This article is taken from a presentation made by Kathy Divis, President, Greystone.Net, and Mike Schneider, EVP, Greystone.Net, at the Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference (HITMC19), held April 17-19, 2019 in Boston.
Marketing is on a transformation journey. In the past decade, the industry has gone from being the least tech-dependent business function to the most tech-dependent function. This change is being driven by consumerism and the digitalization of the world.
Each day, marketing is becoming a more integral part of operations, because marketing and operations roles are intertwined, with the mutual interdependence of the functions continuing to grow. For this reason, MarCom has become MarTech – a blend of marketing and technology. Technology, software and data are leveraged to build profitable customer relationships. Because almost anything involved with web applications and digital marketing is tech-based, it is considered MarTech.
According to chiefmartech.com, there were approximately 150 marketing technology solutions available in 2011. In 2019, that number has exploded to over 7,000 solutions across various functions: advertising and promotion, content and experience, social and relationships, commerce and sales, data and management.
The MarTech Stack
The MarTech stack is a marketing technology ecosystem. An effective MarTech stack is developed by combining and integrating different technologies (often from different companies) to help build customer relationships across multiple channels. Almost half (48%) of MarTech solutions in 2017 were multiple-point solutions rather than a single-vendor tech suite.
MarTech stacks are used to:
- Collect customer data
- Create customer personas
- Communicate with customers
- Distribute and schedule content across platforms
- Identify and nurture leads
- Track campaign success
- Predict key segments to focus on
- Monitor customer service and feedback – Voice of the Customer data management
But there are challenges in putting together a MarTech stack. Over half (52%) of marketers say that their most challenging barrier to success with marketing technology is integration. Additional challenges include:
- Attributing revenue to marketing
- Increasing marketing ROI
- Improving decision making
- Improving marketing efficiency
- Gaining competitive advantage
- Improving data security
Each piece of the MarTech stack should help you:
- Learn more about your customers/prospects and how they interact with your business
- More easily and efficiently communicate with your customers
- Design a great customer-centric experience
Your customers’ needs and expectations should play an important role in any key decisions that will impact their experience. This means you must understand the voice of your customers!
Voice of the Digital Customer and Your MarTech Stack
Voice of the Customer (VoC) describes your customers’ feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. When referring to customer feedback and experience with your digital properties and products, we talk about the Voice of the Digital Customer (VoDC).
What is the importance of monitoring VoDC? First, your website/digital footprint – and the CX associated with it – impacts your brand. But you can’t know whether that impact is positive or negative if you’re not monitoring VoDC.
In addition, VoDC data provides key benefits by helping you:
- Understand the mindset of your customer base regarding their experience with your digital properties
- Efficiently prioritize web improvements, especially when resources are limited
- Understand how your performance compares to benchmarks, peer groups and industry leaders
- Measure the impact before and after a web re-design.
As important as the MarTech stack can be for VoDC, the VoDC piece is often missing from MarTech assembly. How does your MarTech stack impact your VoDC?
- Web analytics and session reply can show you how your digital customers interact with your brand.
- A VoDC tool focuses on why customers do what they do, which can only be confirmed by asking them directly what motivates them.
- VoDC helps you build an understanding of your digital customers by better understanding what they are think, which is crucial to better meeting their needs.
- When leveraged with your other marketing technologies, VoDC allows you to gain insights to make more customer-centric decisions that can boost your CX.
Let’s look at some real data from Greystone.Net’s gSight suite of digital improvement tools. For every 100,000 visits, gSight VoDC data shows:
- 61,000 visitors found the visit to be memorable
- 36,000 felt functionality/content needed improvement
- 38,000 had various navigational issues
- On average, 8,000 visitors formed new negative feelings about the brand as a result of their website experience.
With this kind of data, you can:
- Analyze visitor experiences
- Measure changes pre/post a website redesign
- Collect and review verbatim responses
- Dig deeper by pairing survey responses with screen recordings.
The transition from a MarCom to a MarTech focus is real, and you must begin to develop tools and technologies that help you shift to that mindset. Even though you’re probably already collecting and integrating technologies into your MarTech stack, you need a VoDC tool as a vital part of it. Without the VoDC piece, you’re missing the opportunity to listen to your customers’ needs or using the information to inform decisions.
If you would like a copy of the slide deck used by Kathy and Mike in their presentation, contact us at email@example.com.