Marketing technology solutions really came into their own in 2018.
As you read this, martech is doing more work than ever before. Thanks to the latest generation of marketing technology solutions, small teams are empowered to compete with much larger rivals.
With the right suite of marketing technology solutions, marketing campaigns become much more flexible and scalable. In fact, a single well-trained contributor can oversee an entire campaign.
Anyone who has looked at different martech apps knows there’s a huge number of options out there. As 2019 dawns, however, these are consolidating. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can bring together a comprehensive martech toolkit within a single platform.
As a result, a terrific CRM is developing from a “nice to have” into a “must have.”
If you want the best martech solutions in 2019, watch for these features:
1. AI-Driven Learning
A CRM can give you full visibility into lead activity and likely outcomes, making lead scoring a snap. That said, if you’re dealing with many thousands or millions of users, you’ll need software capable of noticing the most sophisticated patterns.
You can save hundreds of hours per quarter by ensuring your marketing automation apps never require manual retooling to function.
2. End-to-End Analytics
One of the core goals of marketing technology is to provide total visibility throughout the buyer's journey. You’ll need to start the process with good old human know-how by codifying buyer personas and aligning content to different stages.
From there, it’s up to your apps (or app) to give you a bird’s eye view of how leads reach you, what they do next, and where they get lost. You want to know as much as you can about the user experience you're delivering.
3. Workflow Automation
Digital marketing consists of dozens of techniques, all with their own best practices. No one wants to reinvent the wheel every time they launch an email campaign, for example. They want dazzling, intuitive, and optimized emails fast.
Creativity is still key, but don’t think artisanal. Think scalable: Look for ways to abstract away repetitive tasks when building campaigns. The more you can automate, the more time your team has to focus on what really matters.
4. Content Personalization
Content personalization is one of the simplest ways to make a marketing message compelling. But the best marketing technology in 2019 needs to go beyond “first name personalization.”
The most promising content personalization today comes in the form of tokens, which allow rapid customization of messaging based on data from throughout your customer database. This gives your team the chance to really impress your leads and engage them in meaningful ways.
5. Chatbots and Live Chat Options
When chatbots exploded onto the scene, they quickly sprung up on seemingly every site. Still, early versions had a drawback: They required help desk agents to run them.
Now, AI is picking up the slack. A combination of live and AI chat produces the best customer service results: AI links directly to your knowledge base, while live agents handle complex queries. This helps you continually delight and support your current and future customers in the most efficient manner.
6. Video Integration
Your company’s blog is still the king of content marketing, but even blog posts aren’t plain text anymore. Your audience enjoys and expects visual content.
Video, in particular, is great for holding users’ attention on mobile. Your marketing technology should be optimized to deliver awesome video content on demand while minimizing load time and other sticking points.
7. Social Media Management
Social media management is growing more complex daily. Firms are differentiating by embracing the concept of sentiment monitoring – evaluating brand mentions in terms of their emotional content and following up appropriately.
Good marketing technology allows you to craft, plan, and queue posts, of course, but it should also facilitate true conversations. When you have the right tools in place, you can build and maintain a community of loyal followers.
8. Onboarding and Contextual Help
Ok, so this isn’t a customer-facing part of the marketing process, but it’s still vital to achieving amazing results. The best B2B solutions (in marketing and otherwise) offer a range of training resources so you can come to grips with tools quickly.
Accelerating your learning curve helps you reach that all-important first value. Video libraries and interactive demos are especially useful. So when you're researching marketing technology solutions, look for how the company educates users.
Make Marketing Technology a Top Priority in 2019
Many enterprises have held back on implementing new marketing technology solutions, worried that time spent learning them will reduce effectiveness in the short term. With 2019 in full swing, though, now’s the time to jump in with both feet.
The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be seeing results – and time savings – far beyond what was possible before.