Every company is now a tech company—or so it seems now that everyone has a website, uses software, and needs developers on hand. In fact, a recent survey by Stripe and Harris Poll revealed that more than 60% of C-suite executives view a lack of access to software developer talent as a threat to their company's success.
Marketing departments use technology for a variety of reasons, including advertising development, customer acquisition with multi-touch attribution, and productivity tools to manage internal communication. Unfortunately, these technologies can become outdated quickly, and sometimes developers can’t keep up. If you’re in the market to purchase new tools and technologies for your marketing team, there are several factors and tools to consider.
Martech Characteristics for Success
When hunting for new MarTech, AdTech and productivity tools, there are four aspects to consider for a successful run and implementation.
First, determine the stability of the vendor. Startups come and go, so if you find yourself needing to heavily invest in software, make sure the parent company is established and/or well-funded. The last thing you want is to install new technology, import your data, and train your employees, only to see the company go out of business, forcing you to repeat the process.
Next, make sure the technology being evaluated integrates with or supports your existing tools. As your business grows, so do your software needs. Instead of layering on top of older programs, opt for a software solution that consolidates the team’s requirements and alleviates the necessity to log in to multiple dashboards to access the same information. You may also want to consider a Single Sign-On solution (SSO) to make life easier.
Then, assess whether the technology actually solves your problem. The Martech LUMAscape is an annual graphic representation of the marketing technology landscape. In eight years, the image has grown from showcasing 150 companies to 7,040. Suffice it to say, the marketplace is over saturated, and you’re probably inundated with software pitches everywhere you turn. Stay focused on your needs, and invest in tools that solve your specific problems.
Finally, weigh the benefits against the cost of the software. Some solutions are financially impractical, even if they make your job easier and provide information you don't currently have access to. On the other hand, an expensive tool might be worth the cost if it can free a team member’s time for higher-value work or replace a less effective solution.
Pantheon’s Top Martech Tools
Digital marketing teams must establish good tools before implementing an agile methodology because agile marketing requires reliable testing tools and data to make decisions. The first principle of agile marketing is “validated learning over opinions and conventions,” which is based on the nonlinear nature of the system. The key is to work through an implement-measure-learn feedback loop, but that requires confidence in the information your marketing tools provide. If not, your team will make choices based on instincts over facts - which is not ideal.
At Pantheon, we consider the following to be our top four productivity and marketing technology solutions:
G-Suite offers us several benefits. We can collaborate on documents in real-time while enabling user permissions to control who can edit a file. We can also view changes to a document and revert to prior versions as needed.
For example, we use Google Sheets to track our objectives and key results. By helping us stay organized, communicate, collaborate, and document our work; G-Suite helps us achieve our marketing goals tactically.
Our marketing team uses Asana to organize, track, and manage projects. Each working group maintains a backlog list and a work-in-progress Kanban board to prioritize tasks and provide statuses to the larger team. This enables us to see employee’s progress and overall bandwidth. Plus, if a project is at-risk, team members can leverage Asana to alert stakeholders and address the concerns in a timely manner.
We also use Asana to manage one-on-one meetings with direct reports, create templates for common requests, and provide a calendar to visualize milestones or production schedules.
Asana offers a mobile app and the ability to sync with Slack, so we receive real-time updates and responses on our work. You can also comment on files and store them, which offers a well-documented trail for others to follow at a later date - this is especially helpful when preparing for retrospectives.
We depend on Asana to collaborate and communicate effectively, so we can go-to-market faster. This tool is at the center of our agile workflows and keeps us nimble and responsive to the needs of our customers and colleagues.
3. Google Analytics
Another Google tool, this one tracks the performance and effectiveness of our campaigns and landing pages. It also offers insights into our visitors and their behavior. We translate this data into reports that showcase the work our marketing team does in relation to our website. These reports enable us to make more informed decisions around performance and attribution that result in better ROI for our business.
As part of our agile process, we constantly run tests through Optimizely on our website. Focusing on high-traffic/high-impact landing pages like the homepage and pricing page helps us incrementally improve performance. With Optimizely, we can easily see how our experiments are performing and make changes to the website that are supported by statistically significant evidence. Similar to Google Analytics, our testing with Optimizely has improved our conversion rates on the website and ROI for marketing campaigns.
Making the Most of Your Tools
Make the most of your digital tools by researching them thoroughly — externally and internally — before making a purchase decision. When you find products you love, ask peers whether they have used the tools before and listen to their opinions. Set up sales calls with their direct competitors for comparison, and look at their product reviews on sites like G2 Crowd. Review their rank on analyst reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant, a methodology that showcases the competitive positioning of technology companies in the categories of leaders, visionaries, niche players, and challengers. If the software you are evaluating is an emerging technology, investigate the company’s financing. Balance the use of modern peer review sites with traditional analyst reports like Gartner Magic Quadrants - sometimes the landscape of providers changes. Analyst reports may be slower to capture these changes. Regarding peer review sites, check the review date to make sure the review covers the software version or release date you are considering; SaaS companies are constantly updating and improving their products.
Once you’ve narrowed your options, evaluate your current technology, resources, needs, business goals, and budget. Consider any additional costs, such as configuration and/or setup fees, as well as, the necessity for an administrative role to maintain the tool. These elements can quickly blow up your budget and timeline.
Ensure you have internal buy-in from related internal departments. The last thing you want is to sign a purchase order only to find out that your IT department views the tool as a security risk.
Martech changes faster than you can install it! Stay focused on your needs, and only implement what is necessary for your team’s success. At Pantheon, we offer the perfect platform to plug in all of your WebOps (website operations) tools, so you can quickly launch digital campaigns.