• Marketing technologies

MarTech: Powering the People-Based Marketing with Connected Data

Dmytro Kustov
20 Aug 2021
9 min
MarTech: Powering the People-Based Marketing with Connected Data

Data is the new oil, they say, and not only due to its pricey nature but also its importance for the markets. Information, big and small pieces of it, has become the new item placed for exchange, especially in the marketing sphere — and an expensive one, at that. No wonder — its proper usage helps the businesses compete for the client’s attention, increase brand awareness, communicate with the target audiences, and generate leads. And none of that can be done fast and effectively without MarTech (marketing technology). 

MarTech use and efficacy is a subject of heated discussions, but one thing is clear: it’s an essential part of marketing that’s here to stay. Our short MarTech research will help you find out what MarTech is, its evolution, applications, and outlook. Let’s start with the basics. 

MarTech: definition and evolution

Marketing technologies, or MarTech, are tools and software solutions that help marketers with their objectives. These solutions are commonly used during digital marketing campaigns to process customer data, identify the TAs, create the buyer’s persona, place ads, create offerings, etc. 

There are multiple MarTech solutions in every field. Here are some of the most popular ones (with the number of solutions in every field as of 2020):

  • Social and relationships (Lolly, Yoyo, Quuu, Blog to Social, Cision, Fiind, LionDesk, etc.), 1,969 in total
  • Content and customer experience (Virool, Yapp, Keyword Tool, Webtrekk, etc.), 1,936 in total 
  • Commerce and sales (Scala, Vend, MyLead, Tune, Zinfi, Tacton, RelPro, TaggStar, etc.), 1,314 in total 
  • Data (DataBox, Contify, AMZ.One, Ninjacat, AbsolutData, Solver, Intelex, etc,), 1,250 in total 
  • Advertising and promotion (Adtuo, Pressat, Advids, etc.), 922 in total 
  • Management (MartechBase, Forrester, Trello, Atlassian, Fetcher, Adaptive, ProductBoard, etc.), 601 in total

It’s hard to believe that in 2011, there were only 150 of them, compared to 8,000 in 2020. The graph shows the annual uptick in the numbers — and they wow.

MarTech: Powering the People-Based Marketing with Connected Data - photo 1
Source: ChiefMarTec

What’s the reason for this striking MarTech growth of 5,233% over a decade? Marketing technologies open up great possibilities, including better segmentation, more accurate targeting, and fast ad placement. Let’s briefly review what was the story before MarTech became the buzzword. 

How it all started

Back in the days, the marketers searching for the ad placement had to spend half of their workday on the phone talking to periodical publishers, TV, and radio broadcasting to make their ads heard or viewed. The funniest part? They knew very little about the people on the other end. 

Rapid digitalization, caused by the unprecedented possibilities of web technologies, influenced the way marketers started treating their customers’ data. 

In the 2000s, as MartechZone founder Douglas Karr recollects, the New York Times and Toronto Globes began to use the extract, transformation, and load (ETL) tools to collect and process transactional, geographic, and demographic data. The purpose? To utilize it later for querying, sending, tracking, and measuring publication ads, TV ads, and direct mailing. Even though these tools weren’t cloud-based and required many physical servers and satellite transfers to work, they were the prototypes of the CRM and CDP platforms the marketing community uses now.  

As the IT solutions became smarter and the marketers grew more data-greedy, it influenced the advertising techniques. As a marketer, you no longer can publish irrelevant ads — the users will simply block it, so you have to tailor them to their interests and searches.  

MarTech has changed the way people advertise and the AdTech they use. By the way, let’s unpuzzle the difference between these terms as they are often used interchangeably.

What is MarTech and AdTech: the difference that matters

While MarTech means the tools and services that create content, manage the communication and offer creation, by AdTech, we mean the tools and services that promote these offerings and deliver them to the target audiences.  

Here’s an example to understand this better. Google Analytics is a MarTech solution that helps you understand your audience more, while Facebook Ads is an AdTech that delivers the ad content. And here comes the reason they both should be in a staple toolkit of every marketer — to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. 

This approach is called people-based marketing, and there are a few things you need to know about it. 

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    People-based marketing: its mechanism, components, and links to MarTech

    People-based marketing is a data-driven approach in communication and interaction with the consumers via various platforms and channels based on browsing history, searches, and consumption habits. Contrary to the cookie-based approach that provides the generalized representation of the TA, the people-based one is more accurate. It captures the 360-degree view of each segment and allows for more effective advertising. 

    For people-based marketing to work, we have to consider three key things: identification, data, and automation. Here’s what it means: 

    • Identification. Billions of people surf the web, so how to identify those you should advertise to? Some marketers use the email database, while other marketplaces demand the user to be logged in for using the services at all times from any device. This continuous connection allows for tracking the interests and output data produced by users themselves. 
    • Data. From email addresses and heatmaps to geolocation and devices — all data counts when you want to get as many insights about your customers as you legally can. 
    • Automation. As you know what your audience needs and how it behaves online, you can roll out your ad campaign. The MarTech enables that, and it’s not only about automatic emailing but also fast data processing and bidding in a few clicks. 

    Automation is an important aspect that makes a digital campaign more accurate and allows for analyzing the efficiency of tools and strategies you use. But even that’s not the complete list of why MarTech matters. 

    Why is MarTech important?

    If there is one universal goal of MarTech, it is powering your marketing decisions with the data that enhances targeting, segmenting, and ad delivery accuracy. In other words, making the brand communication effective, to the point, and meaningful. The following list explains how marketing technology (MarTech) can be used. 

    • It measures the prospects’ involvement level. This aspect is essential, as understanding what step of the buying behavior (awareness, consideration, etc.) your potential customers are on helps create a strategy for taking them to the next level. 
    • It helps to assess the success of the campaign in near real-time. More importantly, it provides insights into your audience’s reaction and adapts your ad strategy if needed. 
    • It aids in growing the interest in the offer. With data management platforms (DMPs), you can gather enough information from various sources to understand what type of content can be most interesting to the user.
    • It helps to leverage the customer input with ad buys. The result? Saved money on the ineffective ads you’d otherwise buy blindly.
    • It allows for budget optimization. Knowing exactly what content is loved by your potential client means spending money on the strategies and channels that really work. 
    • It improves the communication between the marketers and the sales. With CRMs, either team can bounce off each other’s input. 

    However, with the perks come some pitfalls, too, and acknowledging them will help you avoid any MarTech traps. 

    Not so bright side of MarTech

    The MarTech drawbacks come from either expecting too much from it or the design that makes these solutions user-hostile. Let’s review the entire list. 

    • Some MarTech solutions are too complicated. While trying to provide as much overview of the customers and data prospects as possible, the MarTech developers sometimes overcomplicate interfaces with tabs and bars the marketers don’t need. It leads to a low adoption level and a steep learning curve.
    • The lack of MarTech talents. Not every marketer knows how to use DMPs, CRMs, and so on, which complicates the hiring process. More than that, not everyone can detect the configuration bugs within the MarTech setup, which can entail 10- 40% revenue loss.
    • Overautomating. Advertising and marketing rely heavily on human behavior, which isn’t predictable all the time. Plus, the market context depends on various social factors. That’s why you shouldn’t let the algorithms define your marketing campaigns but instead use them to adapt to the changes quickly. 
    • MarTech underutilizing. With one decade strong on the market, MarTech solutions aren’t the commonly used tools. 

    These drawbacks, however, don’t stop progressive marketers from using the MarTech solutions. On the contrary, marketing technology has developed a few trends we continue to see further on.

    MarTech trends 2021 and further

    What should we expect from the MarTech industry in 2021 and onward?

    • More low- to no-code MarTech solutions. No marketer wants to deal with the tech side of the platform, which is why the developers will focus on immediate-run programs.  
    • Optimization of the existing MarTech stack. Not every solution currently used by marketers is doing its job, which is why the companies will re-evaluate and maximize their tools. 
    • More focus on attribution measurement. Measuring ROI accurately will add value to the marketer’s business, and improve the quality of the MarTech stack.  
    • Putting personalization first. The rising Customer Data Platform will be a sought-after solution for gathering a 360-degree single view of customers.
    • Improving operational efficiency. The better cross-department collaboration will make the whole marketing and advertising process more agile and effective. 
    • Wider adoption of solutions that automate and manage the customer-generated data. The content the consumers generate is closely related to the one they’d like to see. Analyzing such content will power the marketers with valuable insights about their TA.

    The development of IT and data-gathering technologies will help to switch from generalized marketing to people-based one. The most important thing is to respect one’s right to privacy without turning the data hunting into people chasing. So make sure you examine new data collection policies thoroughly before gathering the customer’s data. 

    The bottom line 

    MarTech makes the marketer’s work easier as the technology automates the processes used to take up too much time. With MarTech solutions, one can process, analyze and interpret the data about the customers and prospects efficiently. The aim is to build a solid marketing and advertising campaign, increase conversion, and save money from spending on ineffective ad buys and placement. At Postindustria, we make sure that your MarTech and AdTech are properly optimized, so you can keep the money in your pocket without spending them on something that doesn’t click with your audience.   

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