Due to the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprise marketing will look different from now on. 2020 has changed things forever, and new challenges call for new and better tools.
Most marketers surveyed in Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey expect “slight-to-significant increases in budget allocations for updating brand strategies, investing in marketing analytics and digital commerce capabilities.” Strengthening digital marketing operations and marketing technology is the key to staying resilient through a tumultuous journey that is expected to last well into 2021 if not longer.
To stay competitive post-2020, brands will have to rely on resources that stand the test of time if they want to withstand disruptive events like a global pandemic or an economic downturn. This resiliency comes down to a “stack” of marketing software that’s usable, seamlessly integrated, and helps brands break through the noise and forge strong customer relationships in a changing world.
In this post, we’ll describe the benefits of rethinking your martech stack, and why making a change — even if it’s an involved and challenging process — is worthwhile now and beyond.
Bolster Your Company's Resiliency with a New
According to the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing, 2020, marketers should pay close attention to what will help their brands stay buoyant and stable in a harsh business climate: “Current market and economic conditions should drive marketers to focus on technologies that enable a marketing team’s resilience.”
Marketing teams are facing difficulties that were common before, but are even more critical to overcome now. These include the hassles of managing a marketing team (especially a remote one), and a hodgepodge of cumbersome, legacy marketing tools that don’t work well together.
Then, there’s the fact that consumers are quickly adapting to completely digital brand interactions, often where the give-and-take was only mostly digital before. According to research by PYMNTS, 35.7 percent of U.S. consumers were purchasing retail goods online near the end of May 2020, compared to 29.2 percent who did so the month prior. Digital transactions are only expected to go up from there.
How a new martech stack can remove marketing hurdles
The right marketing technology, and the proper deployment of it, can help businesses navigate all these problems in 2020 and beyond. In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits of a comprehensive martech stack, common issues that marketing departments face, and what to look for in a marketing technology stack.
Deploy marketing campaigns from anywhere
With the right martech stack, even teams that are working remotely can execute successful campaigns.
In the ideal scenario, everyone on the team — no matter where they’re working from — will have the access they need, and will understand how to navigate their own instance of the software. Collaboration will be as seamless as in-person interactions. Supervisors will have full visibility into every task, and can set benchmarks and monitor the progress of every project.
Transition from in-person services to digital sales
Needless to say, sectors that rely on face-to-face transactions have suffered greatly during COVID. That includes the travel, hospitality, retail, and restaurant industries.
Even in this sink-or-swim situation, consumers are still looking to make purchases in these areas, and brands are being forced to innovate and adapt. A skyrocketing number of businesses have started transitioning from in-person services to digital products and experiences. By the end of 2020, 16% of total purchases globally will be attributable to e-commerce.
As things move online, more brick-and-mortar businesses are creating customer journeys that are entirely housed in a digital environment. And with the growing number of marketing technology tools available to us, it’s not too hard to put together a stack that facilitates this transition.
Common Issues with the Martech Stack
Many companies feel their current tech is more than adequate for getting the job done. But there are some critical ways an outdated stack can undermine the best marketing strategies.
Some of the biggest issues are:
- Lackluster analytics. The 2017 CMO Survey notes that just over 60% of marketers aren’t using more marketing analytics because either there’s no way to measure true progress, or nobody on hand can reliably link analytics to marketing practices. Many modern SaaS tools provide detailed reporting and analytics on your marketing tasks — but without context to the tables, charts, and graphs, and without connections to the next step in your marketing strategy, the value is lacking.
- A lack of integration. Often, with legacy tech tools, integration is hard or impossible. This creates operational silos where members of your marketing team are each experienced in one or two specific marketing tools. We’ve seen this before with social listening tools and paid ad products. It also leads to poor decision-making (since more errors can be introduced when data is gathered manually from multiple sources).
- A lack of transparency between marketing and sales. Marketing and sales teams drive growth and do a better job of qualifying and converting leads when they’re on the same page, aided by the right martech stack. But when sales reps can’t see what marketing strategies are behind their leads, and the marketing team has no clarity on what happens after they hand leads off to sales, it makes for a weak customer acquisition process.
- Too many discrete tools for one task. Many marketers use a big array of software tools to achieve just a few objectives. For example, one tool might be used for posting to social media, while another might be used for sending email marketing, and yet another is used for building campaign landing pages. This causes inefficiency and slowdowns that can end up costing your company a lot.
Add to this that many marketing SaaS platforms come with a monthly subscription cost. It makes little sense to pay for multiple, discrete tools that are each good for just one job, when one tool — like HubSpot — can handle almost any essential marketing task and do it well.
Want to see where the gaps in your martech stack might be hurting your ROI?
Download our free Martech Stack Needs Assessment Worksheet, and gain immediate insight on the holes you need to plug in your marketing.
What to Include in Your Martech Stack
Does your current in-house tech check all the right boxes?
Hold up your existing marketing technology stack against the following points, and see how a platform like HubSpot can fill in the gaps and make your marketing operations tighter, instantly.
Best-in-Class Marketing Automation
Automation is what makes efficient, cost-effective enterprise marketing possible in 2020.
What exactly is marketing automation? It’s using a capable martech stack to handle what were once manual, menial tasks — such as posting on social channels, emailing content, running lead nurture and customer reactivation campaigns, reporting, and more — in a completely automatic, hands-off fashion.
Marketing automation leaves your team freer to create more content, engage authentically with leads to qualify them better, and hit targets with less friction and fewer operational bottlenecks.
HubSpot has earned its place as a premier marketing automation platform for SMEs. By using HubSpot, your team will be able to:
- Send programmed email campaigns out to nurture leads over time.
- Post on your social media accounts on a regular basis.
- Implement automatic workflows so that immediate actions are triggered for new leads and potential deals, and your team is instantly notified of the next step.
All-In-One Content Marketing
Content is a huge part of making your company more visible. But for it to really serve a business and increase marketing ROI, it calls for more than simply stringing together a few blog posts.A good content marketing strategy involves careful planning, creation, publishing, and tracking results, whether the content consists of social posts, blog posts, videos, infographics, or white papers. Content should be connected to sales goals and a well-defined strategy for taking a prospect from one step to the next.
HubSpot allows you to implement and manage your content strategy all in one place, by allowing you to:
- Plan out your editorial calendar.
- Seamlessly produce content pieces that look good and are always consistent with your digital brand.
- Track the results of your content in terms of leads, engagements, and sales.
Built-In SEO Tools
Search is an indispensable part of using the web, and it is here to stay. A functional martech stack needs to help marketers optimize content for search.
Many modern SEO tools, like those provided by HubSpot, can automatically analyze your website and offer up suggestions on how to improve. By implementing the suggested changes for your on-page and off-page SEO, your content will be sure to reach a larger number of high-intent searchers.
HubSpot’s built-in SEO tools include the following:
- The HubSpot SEO Recommendations Tool gives you specific tips for improving your website’s overall standing in search engines.
- The HubSpot Website Grader gives you clear insights into your site’s mobile responsiveness, page speed, image sizes, link integrity, and security — all of which influence search engine rankings.
- The Optimize Panel lets you zoom in on specific page elements you can optimize and make recommended changes in real time.
Drag and Drop Website CMS
In 2020 and beyond, marketers will need to build out websites and other digital properties quickly and without hassle. Your martech stack should certainly include a tool that can help with this.HubSpot is more than capable. As a content management system (CMS), HubSpot is extremely easy to use and offers drag-and-drop functionality for quick content and web page creation. It also allows you to do the following:
- Leverage integrated SEO tools while creating blog posts, without the need for third-party plugins.
- Use built-in form functionality for lead capture on any landing page you choose.
- Intuitively place calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website to drive action where it’s most important.
Testing is the only way to ensure your digital marketing properties are truly working to meet business goals. For enterprise firms that have hundreds or thousands of daily website visitors, the martech stack should include robust testing capabilities.
Part and parcel of HubSpot Enterprise is adaptive testing. You can use it not only to create variations of your webpages for A/B tests, but to automatically direct more traffic to the winning versions. This means less time spent on guesswork and more time engaging leads.
Enterprise companies are in a unique position to target larger, more meaningful prospects through smart account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives. This is another promising reason to consider an investment in HubSpot Enterprise.
HubSpot’s tools help businesses prioritize accounts to pursue and serves as a digital home for all outreach efforts. It includes lead scoring, lead nurturing, email marketing, and analytics capabilities so an account’s status is always apparent to the right point person.
Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
When you have an influx of leads who need to be nurtured and qualified, a good customer relationship management (CRM) solution is essential. Sales staff should be able to rely on the CRM to understand the progress of a deal and the next action step for moving the customer relationship forward.
Not only does HubSpot have built-in CRM capabilities — it smoothly integrates with popular software tools that contribute rich data on lead info and status. For example, HubSpot’s integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows sales reps to import data directly into the HubSpot environment, where it’s easy to reference relationship histories and follow up with prospects.
HubSpot also has advanced features such as predictive lead scoring, custom properties that help with lead qualification, automated workflows and sequences that warm up leads before the next personal contact, a Deals Pipeline tool that displays the prospect’s place in your company’s sales cycle, and reporting features that help you monitor revenue and make reliable sales forecasts.
Ease the Transition with a HubSpot Agency
It’s no small feat to put together a martech stack that works, and that makes your brand resilient in an ever-changing world. But it’s not impossible, and it can be accomplished with fewer tools than you might imagine.
We’ve shown how one tool, HubSpot, is uniquely suited in the martech landscape to accomplish many, if not all, of the marketing tasks that are critical to the success of SMEs in 2020.
From building awareness via social media and content, to nurturing leads as they consider your products and services, to influencing those leads to decide on a purchase and remain loyal to your brand beyond the point of sale — the right technology is crucial. And with the permanent changes that COVID-19 has brought to business, digital transformation is no longer an option.
The best way to make the transition is to avoid going it alone. Instead, consider working with a certified HubSpot agency that can walk you through the process.
Mole Street is a Certified Platinum-Level HubSpot Agency Partner. We’re fully equipped to help you make the transition from a confusing array of siloed software tools to a solution that can handle all the tasks important to your business...making your marketing team more productive and your strategies more profitable.
Have you yet to realize the ROI from your HubSpot Professional or Enterprise software plan? We can help! Explore our HubSpot Consulting Services. Want a martech stack that does more for your business from 2020 on? Contact us at Mole Street and we’ll share how the capabilities of HubSpot can make your brand more resilient and profitable — no matter what’s going on in the world.