The marketing tech landscape changes constantly as new trends emerge and innovative tactics catch on as effective marketing strategies. Subsequently, new technologies have emerged as well, aimed to help marketers achieve specific tasks and objectives.

The problem is, with so many technologies crowding the market, companies struggle to determine which tools are the best fit. In fact, 26% of marketers say their biggest challenge is finding the right technologies to fulfill their needs (source). What’s more, only 9% have and use the tools they need (source).

The bottom line is: Marketing tech can make a big impact on marketing performance– but only if we know when and how to use it. Today, we break down the most important categories of marketing tech. Keep reading to see where you should focus your technology budget in the upcoming year.

1.    Market Intelligence

Market intelligence is an umbrella term for tools that provide, organize, and manage the data your company needs to run its sales and marketing programs. Think B2B data companies, corporate contact database services, sales prospecting tools, data maintenance services, and much more.

Tools in this category handle the essential task of telling you who your customers are, why they buy from you, and how to reach more of them. Using industry terms—these tools provide you with the information you need to create buyer personas.

Gathering this data manually takes an extraordinary amount of time and resources. And—once you’ve gathered said data, it requires constant maintenance to ensure its accuracy. That’s why bad data is such a common issue for marketing and sales professionals – 62% of organizations rely on marketing and prospect data that’s up to 40% inaccurate (source).

A marketing intelligence tool will handle these efforts for you, driving productivity while also providing invaluable insights to inform your marketing strategy.

2.    Social Media

Social media is an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy—and luckily there are dozens of tools designed to streamline and improve every aspect of your social media workflow. Modern social media tools can help you manage these key tasks:

  • Scheduling
  • Reporting
  • Advertising
  • Listening
  • Employee advocacy
  • And much more!

Check out this post about the best social media tools on the market today: The top 25 social media management tools and platforms

3.    Advertising

Although we’ve already discussed social advertising, that only covers a fraction of the available digital advertising platforms. Advertising is an important consideration to make when allocating budget or developing your marketing technology stack.  From display advertising to retargeting, there are many ways to advertise your company and content. Consider investing in these popular advertising channels:

  • Social Advertising
  • SEM
  • Retargeting
  • Affiliate Advertising
  • Display Advertising
  • Native Advertising
  • Content Syndication

4.    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The purpose of SEO is to improve your site’s ranking in search engines like Google, thus increasing visibility and, subsequently, website traffic. SEO has taken over as one of the most important marketing tactics. In fact, 61% of marketers say improving SEO is their top inbound marketing priority (source).

While all marketers know the importance of organic search, mastering SEO best practices has its own set of unique challenge. Fortunately, there are many tools to inform and manage your company’s SEO efforts.

The premise of these tools is to help you understand how Google (and other search engines) view your site so you can make the correct adjustments. Sounds simple, but without these tools, you’ll be largely in the dark when it comes to your SEO success.

5.    Email Marketing

Even with the introduction of new digital marketing tools, email marketing remains one of the most effective. In fact, email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media when it comes to acquiring new customers (source). Whether you’re a small business or large corporation, an email marketing platform is an essential part of your tech stack. Be sure to research the different available options.

6.    Campaign Optimization, Marketing Automation, and Contact Management

Each of these tools plays an important role in a company’s technology stack—and we grouped these three categories together because they all tie into general marketing management and lead generation.  This can include your CRM, workflow management, campaign personalization, web analytics and much more.

These are perhaps the most important components of your marketing tech stack, so it’s important to make your decision wisely.

7.    Content marketing

Content marketing is an essential component of any marketing strategy and the tools you use to manage that process are just as critical. Consider the different moving parts of your content strategy—the creation, the scheduling, the optimization, and the distribution. This type of tool will keep you and your team organized and on track to content marketing success.

Final Thoughts About Investing in Marketing Tech

As you can see, the marketing technology landscape is complicated.  Even we’ll admit – it can be a bit overwhelming. But if you take a step back and assess your needs, you’ll be able to determine which tools you should make a priority.

If you’ve only just begun exploring marketing tech, start slow! If you gradually build your tech stack and take the time to learn each tool you implement, you’ll be on your way to a streamlined, more successful marketing strategy.

About the author

Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is a content marketing director at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact data solution.

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