Any conversation about martech (marketing technology) and the value it brings to SMBs (small-to-medium-sized businesses) must begin with a single, central concept:
Marketing today is DIGITAL marketing, full stop. After all, just consider how you shop for goods and services every day.
For an SMB, martech can seem like a multi-headed monster of tools, apps and platforms—and we’re big fans of some of them. But at StitchDX we care MOST about the concrete, measurable ways that martech can bring new value to your marketing and your business.
So let’s take a closer look at the value martech can deliver to your SMB.
There’s no reason to be in the dark about who’s visiting you online. Analytics capabilities show you how visitors are finding and entering your site, where they’re navigating, how long they’re staying, which content they love, and which content not so much.
Google Analytics is the recognized free (for the typical SMB) source for definitive website data, and HotJar shows you at the web page level where visitors are scanning, reading, and clicking. We also like the data visualization tool Databox, which compiles and configures multi-source visitor analytics.
What’s the value? From getting people to your site to getting them to stick around longer, analytics tools can show you definitively what’s working (do more of this) and what’s not (do less of that).
Gathering customer information
If you have unique content like case studies, white papers, product data sheets, rate cards, videos (the list goes on), you can promote it on your website, over social media, and via email. The big idea: customers fill out forms, giving you a little information (such as their email address, the name of their company, their title, etc.) in exchange for content they perceive as valuable.
What’s the value? Your customer database is one of your business’s most valuable assets. The more information it houses, the more valuable it is—because you can DO more with it to drive business revenue.
Managing and maximizing customer information
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems allow you to organize and analyze your customer data throughout the customer lifecycle. They come in a variety of flavors and functionalities, but your CRM should allow you to
- Segment your database into discrete lists that you can create targeted digital messaging for.
- Track how effectively you’re communicating with each contact, and how they’re engaging with you.
- Seamlessly “hand off” qualified leads from marketing to sales.
- Automate logging of all interactions across marketing, sales, and customer service.
CRM is a core component of any marketing automation platform like HubSpot (where CRM is free), Pardot, or SharpSpring.
What’s the value? CRM is the pumping heart that gives your database life. When your teams are using CRM properly, there’s never a mystery about where every contact is on her buyer’s journey. Your CRM is your source for rapidly accessible business intelligence that can inform strategic and tactical marketing decisions.
Automated lead nurturing
How much time and effort do you currently put into qualifying sales leads and driving them to close? With a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, SharpSpring, or Pardot you can create automated marketing workflows and sales sequences that automatically send follow-up emails when a customer completes a triggering action (“If you found that whitepaper to be informative, you might also want to download this report”).
What’s the value? It’s technology that keeps your customer moving through the sales funnel—particularly important if your sales team isn’t able to follow-up with calls to every captured lead. And properly configured, your automation platform also lets you know when it’s time to engage personally and close that deal.
Real-time, actionable campaign data
If you’re into instant gratification, martech can feed that need. Send an email and see how many people (and who they are) are receiving it, opening it, and clicking on a link in it. Post and promote a blog and you can see who’s reading it and who’s clicking on your CTAs.
What’s the value? Only with digital can you can track every customer engagement with your marketing efforts—and rapidly revisit and optimize them to boost response and ROI.
Social media isn’t optional for SMBs. It’s essential for brand-building, customer engagement, and general promotion—and that goes for B2B as well as B2C. With tools like Buffer and Hootsuite (as well as the big marketing automation platforms) you can create and schedule posts on all your platforms in a single place. Look for “social listening” or “social monitoring” where you can see in just seconds what the hot hashtags are, what the community is saying about your brand, and what your competitors are up to.
What’s the value? First off, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are FREE (paid options are also available). They’re the fastest way to get your message out to the world, whether it’s a flash sale or just “Happy Friday, everyone.” They drive customers to your content. They can help you build a community of fans and “evangelists” for your brand. And social listening tools save you precious hours each week by automatically feeding you the info you’re after.
3 BIG pieces of value for SMBs
Saving lots of time. Marketing and selling smarter, better, and faster. Making more money. Martech, effectively used, delivers value in major ways to SMBs.
Think about how effectively you’re marketing right now. Then ask yourself whether martech can make a positive difference for your business. If the answer’s even “maybe,” then let’s start a conversation. We promise: There are even more ways martech can bring value to your business.