You deserve to have a hardworking marketing technology (MarTech) stack. Unfortunately, many manufacturing organizations spend time and money on software that requires an engineer to understand and operate it. The latest, greatest software then becomes shelfware. There is a lot of desirability promoted around these tools. The technologies should let you do so much. But it’s very easy for companies to bloat their tech stack, and the costs and administrative burden can really add up after a while and undercut your marketing ROI.
What ultimately happens is you lose out on the ROI of that investment. That can mean a poor user experience inside your company, a poor customer experience outside, and, at the end of the day, lost revenue.
Then, so much of this software ends up gathering dust or is improperly used, so someone decides to clean things up – only to discover they hold licenses on tools they are not even using. This ultimately leads to an attempt to consolidate the tech stack and cut out the blot draining time and money from your IT resources.
It’s often a case of too much or not enough. The individual tools are not connected well as a system, which means they can’t be utilized to their full capacity. That’s where a lot of tech waste can happen – from tools not being used at all to not being used to their fullest.
To start disentangling your tech stack, ask yourself these questions:
– What am I trying to achieve with my martech stack?
-Who is my audience?
-What experience am I trying to serve?
-What does my audience want out of the experience?
-Which tools are going to be part of my overall system to help me get there?
This is how the accumulation problem plays. There’s no good tool to do something you want to do, so someone on your team identifies one and gets access to it. But that isn’t where planning to add a tool to your tech stack should begin.
Go back to the question, “Who am I trying to create this for?” That should be your customer. You need to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve with the tool and how that fits into the other tools and workflows you have in place. What is the plan around that? What does your tool stack need to supplement that experience?
Consolidating the tech stack in a manufacturing organization is extremely important to the seamless experience necessary to serve each customer. Even though you might have several business units talking to them from different places in your organization, their brand experience with your company should be the same.
You want to be able to serve your customers and use technology to scale, automate, and collect data to create a great digital experience that makes it easy for them to do business with you and makes the experience feel personalized to them. With a consolidated, integrated tech stack, you can enrich your database and profiles with all the great data points produced by their customer journey and serve them better in the future across your entire organization.
You have to take your time to design the stack behind that experience, and too often it’s done in bits and pieces. There are a lot of attractive options out there, a lot of slick software with advertising campaigns aimed at getting your marketing department to whip out their credit card, which only contributes to the bloat problem and lack of strategic planning.
When considering technology, it’s important to consider the right overall design of your MarTech stack and how it relates to the enterprise stack, such as your ERP and your CRM. You have to really understand the buyer path, especially how they’re adapting to eCommerce with shopping-cart and self-service experiences.
Understanding the buyer path and what you’re trying to do will inform your technology. The ability to scale up and down is important, but that doesn’t mean you have to have, for example, the most complex marketing automation system on the market.
Think through the lifecycle of your customer, not just from the perspective of what marketing is going to do, but also how you’re going to use technology to help other departments as well, including sales, operations, and customer service. There are so many missed opportunities among manufacturers undergoing a digital evolution – much more can be done with what you have and the technology you add to it strategically moving forward.
You might have the technology, but is it being utilized? Do you understand what it can do? If you’re not using every tool to its fullest potential, you’re not really getting the full ROI out of your tech stack. This is where experience counts.
For example, many companies have licenses that were bought by one department years ago that they’re no longer using. You need to be able to find these lost licenses and either integrate them into your new tech stack or eliminate them. There may also be functions your tech stack lets you automate, which is a great way to shift work from your team onto the tech itself. Whenever you’re not taking advantage of that kind of function, either because you don’t know it’s in the license or your team doesn’t know how to make it work, you’re losing ROI on your martech investments.
Digital marketing and its technology are also constantly changing. You need to think about the broad system and the impact across your marketing landscape.
That’s why building the right team with your internal experts and external partners to supplement their expertise is so important. An experienced team will understand how your martech software needs to be built and evolve with the changing times.
Let me give you an example: Jerr-Dan, a leading tow truck manufacturer, has an extensive range of light, medium, and heavy-duty wreckers, carriers, and rotators. They wanted to accelerate revenue growth, but their site experience was dusty and rusty at the 10-year mark, and now it just frustrated their customers.
They had a small in-house marketing team who knew that digital channels could drive business growth. They also knew they needed a partner who could set them up with best-in-class practices, the martech tools they need, and a modern customer experience.
We created a system that led to a six-fold increase in monthly lead generation, a 121% increase in average session pageviews, and a 285% increase in visitors sent to distributors through a locator tool on their website. They also realized significant operational efficiencies in their call center by implementing self-service.
At Shift7, we’re digital experts with deep industrial knowledge and experience whose top priority is to help you achieve your business outcomes. Our results-oriented team and prescriptive approach can help you catch up with today’s trends and whatever the future holds. Reach out now and maximize your marketing efforts.
-You might have all the latest and greatest software, but are you using it?
-Alternately, you might be using a solid tool, but are you using it to its full potential? And how does it work with the rest of your tech stack?
-It all begins with strategy: What experience are you trying to provide to your customers?
-You need to be able to use technology to scale, automate, and collect data to create a great digital experience that makes it easy for customers to do business with you