This post was originally published in MarTech Advisor
Alison Lohse, Co-founder and COO at Conversion Logic outlines the B2B tech stack of a CMO organization evolved today and lists down some of their application use cases
5 years ago it was predicted that by 2017 CMO’s will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs. The analyst mentions it’s a bit over the top but backs it up with statistics. As we enter 2017, it's clear that the analyst was right on the mark.
Some technologies have become mainstay in majority of marketing technology stacks. Below, I note systems that are typically part of the CMO's tech stack and their application use cases:
Customer Relationship Management – Known most commonly as CRM, companies use this system to manage records of their customer and their interactions. It is crucial for B2B marketers, who use it to track touchpoints like an email sent, with a timeline and data that can include who contacted the prospect last and status of the account. Knowing your customer is important to not only understand acquisition effectiveness, but also retention strategies.
Data Warehouses – These are also called enterprise data warehouses and are used to centralize information from multiple sources, like costs, campaign and other business information. The data from here can be piped into business intelligence, finance or other analytics systems. This cross-function tool is used across the organization and isn't strictly used only by the marketing function. There can also be overlap with functions in a Data Management Platform (DMP) or other analytics systems an organization may possess.
Social Marketing Automation/ Management – These systems, help automate social interactions from a brand and monitor activity on the multiple social platforms, as well as collaboration within the team. Most teams use it to queue content for planned campaigns or promotions. These systems also provide some analytics on the partners and the activities running through them. Some tools provide social listening and sentiment analysis in addition to campaign analytics, enabling teams to agilely “listen” into the right conversations (even the ones from competitors!) and react appropriately. A lot of customers typically vent or praise on social media and social media resources are often found addressing customer concerns. Some review portals or online communities typically need customer support resources to be available.
SEM and SEO management – Search engine management is done within the search engine provided portals like an Adwords account. Keywords and trends requires research utilizing tools and could utilize content marketing tools for Search engine management or search engine optimization. If a client’s resources managing SEM is at an advertising agency, SEO could be managed internally or by website content professionals. We come across plugins used for SEO in a number of site side systems that help enable management.
Content Management Systems – CMS systems are used to manage digital content and simplify collaboration across teams. It can be used for website content, tweets or to plan keywords. So it could be a single system used by multiple function within marketing, the agency and the PR professionals and thus the ROI is justified when it simplifies collaborative drafting, review and approval processes.
Email marketing system – This has been a marketers’ best friend for the last decade and is also one of the most economical channels to reach consumers. Email addresses are lifeblood for marketers, even they don’t know demographic detail of their customers. Email works for acquisitions, but is a key part of all retention strategies. Segments and A/B testing within the systems allow marketers to play with creative and messaging and apply learnings within a broader campaign.
Ad servers – As the name suggest it is a system to serve advertisements in the digital realm. It allows purchase, performance tracking and optimization of digital ad inventory at scale. Using an ad-server allows control over creative rotation, ability to split-test, centralized management of publishers and data (including all your historical data). The data is available in real-time and allows marketers to react quickly.
Demand-side Platform – DSP's help agencies or brands manage and maintain oversight of multiple ad exchanges and data exchanges. Advertisers or agencies optimize for a key performance indicator like clicks and allows them to target, buy, serve and track ads. They provided a way to bid for ad placements, based on designated targeting, incredibly efficiently and in real-time. In these DPS platforms, placements are chosen dynamically and is the bidding mechanism is also used to target consumers.
Data Management Platform – DMP's is often used in the same ways as a data warehouse. It stores, organizes and scores into customer audience data, into segments while storing additional info like cookie ids. They also are used to generate look-alike ids or users who could be targeted for ads. They house campaign data with audience data and help figure out best segments for future media buys and what campaigns/ creatives were most effective. We definitely see bundling of functionalities with the DSP and DMP.
Marketing Measurement / Analytics – We like to refer to this as the intelligence layer on top of the functionality layers in buying, placing and automating serving of ads. It allows for the big picture of what’s working and what’s not working. But at the same time compares purchase paths, channels, publishers and down to creatives’ level. Tactics, strategies, forecasting and optimizations are available from an independent stand-point. The data collected from different systems are stitched together and a comprehensive view is provided of consumers and media.
Any combination of these tools are typically found from mid-tier to Fortune 100 companies. CMO's need better intelligence, not just more systems to understand their customers and marketing insights. Better cooperation and consolidation between platforms are likely in 2017 and beyond.