There are numerous possible categories with regard to analyzing and evaluating marketing services and technologies as it pertains to your business. While only a subset of these may be a priority for any specific need within your marketing team, the coverage is important. It allows solutions to be identified that meet your objectives and requirements.
As a result there are two primary considerations. First, is understanding the core needs for you, including your unique set of business requirements and combining this with a thorough understanding of what’s possible from available solutions in the marketplace. Second, is evaluating technologies against your unique needs and accelerating your time from the identification of a marketing need to implementation, while improving the probability of success.
When embarking on a project, it is always important to review possibilities with respect to building and buying the set of solutions that enable you to get from point A to point B. This may entail complementing your internal resources with any of a number of potential resources or simply getting a better understanding of your options.
What are the benefits of hiring a company for their marketing services or marketing technology? There are many potential benefits, but here are a few:
- You are hiring passion and people who excel at what they do
- They may make your employees better by exposing them to new perspectives
- Depending upon the maturity of the solution, you may get more capability than performing the same work or building the same technology yourself
In addition to general and detailed capabilities and the standard considerations associated with buying this type of service or technology, a few of the categories a buyer could consider are:
- Total Cost of Ownership
- Specific Integrations
- Migration Considerations
- Privacy Implications
These and many other categories enable you to easily evaluate the technologies and services most suitable to your company’s needs while taking into account those potential marketing and technology capabilities best aligned to your strategic objectives.
Many marketing tasks in today’s world are improved with the appropriate amount of technology seasoning. Websites, as an example, are by definition a solution where the technology usually becomes the backbone of a company’s digital marketing presence. Stated another way, a company’s marketing presence may include a website. Given the competition, the website requires a base level of functionality to perform well and meet the needs of the necessary segments within a marketplace.
A deeper review of this website example shows that a typical website for the hotel industry has multiple components that make it work. A website may include:
|Content Management System
||Email & Social Marketing
|Digital Asset Management
||Content Marketing & Blog
|Internet Booking Engine
||Marketing Reporting & Analytics
|Group Booking Functionality
||Property Performance Data
|Guest Surveys, Feedback and Reviews
|Integrations amongst these solutions and with others, such as CRS, PMS, Channel Management, CRM and ERP
Whether you manage this internally, rely upon a brand or hire an agency, it still requires a fair amount of oversight by the various people responsible for the performance of the property. When considering a website, another system, or all technologies required to make a hotel operate efficiently, there are many details to manage.
Furthermore, the advent of new technologies may present unique opportunities for competitive advantage, even if only for a matter of months or a few years. During the last 20 years the industry has seen this occur multiple times. Companies and properties created strategies to reap the benefits of each instance.
Email arrived in force in the corporate sector in the mid 1990’s. Websites became prevalent shortly thereafter. Subsequently, online travel agencies began providing new distribution capabilities. And more recently, hotel companies are better leveraging the features of social and mobile for their business. It is important for hotel marketers to stay aware of changes and address the opportunities appropriate for their hotel, brand and the customer experience they want to provide to the marketplace.
The question any business needs to ask themselves is what are the market opportunities for the industry and how will this marketing team take advantage of them to continuously improve its sales and marketing performance. Today, the answer to this question may require an investment in marketing technology. Now is the time to prepare for tomorrow’s marketing opportunities.
While any given business may have and want to keep their own definition of Marketing, it is important to state that Accubase’s definition for this article is an inclusive one. The definition of Marketing Technology (MarTech) stems from a broad inclusion of both the Sales and Marketing organizational functions in addition to the Information Technology and Human Resources required to support it. Furthermore, marketing occurs in all areas of the organization and a marketing department may influence the conversations that occur with the marketplace from every area of the company, such as Customer Service or even Collections.
A business needs to consider many facets when planning a MarTech Infrastructure and subsequently allow it to act as a guide toward the specific technologies that will eventually fulfill the organization’s underlying needs. As an example of this, we could manage our marketing data with paper, a spreadsheet, a database or a full fledged data management solution, among many other possibilities. What data you say? Marketing data may entail leads, prospects, customers, social profiles, DNC information, contact information, business information, marketing campaign data and many other sources such as operational system data able to influence your marketing programs.
Marketing Technology modules support marketing capabilities whether they originate from the marketing team or from another area of the organization. The potential solutions within each module and their level of sophistication will vary as a result of the business and the strategic justification for the investment. The ultimate solution may be formulated as an off-the-shelf solution, custom software or a service provided by another part of the organization or an agency.
A company’s goal to lead an industry or competitive segment with respect to one or more marketing capabilities is essential for it to thrive. Your business may choose what it wants to accomplish in this regard and then explore how to actually make it happen with existing or customer technology. Alternatively, it may first find a technology that fits within its strategic objectives and determine if the details of the solution are able to match its specific requirements. Either approach begins the development of a capability that the organization will continue to mature as its marketing sophistication increases based upon need.