Technology has changed the capabilities of the marketing world, drastically enabling sales and marketing teams to work smarter while the technology works harder. Like most growing companies, you probably have the basics covered—including a website, email tool, and a CRM—so now you’re thinking about the next step: adding a marketing automation platform. By adopting this tool, marketing communications become more targeted, cohesive, and support the customer through their journey—and better targeting means stronger results.
You’re not alone in embracing marketing automation and other marketing technology, and you’re also not alone if you’re running into a relatively steep learning curve when it comes to using it most effectively. In a survey of marketing decision makers by GetResponse and SmartInsights, 55% of respondents indicated that they plan to increase spending for marketing technology, with a staggering 20% planning to increase spending by 10% or more. However, when it comes to using it well, only 5% consider themselves experts.
Collectively, we’re willing to take the next steps in our journey to martech sophistication, but we’re not realizing the full benefits in our execution. The integration of these tools may have been successful, but it’s not clear whether we’re using them to the best of their ability to deliver the highest ROI.
A Healthy Marketing Platform Ecosystem—Driven by Your Data Fuel
One area in which many marketers struggle is with their data.
Your platform ecosystem is only as strong as its data structure and health. As you introduce new platforms into the ecosystem—such as a marketing automation platform—the most important thing is that they all connect to a central data repository. Keep in mind that your platform ecosystem can scale and grow over time, but it should never grow so fast that it negatively affects your data cleanliness.
This data repository is critical. It will hold the ever-changing fuel for the network of marketing tools you use, and it’s where you’ll keep and safeguard vital information for leads, prospects, and customers. This is where all analytics associated with a specific user reside, whether you’re using Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, SharpSpring, a combination of a few, or another platform.
With each platform introduced to your ecosystem, it becomes an absolute necessity to define how information within the data repository will be recorded, stored, and shared with other systems. It’s equally vital to maintain and update the data stored to ensure that it continues to fuel your ecosystem.
An Efficient Ecosystem
An ecosystem’s health is also affected by the efficiency of the platforms you’re using. For example, using a marketing automation tool and all of its features can make collecting consumer data easier and more effective. However, like all technology, marketing platforms are constantly evolving and often contain more bells and whistles than you may be able to use efficiently. So, do all those tools need to be used to solve your business problem?
In spite of the growing budgets designated for marketing platforms, many companies are not fully utilizing the materials at their disposal to their greatest extent. A full 47% of respondents from the survey mentioned above don’t use their marketing automation platform at all, or are ignoring many of its features. This is not only a waste of their investment in marketing automation, but it also prevents the technology from working to its full potential.
To ensure that you have an ecosystem working as efficiently as possible:
- Clearly define the objectives for your marketing platform ecosystem
- Map the existing systems in place and document areas that are not being utilized and how they connect to the data repository
- Highlight gaps in your ecosystem and focus on areas of weakness to ensure the entire system delivers on the defined objectives
- Continually update your knowledge on all the available tools offered through marketing automation platforms
If you’re not sure how to ensure that your marketing ecosystem is as healthy as it could be, contact the Trellist Digital division. We’ll be happy to help!