Marketing technology, often called MarTech, helps businesses achieve their various marketing goals and objectives. There are many types of marketing technology in use today including digital asset management, content management, customer relationship management, email marketing, analytics, and more. When the tools are grouped together and used by a company, it is called a MarTech stack.
The Goal of a Good MarTech Stack
Marketing tech tools are supposed to make the lives of your marketing team easier. They are supposed to streamline workflows, provide automation tools, and ensure that spending is efficient. While this may be the goal, it’s important to realize that not all tools are created equal. Some will be better options for your company than others will, and it’s crucial that you put in the effort to ensure you’re creating a workable, affordable stack for your business.
When used properly, the stack can play an important role when it comes to helping reduce spending in the marketing department. However, some companies worry about the cost of implementing the technology and feel that it might be too expensive. While it’s true that in some cases, having a glut of MarTech tools for the company could become unwieldy from both a cost and use perspective, smart implementation saves money. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help decrease your spending with marketing technology.
Audit the Stack
Too often, companies fill their MarTech stack to the brim with every potential type of tool that they might need at some point. They end up paying a substantial amount of money for the tool. If they are making good use of all of the tools, then it is worth the cost. However, many companies end up only using a core group of tools that they find truly help their business. They have other tools that they may still be paying for each month, but they are not using. This can lead to a substantial waste of money.
Therefore, it is a good idea to audit the stack regularly. Make sure that you are using all of the systems you are paying for. You may find that you don’t need to tool or that you may not need as many licenses or as much storage space as you thought you did. Companies that have large stacks may not realize just how many tools they have that they don’t need or don’t use. A ruthless audit will help to highlight these issues.
Audit the Performance of the Tools
Removing the tools that you aren’t using is not the only type of auditing and cutting you should be using. You should also gauge the performance of the tools you are using regularly. What were your expectations for the software? Does the reality of the software meet those expectations?
If you find that it’s not providing you with the benefits that you hoped it would when you implemented it, take a closer look. It could be that you and your employees are not using all of the features to their full capability. If that’s the case, make sure that everyone is trained on the best ways to leverage the software to the company’s advantage.
However, if you find that the tool is underperforming, it is time for a replacement. When you find a better quality tool, it could speed up your processes, make automation easier, and make the team more efficient overall. This will help to improve the cost-effectiveness of the tools and help your company to save money.
Additionally, check for overlap in the capability of some of the tools that you are using. Some tools might offer digital asset management, as well as other features, such as email templates, lists, and more. If you are also using individual tools for specific needs, check to see if another tool you are using offers this feature, too. The specialized tools may not be necessary if other technology can provide that feature and others. The goal is to cut out the elements that you do not need, so you can save money.
You will also find that cutting down on the extra tools will mean reduced time spend going back and forth between tools by your employees. When they can access the tools that they need from fewer interfaces and with fewer sign-ins, it will help to make them more productive and reduce your costs.
Determine the Use of the Tools
After removing the unused products and the redundant products from the marketing technology stack, your team still needs to go through the tools that remain. It is important to check to see what marketing objectives and purpose the program serves and whether it is something your business will need or not.
How does the technology fit into the rest of the stack and are there other functionalities in the software that could be better leveraged? When you are examining the tools you have, make it a point to look at all of the features it offers, not just the “main” feature of the tech. What about it will make things easier for your company? You may also want to speak with the people who are using the tool regularly to get a better sense of what it does right, what it could do better, and what it does wrong.
You can then more easily determine whether the software should be kept as is, replaced, removed, or if the usage of the tool should be expanded instead.
Good Tools Equal More Efficiency, Collaboration, and Productivity
When you have winnowed down the list of tools to ones that you need and use, and you are using them to their full capabilities, you will notice a reduction in how much you are spending on marketing technology. Additionally, when you have the best quality tools in the MarTech stack, marketers will notice that their teams become more efficient, which has the potential to help increase revenue. Consider some of the ways that marketing technology could help with this.
Digital asset management tools are often the core of a stack. When a business expands, they need to find a good way to properly manage their growing trove of digital assets. This includes images, videos, and other digital files. However, when you have a growing list of assets, things can get messy. It means that keeping track of it all and ensuring that it is easily accessible by those who need it becomes difficult. DAM platforms work to simplify this matter and improve workflow efficiency.
The systems will also make it much easier for companies to reuse digital content. Your company likely has a large number of assets that have the potential to be reused in multiple ways for your marketing. Rather than spending on new assets, it makes more financial sense to take the existing assets and update them when needed. ROI can be measured by looking at the frequency of logins by users, cost savings in licenses and the creation of new assets, and digital asset utilization. The utilization analytics of the DAM platform can be used to determine which files were accessed and used by your team.
The DAM solutions can streamline the process of uploading and adding keywords and other metadata to content. This will make the assets easier to find when needed. DAM can also be used for approval workflows and tracking statuses, and it can all happen in one central location, providing even more efficiency.
In the past, to access assets, it often required the individual to be on-site. However, the cloud ensures that this is no longer the case. It is possible to collaborate with everyone on the team no matter where they might be located in the city, state, or across the globe. When working with freelancers and agencies from distant locations, this ensures that everyone is on the same page. Version changes ensure that team members are always working with the right assets, which helps to cut down on human error.
Customization is Important
Many of the best DAM tools are not just out-of-the-box solutions that should be used as-is. Instead, there are often means of customizing the tools so that they will work for your company’s specific needs. When choosing a DAM platform, always check to see whether it is customizable, as this can make quite a difference in its benefits for your company. The same is true of other tools in the marketing tech stack, as well. See whether they can be customized to fit your company’s needs. This way, you are getting the tools that are best suited for the way you are doing business. Smarter buying means less waste.
Introduce Changes to the Marketing Technology Stack Slowly
If you have been using certain tools and pieces of software for several months or several years, you don’t want to make too many changes too quickly. The users in your company will find it jarring to suddenly have to stop using certain tools that they’ve become accustomed to. Communicate with those who are using the software and who will be using the new software. Get them on board with the new tools and help them to see why it will be better for the entire team. When they understand why the changes are being implemented, it is often easier for them to accept those changes.
Proper Training is Essential
Without the right training for those who are using the tools, costs will increase. This is true for any aspect of the job, of course. Even when the interface is relatively simple, if those who are using the tools do not receive proper training, they will not be as fast or efficient as they could be. They may not be using the technology to its full capabilities, or they could be injecting human errors into the tools that cause them to be less effective.
The only way to reduce these issues is through proper training. Each of the tools that will be used needs to be understood by all who will be using them. The best course of action is to provide training and allow employees to ask questions and voice concerns they might have with the technology. Help the team to better understand how they can implement the new tool into their workflow.
Even after the employees have been trained to use the tools, it is important to monitor the usage of the technology in the stack. This will ensure that the proper procedures are being followed and can highlight the need for added training or retraining. Additionally, talk with the team about their best practices and tricks they’ve learned with the tool to make the workflow even smoother after they’ve used the technology for a while.
When the right tools are in place and the employees have been trained and are using them properly, marketing technology has the potential to help save money. Reducing marketing costs doesn’t always mean stripping away elements of the stack and cutting back on personnel. It means providing the best tools for the job, so the team can become more productive and efficient. This is the best way to save money and to grow the company at the same time.
MarTech Allows for Remote Work
Remote work is another way to decrease the amount being spent by your business. Consider the overhead involved with having a large building that has to accommodate everyone on the marketing team. Consider the time and cost of sending files and assets to freelancers or other agencies that are providing help on a project. Most of the quality marketing technology available today is in the cloud and allows for remote use.
This means that as long as someone has a connection to the Internet, they should be able to access the DAM, CRM, and other tools that you have in your marketing tech stack. This allows for users to work from anywhere, which has proven helpful during the pandemic. The tools can update in real-time, so everyone is working together on the projects. There is less wait time, reviews can be completed faster, and it helps to make the company more agile overall.
Let a Quality MarTech Stack Help Your Business Boom
Companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs. This is especially true during the pandemic when there is so much uncertainty in the air. Marketing is often one of the first departments that have budget cuts, which is unfortunate. After all, marketing is one of the most important elements in any business. It’s the way that people find out about the products and service your company offers. Without marketing, profits could decline. Still, it’s important to keep the marketing budget under control.
To help cut costs, marketing departments can use the ideas above. By making better use of the marketing technology stack your company is using and using and tips mentioned above to reduce the unneeded items in the stack, you can decrease your marketing expenditures to become more efficient and productive. This is a good way to ensure other areas of marketing aren’t affected by budget cuts. Just be sure to use the best tools for your stack for the best results.