for SEM (the most famous example is Google Ads).
- Event marketing: acquisition and collection of leads that can be employed during a corporate event.
- Advertising: one of the most interesting developments in this area concerns technological platforms that connect, in an automated way, the demand and supply of online advertising space, directing the advertising message in real time to a precise target audience (programmatic advertising).
To operationalize each of these areas of application, marketers have a marketing tech stack at their disposal, the “toolbox” from which they take the technologies needed to execute automated workflows, those command structures that make implementing their initiatives possible, from lead generation to email marketing, from social media management to search engine optimization.
Martech has penetrated deeply into the production system, contributing to the digital transformation that has redrawn boundaries and process dynamics in different industries. What is the size of the martech market and what kind of evolution should we expect in the immediate future? Let’s try to take stock of the situation.
The martech market between automation and customer data platforms
According to a recent Statista report, the global martech market was valued at nearly $345 billion in 2021. This is a huge figure that should come as no surprise: brands, agencies, and internal marketing departments are increasingly focused on identifying and adopting the solutions with the highest technological innovation content and using digital tools to simplify internal processes, improve workflows, and facilitate communication.
In the multifaceted martech universe, automation plays a crucial role and helps enrich an already prosperous market.
In 2020, marketing automation software revenues were worth $3.6 billion. Statista forecasts that by 2027, this figure should exceed $11 billion.
By implementing marketing automation technologies in their day-to-day operations, companies accomplish two goals at the same time: they streamline and simplify the most repetitive tasks, which often coincide with the lower-value tasks, the ones that take a long time to perform and are more prone to errors, and deliver relevant, personalized messages to customers.
The emergence of marketing automation is inextricably linked to the spread of martech and helps define it as a multilevel approach that is enabled by digital technologies.
Automation, which helps to facilitate the work of marketers by supporting them in eliminating redundancies and redistributing workloads, is obviously central but it’s not enough. To gain the trust of customers and create spaces for participation, they must be able to depend on reliable insights regarding consumer preferences. And in order to gain insight into individual users, brands must be able to correctly interpret the data collected, which come from a variety of sources and can be quantitative or qualitative.
Martech also plays a major role at this stage.
Customer data management platforms
In the opportunity-rich environment described by Statista, the technologies most adopted by marketers appear to be CDPs, Customer Data Platforms (platforms for collecting and managing customer data) and content marketing tools.
Even as martech solutions brought to market continue to increase and differentiate in type and performance, CDPs remain firmly in a position of absolute prominence. The contribution that the collection, analysis, and use of data from target audiences make for successful marketing efforts is increasingly valuable, especially in a world that cannot have its cookies as once before.
In light of what we have written so far, we can see just how martech produces enormous practical benefits. Below, we’ll focus on three aspects in particular that distinguish the most advanced solutions.
Martech solutions of the future: numerous, cloud-based, personalization
Whether you’re a chief marketing officer (CMO) of a startup or a multinational corporation, martech solutions are essential for many reasons. We present three here, the ones that are driving organizations to allocate increasingly substantial budgets to marketing digitization projects.
1. Numerous and adaptable
Numerous technology stack alternatives enable companies of all sizes to choose and adapt solutions that best meet their specific needs, increasing their competitiveness in the marketplace. Automation, the ability to update individual tools regarding specific contexts of use and increasingly sophisticated data analytics simplify the processes of attracting and retaining customers, driving business growth.
The most advanced martech solutions today are those available in the cloud: they allow for extremely versatile process management that is easily scalable and able to keep pace with frequent changes in technology and scenario.
Martech facilitates access to customer data for both sales teams and marketers, enabling the creation of personalized content that “speaks” directly to existing customers and helps intercept potential ones. In general, thanks to martech, marketers can share customer information in real time without adding steps to the workflow, breaking down silos and creating a more dynamic marketing environment.
Martech for engaging and creating valuable relationships: the interactive experience
Doxee interactive experience enables all the benefits we have discussed in this post because it combines the enhancement of data with the power of automation.
Doxee products, including personalized videos and responsive mini-sites, enable multichannel digital communication that combines accurate information, personalized content, and engaging storytelling.
The customer accrues a more positive perception of the entire brand experience, and this increase in value has spillover effects on the return on investment of business initiatives.
Through the interactive experience (ix) line, Doxee provides all the essential digital tools to create and manage customizable, interactive content and to communicate effectively and in a timely manner with both customers and employees.
The martech technologies developed by Doxee are able to extract the value embedded in customer data to create highly personalized and interactive communications across all touchpoints of the journey.
Interactivity in particular enables the capture of useful information to accrue up-to-date knowledge about each individual user and thus ensures higher conversion rates. The wealth of data contained in an organization’s CRM system grows and is refined, and it helps make subsequent customer-focused initiatives more targeted.
Doxee’s solutions make it possible to manage countless individual conversations, enabling a continuous dialog with the customer in a way that is simple, fluid, automatic, and without having to involve the IT department.
The ultimate goal of martech is to design the best possible customer experience for every possible touchpoint. Customer relationship moments are countless, often reiterated over time (contact occasions that are repeated during the useful life of a service or good), and they also have emotional, informational, and experiential features that can be employed to build more authentic and stronger relationships.