New technology, new innovation, new investments and expansions are daily news in the ever-evolving marketing technology (Martech) space now. And that’s what makes this space very promising as well as a very competitive one.
The job of a new-age marketer is getting tougher by the day and he needs the right and the best weapons to come up trumps in this battle. They keep trying to decode the secret to adding the right tools in their armoury – tools that automate and simplify processes ensuring they get a good return on their marketing investments. In other words, finding the right Martech stack for their brand.
What is a Martech stack?
A Martech stack is a marketer’s success formula. It is essentially a cluster of tech tools that marketers like you use to efficiently perform the marketing activities across various channels. It is for making the processes easier, measuring the impact and driving the spending of the company efficiently.
As per Gartner 2018-19 survey, Martech jumps to 29% of the CMO’s budget (Highest budget area)
The depth of the Martech stack varies from an enterprise-level to a start-up level. It is backed up by obvious reasons: budget to invest on tools, the number of departments in operation, the customer base and the different channels to reach out to them.
In the Martech stack model, there is no ‘one size fits all’ anymore in employing the technology tools. There are distinctly specific tools for different purposes and the companies are focused on mixing and matching the different tools in order to create their own personalized Martech stack perfectly tailor-made to fulfill their business needs.
Creating Your Own Martech Stack
To create a good Martech stack, before jumping right into tool-selection, it is very important to have absolute clarity about the objectives & goals of building the stack and the budget that one is ready to spend. After all, it’s your Marketing stack and you need to decide what suits your company the best.
While there are many popular tools in different categories of Martech that are available in the market today, the constant search of smart marketers like you to find latest innovative and pocket-friendly is always on. The good news is, there are many tools that are not as popular in the market, but are technologically well-built and quite efficient in keeping up with the new Martech trends. These might not be the go-to tools for a large enterprise, but can surely be the answers to the problems of mid-size businesses and start-ups. These tools stand out in terms of ‘value for money’, ‘unique proposition’ & ‘innovation’.
Cost-advantage, dedicated customer service, customisation capabilities of these tools are other factors that attract new age marketers.
For every major marketing tool, there’s a smaller, more nimble-company ready to blow you away. And it’s these unsung heroes I would be talking about, in this blog.
Here is a list (in no particular order or ranking) of relatively less known tools (compared to the Salesforce and HubSpot of the world) which can add a whole lot of value to your Martech stack. This is in no way an exhaustive list of tools. These are quite interesting and innovative tools that do deserve to be considered.
- Sales & Support: Acquire
Boosting engagement with customers for sales and support has always been and still remains one of the main challenges for every brand. There are countless competitors trying to gain the same customer from the same target market. This makes the entire sales process a lot tougher as the customer expectations keep increasing with the advancements in technology. This calls for advanced and precise tools to stack up in your arsenal for the battle ahead.
Acquire is the first communication platform to innovate beyond traditional text chat widgets and connect customers and companies through multi-channel platforms including live chat, video call, co-browsing and AI chat messenger. It is adopted in Sales, Support & Customer Support teams in global leading brands, across the entire customer journey.
- Marketing Analytics: Funnel
Today, marketing is very much about the omni-channel presence. This poses a difficult task of collecting this data from different channels and then visualizing it.
Funnel is a marketing analytics tool that collects data from all advertising platforms and allows marketers to send and visualize this data anywhere. First of its kind, Funnel enables marketers to gain real-time, intelligent analysis across their entire marketing spend. Manually downloading CSV files from different sources and then manually mapping them is a very cumbersome task.
It just goes out-of-hand and becomes an impossible task as the scale of your marketing campaigns & channels grow bigger and bigger. Funnel replaces this process with software that is always up to date, more detailed and less prone to error. The ability to get data from 300 sources is what makes Funnel so powerful.
- Retargeting/ Lead generation: OptiMonk
Selling is tough. Knowing whom to sell can sometimes get even tougher. Therefore, it becomes imperative to convert prospects who show interest. This is the space where OptiMonk can help you in the process.
OptiMonk is a powerful onsite retargeting tool, which claims to recover up to 15% of abandoning website visitors. Recovering a visitor could be turning them into a subscriber or even going a step forward and making a successful sale. With Optimonk, you can promote the special offers or gather email addresses, Facebook Messenger subscribers and even customer feedback. It also promises to reduce your cart abandonment rate, increase your cart value and facilitate social sharing.
Their approach to onsite retargeting is what makes them unique. They empower users to build custom messages based on the prospect’s behaviour to retarget with the most relevant offers as possible. Focus is laid on personalization to have the best possible chance to convert a prospect into a customer. OptiMonk keeps in mind that no two visitors will behave in the same way on a website, and hence offers targeting options which allow personalizing the message instead of mass broadcasting of the same to the entire audience.
Triggerbee is a marketing and sales automation platform that makes it easy for small businesses to make better decisions based on data. It enables you to see who’s visiting your website and then engage with visitors, prospects and customers in real-time based on their demographics and interests.
Triggerbee shows you which companies are visiting your website, what they’re interested in and makes it easier for you to generate sales-ready leads. Thanks to the data you collect about your visitors, you can use Trigerbee’s Widgets to seamlessly continue an email conversation with a prospect on your website or show offers to visitors with a specific behaviour.
- Sales enablement: MindTickle
In sales, your numbers are only as good as your members. Simply because of the fact that your team’s knowledge and skills are so very critical today, sales readiness is a strategic component that you just can’t afford to ignore.
MindTickle is an end-to-end sales enablement platform that guides the reps and managers across the selling cycle using structured learning paths, role-play and analytics. It ranges right from the onboarding process to ongoing readiness.
It is vitally important to equip your sales team with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Your sales team should be entitled to the right training & insights in order to have the best shot to succeed in this market.
- Marketing & analytics: Affinio
In today’s multi-step marketing processes, clinical-sounding terms like “demographics” and “target audiences” sometimes make it easy to forget that people are always the primary focus of our marketing and that our goal is always establishing one-on-one connections.
Affinio helps you understand this base, engage with your audiences as fellow human beings and find the emotional resonance to connect with and empower these very people that you serve.
Affinio delivers AI-driven segmentation, better marketing strategy along with activation that delivers outcomes. Its patented Graph technology enables AI-driven segmentation and dynamic, easy to interpret visualizations—unlocking the hidden insights buried deep within any consumer data set.
- SEO Marketing: CanIRank
CanIRank is the first SEO software using AI to give you specific action recommendations rather than just data. There are plenty of SEO tools provide data on rankings, links, or keywords but CanIRank takes it a step further by recommending the specific actionable opportunities that you can take to rank your data in a better way.
Depending on your website’s needs, the suggestions might include opportunities to earn links, new content ideas to write about or on-page optimizations to improve your existing rankings. For small businesses and start-ups, it is a perfect fit for improving Google rankings quickly.
- SEO Marketing: SE Ranking
“All-in-one SEO platform for any project, any level, any budget”SE Ranking is a cloud-based platform for SEO and online marketing professionals that provides a complete set of tools for site audits, competitor analysis, website ranking, keyword suggestion along with grouping, backlink monitoring, automated professional reporting and much more.
The company promptly responds to it’s customers’ feedbacks and suggestions, and has been doing quite well in staying ahead of it’s competitors. It offers 100% up-to-date and highly-sought functionalities in analytics, marketing and SEO strategy improvements.
- Social media marketing: Quintly
“How am I performing?” This is a critical question that every business needs to answer.“How am I performing as compared to my competitors?” This might be an even more critical question that any company will want an answer to.
Quintly is a web-based social media analytics platform that helps users track and benchmark their performance against competitors’. In this way, users can steadily optimize their social media strategy. There isn’t anyone doubting the power of social media today and hence this becomes a hot space that many marketers will like to crack.
And in order to optimize your social media performance, tracking your competitors on the social web is as important as looking at your own page’s performance. Taking a look at best-practice examples can be extremely valuable. With Quintly, this competitive social media benchmarking information comes to you without any work on your part.
- Cross-channel marketing platform: Cordial
Cordial is an all-in-one marketing platform enabling brands to collect, normalize, and activate real-time data from anywhere in your technology stack to create and deliver tailored messages that flex and adapt to changing customer signals. They help digital marketers leverage data to create timely, personalized experiences for customers across different channels. This removes the hassle of relying on too many different messaging providers to engage with your customers. Cordial enables brands to simplify their omni-channel marketing processes by consolidating promotional, triggered, transactional and lifecycle messaging to create a unified brand experience for the customer at every point of interaction.
- Content marketing: Social Animal
“The Swiss army knife of content marketing”The information you have, the better is the content research. With sophisticated data analysis techniques, Social Animal gives you deep insights into how a given keyword has historically performed. Because of the sheer volume of keywords it tracks, you get practically useful information like when might be a good time to publish, which titles and article lengths can create maximum impact for your business.
Benefits range from content research & curation to competitor monitoring. It allows you to compare articles. Thus, you know what combination of topics that worked successfully with obviously the main keyword. Headlines are super important, but since content is king, what it is made up of matters a lot, too. Everywhere in Social Animal, you can see how the whole system attaches a lot of importance to keywords that articles are made up of. Clicking a keyword will start a search for articles that feature it.
- Content sharing & management: Vidyard
It is now a proven fact that images can sometimes drive the message home a lot better than words do. No wonder videos are the fastest growing content format on the web and interestingly, conversions improve significantly when there’s a video on a landing page.
Vidyard empowers you to strategically deploy videos in your sales process. When you inform, educate and delight your leads better, you certainly get a better shot at closing the deals and increasing revenue. They have even taken this a step higher by adding the ‘personalization’ element. This allows you to create a unique experience for every viewer.
- Collaboration: Flock
When it comes to internal communication and messaging, Slack and Skype for Business are tools that will be on top of the mind for every enterprise. Now, even WhatsApp has come into the picture and has seen a huge welcome from the enterprises. But when you strategically analyse your business needs, features of different platforms and the corresponding prices, Flock has emerged as one of the most useful tools. It is quite cheap than most of the popular tools, Business but still offers almost all the features that they offer, and even more. Flock takes care of all your collaboration channels-messaging, audio calls, video calls, and screen sharing. It can be easily integrated with different apps that you might be already using for your daily operations.
- CRM: Nimble
Customer relationship management is one of the most important areas of focus for every enterprise. While you constantly want to add new logos to your clientele, you never want to lose one off it. And this requires a lot of continuous effort. Nimble provides a hassle-free customer relationship management (CRM) system that automatically updates the customer information pulled from dozens of data sources that it constantly monitors. This way, if an important prospect or client changes jobs, you’ll be automatically informed so that your relationship can make a seamless transition.
Nimble is your simple, smart CRM that works directly inside your Office 365 or G Suite inbox. It keeps your team’s customer relationship efforts integrated. It now includes elements of marketing automation and email marketing, making this one amazing tool for all sizes of businesses.
- Data Security: Centrify
Data is at the heart of today’s Martech. Your brand’s data includes information about your products, customers, prospects and even your competition. This data is highly prone to security leaks and hacking. A data breach can do tremendous damage to the faith your customers have in your brand. Your business’ trustworthiness and reputation can go for a toss.
Centrify says that Legacy Privileged Access Management is no longer enough. It reinforces your electronic fortress by protecting it against compromised credentials via privileged identity management. It safeguards users across your entire IT infrastructure including the cloud, mobile and your data center. Thus, helps to protect your entire digital data from all sorts of attacks.
Necessity is the mother of invention. As the customer needs are evolving with each passing day, so is the marketing technology space, with newer and more innovative tools coming up. This list of tools is actually endless, and it is a good thing, isn’t it?
You name a problem statement, and there are tools to address them. As a smart marketer, all you need to do is to look beyond the obvious big legacy tools, and find out the lesser known gems that can fit into your requirements. Give these tools a try and make your own perfect Martech stack.