There are now more than 7,040 martech solutions on the market — up from just 150 solutions less than a decade ago. If you were to use one of these solutions per day, every day, it would take you almost 20 years to try them all.
With those numbers in mind, it's easy to see how a marketer can make missteps when building their company's martech stack. How do you know which tools you actually need? How does the spend allocated to these solutions actually translate into a better customer experience? To greater ROI?
Building an amazing martech stack isn't a paint-by-numbers proposition. That said, avoiding these four simple mistakes can help business of all stripes collect the right data, reach the right customers, and maximize spend.
Mistake 1: Buying Tools Without a Purpose and a Plan
Sometimes the simplest advice is the most important. Make sure your organization has identified your key marketing objectives — and researched exactly how you believe software and online tools can help — beforeyou approach that list of 7,000+ marketing solutions. This is the only way to stay focused and ensure that your martech stack will help you drive results that are meaningful to your business.
If you've already purchased tools for a few specific purposes, don't worry — most of us have. Businesses often start out thinking, "I need a tool for social media marketing, and then something for customer relationship management (CRM)," before realizing that it might yield better results if these tools worked together.
As digital marketing veteran Kelly J. Waffle writes for Business 2 Community,too few of us take a step back and ask why. "Are we trying to convert new customers faster with this technology? Are we trying to do a better job of engaging existing customers? Are we hoping to analyze and predict behavior and conversion rates? Even if we answer 'yes' to all of these questions, we still need to get better at prioritizing these purposes and figuring out how. Slow down and lay the groundwork with a strategy. It will pay off in the long run."
Mistake 2: Thinking in "Channels" Instead of "Touchpoints"
The idea of marketing to "channels" rather than to customers is outdated. Your customers are the same people whether they're conducting research about your brand on mobile, seeing your ad on desktop, or clicking for directions to your store on Google Maps. You need to reach and engage them across touchpoints throughout their journey.
Your marketing strategy should be about reaching customers at their key moments of intent, wherever they're engaging with your brand — so make sure that the tools you leverage in your martech stack can do the same.
Mistake 3: Keeping Data Siloed
In the same vein, you should ensure that your brand doesn't retain data silos — in any part of your marketing. Make sure that your data can flow from one tool in your stack to another, creating the best experience and delivering the most value for your consumer along the way.
"The modern customer journey is dynamic and multifaceted, and 50% of all customer interactions happen during a multi-event, multichannel journey," according to MarTech Advisor. "Because of this, a primary martech mistake is retaining data silos in your technology and strategy. Data silos prevent you from gaining complete visibility into the customer journey, which you need to effectively engage consumers."
Mistake 4: Failing to Think About Search as Part of Your Martech Stack
Questions about building a martech stack often focus on engaging customers through email, social media, and other platforms, and how to make those interactions flow smoothly, like we discussed above. But too many brands are missing one key element in their marketing stack — search experience. Sometimes, they're failing to think about search at all beyond buying keywords.
Think about it. How do your customers find answers to their questions throughout the purchase journey? Where do they turn for information? Search. 71% of consumers begin their journey with a search engine, and 90% of customers report that they use search at every single stage of their customer lifecycle.
If you aren't managing your search experience as a foundational part of your marketing strategy, you're missing one of the biggest ways customers today discover and engage with your brand. Don't leave a major hole in your martech stack — make sure your search experience is a priority.
Learn more about how consumer search experiences are changing inThe Customer Journey Starts With a Question.