Tech Accelerators Will Win the Marketing Battleground
I was stunned to read this: Gartner Group reported recently that the technology budget for the Chief Marketing Officer in 2017 will be bigger than the CIO’s tech budget!
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, with the explosion in marketing tools coming to the market. See the graphic put together by Chiefmartech.com, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a dizzying array of tech tools to measure and improve marketing. No wonder marketing feels so overwhelming these days!
But what does this all mean for b-to-b marketing?
Here’s how we see it: at this stage, everybody’s got a website. Everybody has a landing page. Everybody has a “contact us” form on their websites. None of that is new. Instead, the savvy marketer and c-suite are realizing that technology beyond those basics, beyond just the superficial level of digital marketing, can be a powerful lever for gaining competitive advantage.
Less and less, the challenge in b-to-b isn’t really about generating leads. In fact, we all know how to do that, so lead generation at its base level is easy to achieve. In many cases, it’s the wrong KPI for companies, like when some people boast about web visits/month or Facebook followers.
Instead, what really matters is not lead gen, but opportunity generation. How many people can I convert to a quote request or meeting request? How can I move people through the sales funnel faster, and at less cost?
That’s the true measure of marketing analytics today, and the answers lie increasingly in how to use technology tools. If I get 100 or 1000 leads in the top of my funnel, how do I find those most likely to buy, in the next 3 months? And how can I use technology to do that more efficiently and less expensively?
Is Live Chat the way to do it? Can I create an online store with a variety of monthly specials? Will automated workflows do the trick? Perhaps tighter integration between CRM and marketing lead databases will work. Or perhaps it’s a combination of them all.
The battle for customers begins online in many respects, and that battle can be won by those who are more rigorous and clever about the ways they’re using technology. It’s not always a matter of out-spending competitors. Indeed, for companies competing against giants, that’s not even an option. So those marketers that test and trial new tech tools more rapidly and more aggressively than competitors will discover the best methods to convert leads to customers.
At our agency, we tell clients that the technology tools we use will likely change every two years. As software has become more powerful and less expensive, that’s never been more true. Leveraging your marketing investments with a heavy dose of technology tools is today’s marketing “secret sauce.”
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