Marketing Technology - Defining Marketing in 2017

By Sumit Bedi, Vice President – Marketing, IndiaMART InterMESH Limited

Marketing today is basically an unconventional blend of strategy and technol­ogy. It has come a long way from the times when the idea was to simply try selling goods and services. Now that we are undergoing a digital evolution, a majority of companies both new and established ones are adopting marketing automation solu­tions for the growth of overall success rate of their marketing campaigns across channels.

Companies are fast realising the poten­tial of marketing technology. According to the Marketing Automation Report India 2017, more than 48 percent of the market­ers have decided to have MAS in their mar­keting strategy. Marketing is more sophis­ticated, targeted and data driven than ever before. The availability of data enables mar­keters to evaluate their strategies and take corrective actions.

For a majority of companies in India or even across the world, converting leads into customers comes as a top priority but unfortunately, due to a gap between their marketing and sales departments, things do not work out the way they are expected to. An integrated strategy combining marketing campaign with the sales efforts, which is also known as ‘Smarketing’ really works in bridg­ing this gap. As many as 70 percent of the marketers are using automation technology to increase their lead conversion. And how? The marketing team can help sales depart­ment understand aspects of the company that drew the leads to it, whereas sales can help marketing figure out what potential cli­ents are looking for.

Marketing automation provides a range of solutions like predictive scoring and ma­chine learning, workflow builder, unified customer view and customer lifecycle an­alytics. Marketing platforms offer a list of features and services which can also be cus­tomised to suit the clients. These features vary depending on the scale that a business operates upon.

For any enterprise, marketing plan determines the overall direction that their product or service should take for being profitable. Usually, these plans include a number of de­tails specific to the product or ser­vice but at times, in the day to day operations of a company, the details might get overlooked causing the execution of the plan not to work out in the best possible way. This makes evaluating marketing plan on an ongoing basis crucial to ensure that you are progressing on the right track. Since marketing technology solutions offer unified cross channel report, hence it becomes easier for enterprises to judge performance of various channels.

Not only this, it has also helped in increasing customer delight. Since the communication with a customer is more targeted and specific due to marketing technology, brands can now personalise their messaging and judge when, what and how to com­municate.

Marketing technology has been changing its face. Some of the key trends that will define the marketing strategies in 2017 are:

• Customer Acquisition Marketing: Marketing will increasingly become more targeted in 2017. Marketing automation has allowed brands to have a well-defined audience acqui­sition and marketing strategy and it will continue to do so.

• Unified View of Customer: This is one feature that is defining custom­er experience in 2017. With a uni­fied comprehensive view of multiple channels, it has become possible for marketers and brands to map a customer’s journey and enhance the omni-channel customer experience.

• AI in Marketing: Chatbots and Machine Learning are enabling more efficient and real time engage­ment with customers. Moreover, tools of Artificial Intelligence of­fer cost saving and faster channels of lead acquisition, engagement and conversion.

While some organizations con­sider marketing technology an ex­penditure, I think it is an investment with clear ROI. Marketing technol­ogy can not only make marketing expenditures more efficient but also help in boosting customer experi­ence. In the long run, not only can you save some big bucks but also build a brand that customers love. As they say, loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they in­sist that their friends do business with you.

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