The Top 5 Marketing Technology Categories That Independent Consultants & Consultancies Can Help Organizations To Use Much Better
Marketers and their colleagues are clear-eyed about how bewilderingly complex the planning, buying, execution and measurement processes of a brand-building or acquisition-oriented communications campaign are today.
A lot of the complexity arises out of the growing number of marketing technologies that are required at several levels along those steps and processes. Here’s a refresher of what the face of that complexity looks like: Take a gander at Scott Brinker’s latest “Supergraphic”, which now has around 5,000 MarTech vendors’ logos crammed onto a single MarTech ecosystem map.
Oh, and there’s the data. Marketing technology systems today collect mountains of valuable business-friendly information, the value of a small percentage of which can be derived directly from fast-evolving user interfaces. But the transformational value can only be realized via hands-on ETL, data integration, data science and data visualization work.
Substantive value creation from marketing technology systems and the data assets they collect can’t happen fast enough in every company today. The competition for customer growth and retention is a hunger game that ends especially badly when marketing technology and data strategy opportunities are are not seized upon quickly.
To do that requires expertise and considerable experience to master.
Hiring in-house is one option, but it isn’t the only one. In fact, it may not even be the best one.
Independent marketing technology experts regularly get the job done quicker, better and more cost-effectively. To hire a marketing technology consultant or consultancy, it might help to know some of the types of marketing technologies that they can help you with.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list.
The Top 5 Marketing Technologies Best Served By Independent MarTech Consultants.
1. Data Management Platforms (DMPs)
What is a data management platform? Very simply, a DMP is a data warehouse that is used to collect and store marketing communications consumption and customer experience data. Marketers use DMPs to better understand, segment and target consumers with personalized advertising and website or app content more accurately.
Why are they so important? DMPs are increasingly and crucially important for marketers to precisely reach the right audiences, in the right place, at the right time and cost effectively. It’s about optimizing the marketing communications process and the customer experience.
Who are the key players? Oracle BlueKai, Salesforce DMP (formerly called Krux), Adobe Audience Manager and Lotame.
2. Digital Analytics
What is digital analytics? Jim Sterne, the Chairman of the Digital Analytics Association, does it nicely and succinctly when he describes digital analytics, via the tagline of his eMetrics Summit, as “the future of marketing analytics”. AT Internet’s definition adds some useful color, “Digital analytics encompasses the collection, measurement, analysis, visualization and interpretation of digital data illustrating user behavior on websites, mobile sites and mobile applications.”
Full disclosure: Jim is on the MeasureMatch Board of Advisors.
Why is it so important? Running a website or an app without a well-configured digital analytics system is like riding a bicycle to work…naked. Yes, you can get from point to point, but, at the end of the day, you will have no doubt wished you did it differently. Expertly deployed data collection and reporting via one of today’s web analytics solutions will open your eyes to what you’re doing well, what you’re doing not so well and how you can improve your business results.
Who are some of the key players? Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, AT Internet, Webtrekk, and Snowplow Analytics.
3. Marketing Automation
What is marketing automation? Marketing automation is software used by marketers to automate tedious and repetitive marketing tasks such as email or social media comms.
Why is it so important? Marketing automation not only frees up marketers’ time to work on more important tasks, but, when done well, it can personalize marketing and customer experience communications, including customer support functions. An article on Econsultancy sums this up well, “The combination of ‘who they are’ and ‘what they do’ is what gives marketers the information they need to feed prospects with the right content to educate them along their buying journey.”
Who are some of the key players? HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.
Note: Do you know Drip? We really like what we see here.
4. Tag Management Systems
What are tag management systems? Tag management systems are, interestingly, a lot more than 3rd party software to manage the data collection tags from other 3rd party software products. That said, TMSs are indeed used to centralize and normalize cookie and non-cookie-based customer behavior data collection across many types of CX environments. Although the most common environments into which these tag management systems are deployed and integrated are desktop and mobile browsers and native applications, many TMSs also come with the facilities to relatively easily collect data from anywhere that can support a RESTful API connection.
Why are they so important? Tag management systems take a lot of the work out of tagging and tracking website and app visitors. This allows marketing and other business teams to focus on analyzing the data, packaging it into programmatically targeted audience segments, shaping it into visual reporting and much more.
In many ways Tag Management Systems are about efficiency and keeping everything organized. David Booth, co-founder of Cardinal Path, says it best: “When you’re working with multiple tags for multiple solutions across multiple web properties and multiple platforms, just having all of these tags and rules available in one single place can provide enormous benefit.”
Who are some of the key players? Google Tag Manager, Adobe’s Dynamic Tag Manager, Ensighten and Tealium.
5. Digital Customer Experience Analytics Software
What is customer experience analytics? Customers today visit, interact with and open up their wallets to companies across multiple touchpoints and within a bewildering number of hardware and software constraints. Digital customer experience analytics software is used to track customer journeys in desktop and mobile device environments, which is different from, albeit on a parallel track to, customer experience analytics software and solutions designed for real world retail stores (Gary Angel of Digital Mortar is the person to talk with about this emerging opportunity).
Why is it so important? Customer journeys are becoming increasingly complex and customer experience analytics software is what organizations need to better understand customers and to provide them with everything they need to ensure a friction-free path to purchase, each and every time.
Who are some of the key players? Decibel Insight, FullStory, SessionCam and Hotjar.
Independent Consultants? Really? For Enterprise-Level Marketing/CX-related Data, Analytics & Technology services?
Absolutely. Think about it.
The digital marketing industry is now more than 20 years in the making. By way of a singular example, our founder, James Sandoval, started his digital marketing journey in February 1999, which was already several years after some of his colleagues and industry friends were creating amazing solutions and value from some crazy smart applications of data and technology. In 1999, James was just beginning to learning about the nuances of planning and buying digital media (“What’s a CPM?”) and how a 3rd party ad server worked.
Fast forward to 2017 and it’s no surprise that you’ll see via a quick search for “freelancer” on LinkedIn that it yields an impressive set of results approaching 3 million. Or, you’ll see that there are nearly 300,000 professionals with “independent consultant” in their profiles. And these numbers are growing. Fast.
Upwork, the world’s largest freelance marketplace, regularly touts that it has 10+ million freelancers on its horizontally-oriented marketplace. And how this for a stat: freelancers now make up between 35% and 45% of the US workforce (depending on which source you want to bank on), and these independent workers are creating growing volumes of value
MeasureMatch, by way of comparison, is vertically focused on creating value by bringing unbelievable agility into the working worlds of marketing and customer experience professionals. We’re setting out to address the opportunities presented by what Zenith published today (19 June 2017) as the top 3 drivers of business growth:
- Data & Technology
- Business Transformation
- New Competitive Positioning
And these things are now possible via a “liquid workforce” more than ever before. Independent digital data, analytics & marketing technology professionals are now armed with 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years of extraordinarily valuable experience, not to mention the free and low-cost productivity software and communications tools, co-working spaces, airlines and more.
Want to know how MeasureMatch works? Get in touch today.
Founder & CEO