Companies that are looking for steady growth need to keep up with the latest technological trends to maintain—if not level up—their market stature.
But it takes a lot more than just adopting the latest and the trendiest solutions out in the market. It’s more about knowing which works best for your organization and whether you’re doing it right.
Just like any other department within the company, marketing divisions also need to stay up-to-date with the latest tactics and innovations. What works now may no longer be effective tomorrow.
Chief Martec revealed that there are 6,829 marketing solutions currently, an increase from 6,242 unique marketing technology vendors last year.
This poses huge opportunities to today’s marketers: with a profound number of available tools to help you redefine your brand, send your messages across target audiences, maintain close-knit relationships with existing customers, and build credibility in the digital space, you will be able to unlock value that you have never seen before.
Don’t worry—we sifted through the available marketing tools and listed down the ones that may help propel your business forward before you fizzle out using the old ways.
1. Public Relations Technology
Public Relations (PR) is a powerful tool in building brand credibility and reaching a very specific target audience.
Today, technology is being used to test the effectiveness of PR and how it can help create leads for sales purposes. Companies today are smart enough to integrate analytics into their day-to-day monitoring to make sure that the campaign is good enough to be sustainable.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Gone are the days when only huge corporations enjoy the power of artificial intelligence (AI). This time around, companies apply AI across all touchpoints of the customer’s journey.
More and more small businesses are on their way to adopting AI in their business processes. This includes marketing initiatives to gain a better understanding of the customer’s behavior and lifecycle. This technology helps in giving sales teams a hand in identifying leads; therefore, saving time and costs while bringing in more revenue.
Chatbot use, for instance, is already growing in number. These tools can either be used on a website or social networking chatbox. Voice-powered assistants (e.g. Alexa, Siri, Cortana) are also considered chatbots.
A recent study shows that 37% of Americans would use a chatbot in time of emergencies, with the AI tool equally popular among millennials and baby boomers. Its 24-hour service is, of course, its top benefit.
There are plenty of chatbots out in the market; it’s just a matter of choosing which one would benefit your business. When used right, they can improve your customer service and engagement, as well as monitor consumer data.
3. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation platforms have significantly changed over the years, making it even more seamless for organizations to connect with their customers.
Imagine consolidating customer insights in one file or managing your social media accounts through one single solution. Marketing automation tools help lighten a load of your employees, especially with repetitive tasks like social media posting or sending out emails.
4. Data Analysis
It is impossible to track your metrics and know whether or not your campaigns are successful if you don’t have an end-to-end data analysis tool.
Results gathered across all your marketing channels may now be viewed in one document or system, allowing you to see how well the campaign is going. You can also see how the project is moving forward in terms of hitting milestones.
Data analysis tools will tell you where your revenue is coming from and which campaigns need a little more push. There are available tools now for you to use to track daily, weekly, and monthly metrics, so you’ll know your brand’s overall performance.
Each of these tools offers a niche service that you can use to improve campaigns, diagnose problems, or choose which area to focus on.
Buzzsumo, for instance, can help you analyze which topics are trending across social media platforms and within a time period. CrazyEgg, on the other hand, is a heat map tool that can tell you which elements on the website your visitors are interacting with and where they start losing attention.
5. Custom APIs
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) allow users to switch between applications without exposing their internal programming.
Some commonly used APIs are Google Analytics APIs, Facebook Audience Management APIs, and FullContact Developer APIs. These all help in streamlining your tasks at work and boost customer experience.
6. Offline Trafficking
While it is imperative to put call-to-actions to at the end of your blogs or emails, it is also important to highlight your brand even in traditional or offline platforms.
Take for example a brochure. You can use this as an effective lead generation channel for your website. Simply include a CTA encouraging readers to visit your website and claim a free gift or to subscribe to your newsletter for a chance to win a trip. Display your company name, website URL, and your social media accounts so customers will know where to reach you.
Offline trafficking tools can then help you keep track of how many people visited your website via your brochure, allowing you to determine if this is a viable channel to use in both the short and long term.
7. Creative Content Optimization
Brands are taking a new approach to marketing. You see plenty of them placing a premium on storytelling, and how to use that content for lead generation.
Content creation and management are critical for inbound marketing strategies, so it’s only natural to use quantitative metrics and create an analytical approach to uncover opportunities.
What you have to remember here is that you need to keep your content in line with your strategy, while at the same time staying up-to-date with the latest trends. This is particularly important in social media accounts.
Social media users expect your content to always be fresh. With the help of content optimization tools, you’ll be able to publish posts that your target audience will find engaging, informative, and/or entertaining.
8. Voice Agents
Voice interactivity is a growing trend in marketing, and companies who won’t be able to keep up might lag behind their competition.
Some of the benefits of having voice agents all help with cost efficiency: they yield more web traffic and they help emphasize the featured snippet on Google.
Additionally, voice assistants can change the way you advertise. This technology reduces ads, and instead, promote storytelling or the ‘pick-your-story’ type of advertising.
Voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant, as mentioned above, is a form of AI technology but deserves a separate spot in this guide. ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done via voice. In 2017 alone, 35.6 million Americans used voice-activated assistant devices once a month—that’s a 128.9% year-over-year increase.
9. Account-based Marketing
According to ITSMA, 85% of marketers who use account-based marketing (ABM) to measure ROI deliver higher returns than any other marketing approach.
ABM is a strategic marketing strategy where key business accounts are marketed as units of one. What this means is, you will be able to identify critical accounts as well as prospects—therefore allowing you to create strategies that are aligned to the needs of your personas. In short, it treats an individual client account as a market on its own right.
10. Human Side of Martech
Going beyond technology, it still matters to know your customers by heart.
Create more personal content and craft a more personalized marketing approach to keep them loyal to your brand. You can use data and analytics to hit the right market and be more strategic in cascading your messages in a way that encourages more engagement and conversions.
In the ever-evolving pace of innovation, businesses like yours need to keep up with what’s new. Disrupt old ways and ride with the digital wave to not only thrive but win in this competitive market.
Do you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments sections below!
Naida Alabata is a content marketing specialist at Grit PH and an entrepreneur in the Philippines. She opts to share her expertise and knowledge in digital and content marketing, business development and SEO thru writing.