The marketing technology (martech) landscape is vast, with thousands of solutions that span multiple categories and verticals. This infographic created by Chiefmartec.com attempts to visually represent the martech industry in one massive chart.
The martech categories listed in the above chart include: advertising & promotion, content & experience, social relationships, commerce & sales, data and management. Here is a partial close up of just one section in the chart.
Because the scope of the martech industry is a bit mind boggling, it can be helpful to focus on tools that are particularly relevant for B2B businesses. In this post, we’ll list five martech solutions that can help B2B marketers get more leads into the pipeline, streamline content, better analyze and leverage data and, ultimately, close more sales.
Customer Data Platform
A customer data platform, or CDP, helps companies unify their customer database and make this data accessible to other systems and teams. CDPs collect data from various touchpoints, clean it and utilize all the information they collect to create customer profiles and streamline marketing efforts.
Customer data platforms can help companies provide a more seamless experience to existing customers and prospects across multiple touchpoints. CDPs can also ensure that messaging and content are more targeted based on where individuals fall on the buying funnel.
CDPs are not customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, though both tools collect customer data for the purpose of streamlining customer and prospect communication. Per HubSpot, the real benefit of a CDP is in its ability to “autonomously create unified customer profiles with data gathered across a variety of online and offline channels.”
Nearly 80 percent of companies surveyed by Forbes have or are developing a CDP. Industry revenues in this category are expected to exceed $1 billion this year. Additionally, 44 percent of survey respondents reported that their CDP helps drive customer loyalty. A BlueVenn study revealed that CDP users are 2.5x more likely to significantly exceed their main marketing goal versus nonusers.
Account-Based Marketing Tools
Account-based marketing (ABM), focuses on a set of target accounts within a market versus one-on-one selling to an individual buyer or buying team within a given organization. ABM also emphasizes upselling and cross-selling to existing accounts to get the most out of each client relationship.
There are a variety of different tools that exist to facilitate ABM strategies. Analytics-based tools such as Leadfeeder and LeadGenius allow you to see what organizations are visiting your website and connect the most promising leads with an organization’s decision-makers.
Many of the tools available in the ABM space focus on helping B2B marketers identify companies within a specific market or service area so they can build a list of leads.
Other tools such as Uberstrip and Groove focus on reaching out to prospects and getting them into the sales pipeline. They enable marketers to implement account-specific messaging, develop a content library and sync information between marketing and sales teams.
HubSpot is another example of an ABM tool, though their ABM features can be costly.
The highest tier ABM tools are all-inclusive solutions such as Marketo and include everything from prospect identification to AI-based personalization to marketing automation.
Content Management Systems
Content is the backbone of nearly all sales and marketing efforts, so a content management system (CMS) is an essential tool for B2B marketers.
A CMS helps facilitate the delivery of digital content more quickly and with consistency. Tools like Contentstack are built with B2B companies in mind, offering features such as easy front-end frameworks for developers and simple visual content editors for marketers who use the tool for scheduling and publishing content without the need to consult a developer.
CMS tools also offer ease of deployment across multiple touchpoints (e.g., omnichannel delivery), which enables organizations to provide consistency with messaging.
Most CMS tools use APIs that integrate with an organization’s existing technology infrastructure.
Meeting automation tools like SummitSync help B2B marketers increase the number of meetings that occur at a marketing or sales event. With roughly 23 percent of B2B marketing budgets dedicated to event marketing, tools that help automate the process of identifying and reaching out to prospects can greatly improve the impact of your event marketing initiatives, particularly from a sales follow-up perspective.
SummitSync uses AI assistants to help with booking and follow-up of event-driven meetings. A recent study by PwC revealed that nearly 90 percent of event meetings are never followed up on by the sales rep. These dropped leads present a tremendous opportunity to B2B marketers who can increase the value of their event investments by simply reaching out to prospects post-event. In SummitSync’s case, an AI-based chatbot reaches out to the prospect after the meeting to facilitate follow-up.
Meeting automation tools don’t replace CRM or ABM tools, but are meant to enhance the existing capabilities that these other tools provide to B2B marketers.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
It’s fitting to end with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), because all the above tools have some level of AI baked into them.
The growth of AI and ML in martech is good news for B2B marketers because their application reduces hours spent on a variety of time-consuming tasks from data analysis to content management to lead and customer management.
Here are a few examples of how AI and ML can be used with martech applications:
- Sales enablement — AI-powered tools such as Gong.io record and mine sales calls to glean conversational intelligence and trends, making it easier for sales reps to identify and follow-up with the most promising leads.
- Data analysis — Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation tool, Pardot, uses AI to monitor and analyze data to automatically score leads, prospect behavior and marketing campaigns to help customize outreach messaging to prospects.
- Communication — AI-powered chatbots can help B2B marketers streamline their interactions with customers and improve customer experience. For example, B2B companies take an average of 10 hours to respond to a message, but a virtual chatbot can respond immediately and be available 24/7.
Source: Demand Gen
Martech solutions are fueling growth in the B2B sector — helping organizations better communicate across all teams and platforms while streamlining messaging and managing content.
The overwhelming amount of martech providers is evidence that integrating these new technologies into your B2B marketing strategy is no longer optional. The most innovative companies are already incorporating many of these tools and rethinking the way they locate, analyze and engage prospects and customers.