How to build the right marketing technology stack for your business

It's now a lot more common to talk about choosing 'martech stacks' and rightly so, given the impact that technology, data and insight can have on marketing today.  The popularity of the concept of a martech stack has grown out of the categorisation of marketing technology based on Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape and others such as our Digital Tools wheel. Businesses have always considered their portfolio of business IT applications for operations such as finance, logistics and marketing, but traditionally, they have been controlled by IT teams who have managed a limited number of ‘enterprise resource planning’ systems such as SAP. With the growth in cloud based SaaS, it has become far easier for individual departments and, in particular, marketing, who need to manage many digital marketing channels like search and social media marketing, to deploy their own solutions. …

Martech tools aren't just for marketers, sales needs them too

The much-talked about disconnect between sales and marketing departments (and likewise professionals) needs to be put to bed.  If you pardon the (intentional!) pun: they always have been, and always will be perfect bed companions. Let’s boil this down: the purpose of your marketing department has always been to drive sales, and connect with and engage customers with your brand. As such, sales and marketing have always been closely linked. Nevertheless, in many businesses, they are remaining distinctly separate, often operating in silos. This approach is in direct opposition to the way modern business works. Instead, marketing and sales should come together to help join the dots between the target audience and the brand itself. Modern technology is an integral tool in not just connecting those dots between the brand and prospects or customers, but also between the two departments. Silo-based business models…

Using machine learning and predictive intelligence in the B2B Buyer journey

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has become a business buzzword this past year, even featuring in the mainstream media. AI includes any kind of computer program which actively seeks to mimic a human capability, such as understanding speech, recognizing images or responding to questions. When it comes to using AI in the sales cycle, there are two technologies which are particularly useful, and it’s worth drilling down and understanding them rather than focusing on the nebulous term ‘AI’. These are Machine Learning and Predictive Intelligence. These two technologies can work in tandem to provide your sales team with a way to target the hottest and most qualified leads, and thus save time and bring in more revenue. The graphic below shows the range of different artificial intelligence, machine learning, and propensity modeling techniques which can be applied and different stages of the customer lifecycle. …

Virtual Reality is still in its infancy as a marketing technology, but it is about to mature

The demand for virtual reality experiences is growing — and not just among gamers and early adopters. Contrary to initial speculation, widespread use of VR isn’t dependent upon top-of-the-line head-mounted displays. Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, average consumers can now get in on the VR fun — and marketers should be paying attention. VR will disrupt every sector, and brands that hope to reach Millennials, in particular, need to make use of this new platform. Young people prize experiences over material products, and virtual reality presents a way to fulfill that demand.

Where the Physical and Virtual Worlds Converge

By some estimates, sales of VR headsets could surpass half a billion in sales by 2025. As companies such as Google and Sony continue to promote their offerings, VR will increasingly…

People, not technology are still the key determinant of success.

Technology is constantly changing the way we live. From self-driving cars and omnipresent chatbots to automated marketing tools, it sometimes feels like humans are being edged out by our robotic overlords instead of fulfilling "the promise that technology allows humans to be better humans." At least we still have the market cornered on artistic pursuits, right? Sort of. The music world was shaken up when researchers at Sony’s Computer Science Laboratory managed to create two original songs using software known as Flow Machines. The programs analyzed a massive database of existing music and then churned out two tunes based on detected patterns. The first song, “Daddy’s Car,” sounds a bit like an uninspired Beatles track. While technophiles around the world celebrated it as a landmark moment for artificial intelligence, they ignored one glaring aspect of the project: A French musician wrote the lyrics…

Faced with continued uncertainty, where should retailers focus their tech investment?

The last 12 months have ushered in a new wave of uncertainty for retailers. Already grappling with challenges created by Amazon’s near relentless drive to dominate the consumer wallet, retailers find themselves faced with a new level of unpredictability at the hands of political forces including Brexit and Trump. In this climate where the only certainty is uncertainty, where should retailers focus? At eCommera, we brought together three experts - economist Alex Hamilton of Retail Week, psychologist Kate Nightingale of Style Psychology, and futurologist Matt Gee of Isobar – to discuss this hot topic. A key area of discussion was around whether – and where - brands and retailers should be investing in emerging technologies. Although all of the participants were quick to agree that 2017 will not be the year of virtual reality, despite myriad tech predictions…

The major updates from the 8 digital platforms that matter, that's Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter

Scarcely a day goes by without a new announcement from a social network or search engine which could theoretically have some impact on digital marketing. This leads marketers to spend vast amounts of time searching for and checking the latest updates, and then trying to work out if they will mean they need to change how they conduct their marketing. That is why we've done the hard work of tracking, researching and assessing the marketing implications of the 17 most important updates so far this year from the major platforms that digital marketers use to promote their business. Now you can see at a glance what changes there have been this year, and click through to an article on each change to get analysis of the implications of the change. Well be updating the…

A round up of the latest platform updates from the main social networks, AdWords and Wordpress

Last week was a busy one for many of the marketing, advertising and social media platforms, while there wasn't anything earth-shattering, I'm going to give to you a round up of all the changes that gave you, even more, options for you marketing effort in the weeks ahead.

Facebook Ad 'stories' like feature to Messenger, called 'Messenger Day'

Facebook have continued with their approach 'to defeat Snapchat we must become Snapchat', and have launched a new clone of the Snapchat stories feature, this time for Facebook Messenger. It's called 'Messenger Day' and works like 'stories'- the content is live for 24 hours, can be seen by any of your friends on the platform, and automatically deletes after the 24 hour period ends. They've integrated it effectively into the app, without adding much additional friction. It is likely it…

Stay ahead of these major marketing trends to retain your edge over the competition this year

Marketing moves fast. Fads come and go, but big shifts in technology change the whole marketing landscape. The launch of the iPhone and the growth of social networks in the late 2000's massively disrupted the whole marketing landscape, just like the massive adoption of PCs did in the mid to late 90's, and TV did in the 50's and 60's. At the moment marketers are firmly concentrated on the latest big technological fads like chatbots, virtual reality and augmented reality. It remains to be seen whether these will create real value for marketers beyond a few niche applications, or if they are just over-hyped by virtue of their novelty. However, it is possible to identify some big changes in how marketers are using existing technology, and these major shifts have serious implications for brands in…

#Chart of the day: The top technology trends that senior marketers believe will be impacting their strategy in 2020

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 499 CMOs and other senior marketers about how they saw marketing evolving up to 2020. One of the most interesting questions asked was what technology trends senior marketers saw as most likely to be having a major impact on how they conducted their marketing in 2020. The top trends are mobile marketing, personalisation and the internet of things. It's also interesting to see more niche technologies such as blockchain making this list of the most important technology trends for the next 3 years. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit & Marketo Report Sample Size: 499 senior marketers Recommended Resource: Strategy and Planning Toolkit …

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