Marketing anything, whether it’s a product, service or lifestyle, requires a talent for communication. Words, pictures, videos, and an understanding of an audience and what will speak to them are all important in getting those messages across. The ways marketing messages are conveyed are constantly evolving, providing ever-changing ways of reaching consumers.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.”
Getting a marketing strategy right is crucial for organizations of every size, partly because of the rise in new technology, the constant evolution of consumer behavior and increasing competition. Consumers are becoming more empowered every day, using the internet and social media to easily access huge amounts of information about products and services. This means that businesses must have a strong online presence and a clear value proposition to make sure they are seen.
Marketing is becoming more complex and data-driven. With a rise in machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence, companies are able to collect and analyze large amounts of information about their target audiences and customers, enabling them to create personalized and effective marketing campaigns.
Some of the most common strategies used in marketing include the following:
This refers to strategies and tactics used to segment consumers in order to build loyalty. It utilizes database marketing, behavioral advertising and analytics to precisely target consumers.
This encourages and facilitates people to pass along an advertising message.
This has a role in direct, digital, inbound and outbound marketing and helps with lead generation, relationship building and brand awareness.
This focuses on partnerships with individuals who have influence over possible buyers and designing activities around them in order to drive a brand’s message to a larger market, often through social media.
This refers to a creative and unconventional strategy aimed at getting maximum results from minimal resources.
This is when customers start contact with a marketer in response to various methods that are used to get their attention.
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This is when a marketer initiates contact with a customer and is often used to influence consumer awareness and preference for a particular brand.
Marketing technology, also referred to as MarTech, describes any technological tools that help both digital and physical marketing teams complete their work. It often overlaps with advertising technology, also knowns as AdTech, which is able to automate or increase the reach of digital advertisements. This collection of digital technology tools is called a company’s marketing technology stack and is integral to many parts of the customer buying process.
MarTech and AdTech often intersect and can provide crossover benefits. For instance:
- Awareness – As customers use social media, awareness is raised, which will then mean they find adverts that are targeted to appeal to people with their demographics of interests.
- Interest – When customers search for specific products, the top results that appear in their web browser are commonly determined by which company has the most effective SEO software.
- Desire – When a customer contacts a company for information, that business can then track them with lead management software.
- Action – When the customer makes a purchase, that particular company can then track the relationship with customer relationship management software, also referred to as CRM.
A customer will not generally be aware of what software is being used, but marketing professionals use these tools every day in order to encourage, engage and keep customers.
Types Of Martech
Analytic tools assist marketers in understanding the effects of a campaign by providing data on the return on investment (ROI) for a particular initiative. The different types of analytics technology enable professionals to improve the performance of targeting ads and the customization of websites and apps, as well as customer response to both.
Digital ad technology assists companies in advertising their products and open services more effectively by using, for example, social media or internet search ad capabilities to target adverts towards a particular demographic or reach a larger audience.
Customer relationship management tech (CRM) helps organizations build better relationships with existing customers through tracking communication, processes, orders and payment in one application. This allows businesses to provide a better service, retain customers for longer and make more sales. Lead management software, which is similar to CRM, can also be used by marketing departments, helping to manage leads or potential customers who have yet to make a purchase.
Search engine optimization software lets businesses optimize their search strategy in order to help their sites and products appear higher in customer search engine results. SEO tech is able to analyze which keywords are performing well in an industry and therefore create targeted content designed to increase web traffic.
Email marketing can be optimized by using specific services that offer automation of email sequences for new customers, email creation templates and the management of customer’s email addresses and preferences. These email marketing technology tools offer analysis beyond open rates and can include monthly reports, A/B testing and push notifications.
Customer experience software is used to test the effectiveness of websites, applications and interfaces to help them maximize the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.
Content management tools are utilized by businesses to manage their website and marketing content by making it easier to search, update, create, tag, edit and review it. Some content management tools specialize in providing services for particular industries or specific kinds of content.
Content creation technology includes software for graphic design, audio and video production, video marketing platforms and podcast distribution applications.
Social media utilizes specific marketing technology for managing social media accounts, including posting, responding to comments and messages, and automating things like cross-posting content to a variety of sites, resizing images and scheduling posts. There are also tools that provide prompts to make content that appeals to specific customer demographics.
The advantages of using MarTech include decreasing the time it takes to measure results, enabling organizations to quickly determine whether to invest more in particular advertising techniques, as well as what campaigns work and do not work. MarTech tools also help companies understand their ROIs better so that they can invest advertising money more efficiently. These tools also make it easier to create, foster and maintain good customer relationships with methods such as incorporating customer preferences into sales processes.
Emerging MarTech Trends
Technology is constantly changing, and therefore marketers have to keep on top of the trends in order to improve their reach. It’s especially important to understand new communication strategies. Some of the currently emerging trends include:
Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been widely used in fields such as finance, medicine and manufacturing. Conversational AI using mostly chatbots and virtual assistants can simulate human conversation, enabling interaction with customers in a natural and personalized way. Conversational AI models can also be trained to deal with more complex tasks to further improve the customer experience. AI is able to analyze data continuously and identify style, format and color preferences to create content aligned with the customer, allowing for more relevant publications, offers and more personalized experiences.
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Voice Search Optimization
This is the practice of optimizing a digital asset, such as a website and other content, for voice search queries. Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Home are popular with those who use voice commands to search for products and services, and brands can optimize their content for voice search in order to make it simpler for customers to find them.
Using newer software to tailor content to present relevant data in near-real time is becoming more popular, with call tracking and conversation intelligence tools able to create detailed customer profiles. This data can then be used to drive targeted campaigns across social, search and display channels.
This type of marketing is increasing in popularity, with businesses able to create high-quality, branded and related interactive content such as games, quizzes and calculators, which in turn both engage potential customers and provides a piece of content to share in order to attract a wider audience.
The Advantages Of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation describes the use of a platform with the main purpose of automating activities across inbound marketing channels, which includes sending emails, social media and managing contact information. Using automation enables companies to effectively and efficiently generate leads and prospects at all stages of the customer journey.
An example of how marketing automation works would be when a user visits a website and downloads a brochure. Their contact details are sent to the CRM, which allows a company to access information on the customer’s history and interactions with the business. A personalized email is then sent to them thanking the customer for downloading the brochure. Follow-up emails can be sent to them, featuring tailored calls-to-action, based on their previous interactions with the company. The software used enables constant personalization to the consumer, which in turn increases the value and relevance of customer communications.
The roles of sales and marketing are often interconnected, such as within social selling, which is when a company uses a brand’s social media channels to connect with prospects, then develop connections with them and engage with possible leads. Therefore, using the right marketing automation platform will foster better communications between the two departments.
Marketing automation processes will save time and money and increase productivity by taking care of tasks such as customer communications, leads, content scheduling, market research, social media management and analytics. Monitoring and targeting audiences will also be helped by the right marketing automation platform. Tracking real-time data and monitoring engagement and behaviors will enable businesses to create more targeted and personalized communication at times when specific audience segments are likely to be easier to reach.
As marketing technology becomes more and more widespread, companies are acquiring tools and technologies such as analytics, data management and CRM, which can add up to a large tech stack that needs to be utilized cost effectively and efficiently. This focus has meant that marketing is now an increasingly technical function, so it’s important that organizations know how to measure the success of their use of this tech. The purpose of marketing is to find, keep and grow the value of customers, so customer-related metrics must be part of the measurements of success. These measurements could include the impact on customer churn rate, up-sell and attach rates, and average revenue per customer.
This expansion of marketing is making a career in this sector very desirable. A degree program in marketing, such as an SBU communications master’s online at St. Bonaventure University, offers students the key skills to thrive in marketing, especially as technology advances. By covering areas such as campaign vision, strategy, content development and data analysis, the program enables students to master the art of strategic storytelling, learn how to use critical thinking and create focused stories valued by consumers in the communications landscape.
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Marketing is much more than the technologies that are used to sell a product. It is also about communicating in the best way to reach customers and understanding all the varied evolving methods used, whether it be a press release, social media post, email or video.
As the way we consume media changes, the world of marketing will continue to adapt in order to reach customers. By using emerging technologies such as AI, automation, MarTech and more within marketing strategies, companies can be more direct and create messages specific to the consumer, ultimately leading to greater success for the business.
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