In August, MarTech guru Scott Brinker wrote that a recent Ascend2 study had revealed that only 9 percent of marketers felt they had fully optimized their MarTech stack. There may be a long way to go for MarTech, but one thing is for sure: it has already changed marketing — and for the better.
The increased popularity of account-based marketing has been strongly, and rightly, associated with the advent of MarTech. Without the data stack and analytical capabilities of MarTech, account-based marketing would be much more difficult. Additionally, it would be impossible to do at scale.
But with those capabilities, it’s not only possible but desirable. That, in turn, has influenced the sales cycle. As sales organizations practicing account-based marketing (ABM) have identified the target accounts for ABM, their salespeople and efforts have become more tightly integrated with marketing, which provides granular data about customer behavior. That’s the only way ABM can work, and it’s a win for any company that wants a more coordinated, holistic sales cycle.
Before MarTech, ABM often meant a strategy of targeting a few large accounts and using a high-touch process to close more deals with them. With the data streams available, as well as the predictive analytics of MarTech, it’s possible to automate and scale an ABM strategy to include more information about more target accounts.
MarTech has also put marketers closer to the epicenter of how the sales cycle rolls now. Forrester Research has said that 75 percent of the buying cycle is done before buyers interact with any sales organization. MarTech makes it possible to deliver content to the right user at the right time — content that might influence the sales decision at a critical point.
The Personal Touch
As more optimized MarTech stacks go online, the companies using them have upped their marketing game. Agile marketing systems and data improve segmentation and personalization, leading to content that comes from a thorough understanding of the account it’s targeted at. By addressing actual pain points and personalizing the message, marketing teams add more relevance and focus — not to mention ROI — to their offerings.
Many Happy Returns
Speaking of ROI, MarTech has also made marketing a far more rigorous discipline. We’ve seen how AdTech made it possible to target advertising more accurately and profitably. MarTech is now doing the same for the whole marketing effort, and marketers with vigorous MarTech platforms are able to make more data-driven decisions. Search engine data, smart device usage, and many other customer behaviors leave a digital trail that savvy marketers can now follow to help generate more sales with their marketing spend.
As MarTech matures and adoption rates increase, marketing’s influence in the sales cycle will only grow. But that will only be true if MarTech continues to deliver on its promise of an integrated stack that gives its users predictive and analytical power. As the stakes get higher, finding more ways to observe, analyze, and predict customer behavior is all that will set one MarTech platform apart from the others.