Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Modern Marketing Breathes New Life into Time-Honored Business Ideas


Figure 1: MAQ Software solutions connect technology to business leadership needs

At MAQ Software, we’ve spent 18 years developing marketing technology (MarTech) solutions to address our clients’ business needs. Today, more than ever, businesses rely on data-driven technology to inform marketing and business decisions and, ultimately, develop better connections with their customers. Savvy decision makers know that customer focus is the key to modern marketing success.

The four P's of traditional marketing, product, place, promotion, and price, have now become the four E's. Customers expect a comprehensive experience across all touchpoints with modern companies. Customers require the ability to purchase your product everywhere, and they urgently flock to the evangelists who best promote their products and services. Once customers have been evangelized, they earnestly exchange the benefits of your product or service online. To market successfully, modern businesses must anticipate and cater to customer needs instead of hoping to simply push products on them. 

Management teams must dedicate significant resources to developing tools that utilize data to better understand customer needs. The better businesses understand their customers’ needs, the better prepared they are to create products or services that satisfy them.

Even with the advantage of modern marketing tools, understanding the needs of individual customers is not an easy task. Top management will always be accountable to shareholders for generating a return on their marketing expenditures. But evaluating the effectiveness of the huge number of potential marketing approaches is often difficult. Marketing executives must optimize their spending to generate the highest level of customer engagement while accounting for ever-changing competitive environments. Fortunately, modern MarTech offers many solutions that help executives measure the performance of their marketing campaigns. Executives can use this information to adjust course as campaign or budget demands inevitably shift.

Figure 1 is a chart we’ve created to show a holistic view of how our MarTech services benefit business needs. The chart divides customer touchpoints into four categories:

   Advertising and promotions
   Content and experiences
   Social and relationships
   Commerce and sales

Advertising and Promotions

Our work in advertising and promotions falls broadly into three categories: search and social advertising, programmatic advertising, and native advertising. Technology plays a key role in enabling and enhancing these customer touchpoints.

Social media advertising includes digital advertising and influencer marketing. With modern social platforms, businesses can tailor ads to reach specific demographics. Promotions can appear in the form of traditional ads showcasing a product or service or as promoted posts or tweets.

Influencer marketing efforts include identifying influencers, determining the impact influencers have on marketing outcomes, and integrating influencer content or tweets as part of social media advertising.

Technology is rapidly replacing human intervention in buying digital advertising space. Technology even determines the amount to pay for digital advertising spaces. Neural networks enable programmatic ad purchases. Semantic analysis is used to integrate native advertising on digital platforms.

Advertorials, or native advertising, blur the line between advertising and tutorials. These promotional tools blend the ad experience with the form and function of the user experience.

For an example of some of our work in advertising and promotion, check out this case study.

Content and Experiences

We also help our clients create unique content and experiences through content marketing, campaign and lead management, and CMS and web experience management.

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action. Web analytics are used to optimize content marketing to identify popular content and drive content marketing efforts. Planning and analytics tools are used for campaign and lead management.

Marketing campaign management involves planning, executing, tracking, and analyzing direct marketing campaigns. These tasks span entire marketing campaigns.

Lead management is designed to generate potential clients. Lead management is generally operated through a variety of marketing campaigns or programs.

Content Management Systems are used to build, launch, manage, and host websites. Web Experience Management is the process of managing the all-round experience of web users across various touchpoints in the journey through an organization’s web presence.

Finally, clickstream analytics is used to analyze and optimize content management and web experience management.

For an example of some of our work in content and experiences, check out this case study.

Social and Relationships

Building lasting relationships with customers is a huge component of modern marketing. To build relationships, we focus on community channels and reviews, customer advocacy and loyalty, and feedback and chat.

Marketers engage with customers through community channels and forums where customers leave reviews or opinions about the offerings.

Customer advocacy is a form of customer service in which customer desires are put before other more traditional business needs. Customer advocacy represents a dramatic shift in the modern business environment, which is supported by customer-focused customer service and marketing techniques through methodologies such as Voice of the Customer (VOC). Customer advocacy rewards businesses with loyal customers who advocate for their favorite products and brands.

Marketers must maintain open channels of communication, so customers or potential customers can reach out to them through feedback options and chat channels. Technology-enabled sentiment analysis is used to analyze large swaths of community forums and reviews to identify and decipher customer sentiment on product and service offerings.

Referral and reward tools are used to drive customer advocacy and nurture customer loyalty through loyalty and reward programs.

Chatbots are primarily used to support 24/7 customer chat channels and to provide an interactive experience for customers.

For an example of some of our work in social and relationships, check out this case study.

Commerce and Sales

To facilitate commerce and sales, we help businesses with affiliate marketing, proximity marketing, and partner and channel marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which a business rewards affiliates for attracting customers. Affiliate reporting is used to track and manage affiliates' marketing efforts. Funnel management tools are used to manage engagement with partners and facilitate lead nurturing and sales conversion.

Proximity marketing advertises content based on its geographic location. Content is only received by individuals who wish to receive it, and they must have the right equipment.

Because of advances in technology, proximity marketing can now even more easily target specific groups within a given location. For example, content in tourist hot spots can be managed so that it is only sent to foreign devices. Communications can also be customized based on time and location; content at a conference venue can be customized depending on the event in progress.

A partner collaborates with a manufacturer to market and sell a manufacturer's products, services, or technologies. This is typically achieved with a co-branding relationship. Channel partners can be distributors, vendors, retailers, consultants, systems integrators, or any other such organization.

For an example of some of our work in commerce and sales, check out this case study.

Pulling it All Together

These technology-enabled marketing activities and tools generate data in isolated silos. Successful marketing organizations leverage data generated by these disparate systems to report on the entire gamut of marketing activities. These reports provide organizations with a holistic view of their entire marketing effort.

The most successful companies go one step further. Successful companies feed the data from the disparate silos into the rest of their marketing systems and tools, allowing them to fully leverage their data in all their operations.

We are continually motivated by the ever-changing MarTech landscape. Our expertise in emerging technologies enables us to create solutions that are perfectly tailored to our customers’ marketing needs. The result is that our clients have the peace of mind that their marketing budgets are being used as effectively as possible to better reach, analyze, and address their customers’ needs.

References

The 4Ps Are Out, the 4Es Are In
Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2018)