A Marketing Technology Guide

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. In fact, it is still being erected today, more than 122 years after construction started. The time required to create this work of art continues to be influenced by many items. The level of complexity of this building is beyond the imagination of many of us and it is covering its expenses based on donations from the community and visitors. Therefore, my intention is not to judge the swiftness of the project, but rather marvel in it as a human accomplishment for analogous purposes.

Marketing Technology is similar in at least one respect. Not in the years required to implement it, but in how it benefits from a sound plan. The typical business starts its marketing planning cycle with marketing concepts and small investments in technology. The Marketing techniques mature, the engaged audiences increase and the technology needs grow with the success of the business. However, Sagrada Familia was designed as a whole rather than as an individual room and then another. A complete blueprint of the design was drafted, reworked and finally perfected into an architecture schematic. While additions to the plan are often necessary, designing a baseline enables an organization to define its goals and future. When the effort to build the concept was actualized, issues arose and were circumvented along the way as architects, engineers, construction crews, city officials and city planners turn idea into possibility and eventually reality.

Read more about Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Formulating a MarTech plan as part of an annual marketing plan is a necessity and requires a similar amount of knowledge and possibly fortitude, along with quarterly updates. Why?

  1. Marketers are implementing more marketing techniques
  2. Many technologies are now available in the cloud and
  3. MarTech is changing rapidly

The result is that each day clever new marketing techniques are uncovered due to creativity, our collective understanding of how marketing influences people and how technology solutions provide automation, consistency and efficiency. As an organization’s marketing skills mature and generate improved results, the resources required to make it happen must also evolve and advance.

The following guides provide selected marketing fundamentals for businesses within specific industries and the potential corresponding marketing technology building blocks.

INDUSTRY MARTECH GUIDES

As presented in the guides, there are many components to consider, but keep in mind that each could be implemented with the simplicity of a spreadsheet and time or the automation of an individual or multiple technology solutions depending upon the sophistication and budget of a given business, among other factors. Creating a foundation of people, money, data sources, marketing technologies and marketing services that will allow a business to expand, will enable a marketing team to respond to market needs accordingly. While this adaptability may not be in place at the outset, diligent planning will improve marketing results today and enable heightened success in the future.

What’s required to achieve this well-tuned, optimized marketing performance engine? For starters:

  • An understanding of what’s possible across the myriad potential marketing techniques
  • Coverage of numerous marketing technologies for each marketing objective
  • A marketing plan with defined objectives and goals

The above information in totality is too much for the typical marketing team to handle in today’s world. Having resources for businesses to get up to speed regarding marketing technologies applicable to specific objectives is crucial to generating results and meeting performance goals.

Presenting Multi-Topic Content Efficiently

As companies continue to embrace content marketing, the result is the creation of an incredible amount of content published across the web. This affects both the person attempting to find content and the content producer working toward getting the content in the hands of people that will find it useful. An example of a tool for content publishers, be they traditional publishers or corporations presenting content within their websites, is the Content Hub. Hubs provide a solution for this issue by organizing and presenting content to the appropriate audience.

What is possible with Content Hubs? – Generally speaking, these solutions are designed for rather specific purposes. The more relevant the content, the more engaged the audience will be. However, there is much more to these technologies when considering if they should be part of a content strategy and its supporting tactics. While browsing these types of solutions, you may want to consider the following features:

  • Content Storage
  • Content Engagement
  • Content Discovery
  • Lead Generation
  • Content Curation
  • Content Distribution
  • Personalization
  • Analytics
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Technology Integration

The Value – of a Content Hub extends well beyond the previously mentioned benefits. Building upon the above table, storing the content centrally makes it accessible to any individual with access to each piece of content. Efficiently browsing, searching and discovering pertinent content is essential for any given user in most implementations. The higher the personalization, while creating a balance between the need of the moment and general exploration of content, the better the customer experience. As with all content on the web, customer navigation among content begins to shed light on the interests of the customer. Making the content visible beyond the walls of the Content Hub may also be a consideration for your marketing objectives. Lastly, understanding any requirements regarding how the technology should complement other solutions may be important depending on its purpose and implementation details.

A Marketer’s Perspective – These technologies solve a fundamental need to concisely display the multitude of content accessible from a website. It provides a technology for customers to find the articles, whitepapers, webinars, video and other content they require. It improves the understanding of customers who have visited the Content Hub and blends this functionality with any reporting and analytics.

Real Applications – Thousands of companies rely upon this marketing technology due to its broad applicability. As examples, it is capable of satisfying these types of implementations or combinations thereof:

  • Blogs
  • Resource Centers
  • Newsrooms
  • Investor Centers
  • Sales Enablement
  • Product Library
  • Social Generated Content
  • Knowledgebase
  • Content Library
  • Topic-based Content

This aggregation of functionality is a natural extension to most websites and the reason for its wide and growing usage. A company that is considering this type of marketing technology could begin by defining the type of content to be presented, its purpose and the audiences it intends to reach.

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The Intent of Content Marketing

Introduction – Content provides a medium for companies to converse with businesses and consumers in an engaging manner.  Content takes many forms, such as text, images, audio, video, interactive elements and even scent. Each of these forms, applied appropriately, create the essence of a brand and its messages. Furthermore, it provides access to the varying learning preferences and memory activators that enable people to create an impression of a brand and foster decisions.

A Composition of Communication – Ultimately content is for communicating information to an audience. The function of marketing may utilize content to design an experience, create a perception, activate memory and convey or even provoke thought. When used in combination, multiple types of content formulate a composition for the purposes of engaging a person or team and influencing them in a favorable direction. Companies should choose their content building blocks to deliver and reinforce the messages that engage their audience with their brand, providing relevant and informative content for the person when needed.

Each Medium has a Purpose – Does one use the picture of a mobile phone to convey the occurrence of a face to face discussion? Similarly, should an image or a video be chosen as the primary vehicle to introduce a multi-faceted and complex topic? Answering these types of questions for your marketing objectives will provide guidance regarding which content medium will be most effective for any given goal at hand.

A Marketer’s Perspective – It is imperative to understand the audience and what type of message and content may attract their attention. Marketers must execute well when it comes to identifying the needs of a market and bridging the gap between those needs and the products and services they sell. This requires creativity in messaging and positioning, supported by content. If the appropriate mixture is found, it will be apparent in the results of the overall content marketing efforts.

Measurement & Analytics – There are two primary techniques for measuring the success of content. If a piece of content is fully contained, such as an ebook, infographic or blog post, it is usually straightforward to measure the results based on standard marketing metrics. However, if certain pieces of content are designed to act in aggregate, then measurement may need to take into account both individual and group performance depending on the granularity required to evaluate results. The latter scenario becomes more necessary when you have dynamic content based on market variables such as with certain online display ads. This level of sophistication may go beyond the capabilities of an A/B test and require a more rigorous statistical approach. Finally, metrics may need to be captured at the content component, piece or composition level in addition to the campaign depending on the need to analyze results at each of these levels.

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