What are the essential marketing technology tools to get started?


Marketing has become a lot more technology driven nowadays.

Marketing technology is a stack of technology and tools that help marketers do their job more effectively and efficiently.

However, it must be noted that Marketing Technology is not merely embedding Information Technology (IT) function into marketing, rather it involves reimagining how Marketing should be operated in the present days and also in the future.

There are currently more than 5000 companies offering platforms or services in the area of marketing technology.

An illustration of some of the essential categories of tools in marketing technology is illustrated in the following figure:

We can categorize the tools into 3 broad sections, namely:

  1. Data Collection: Where we track data from various sources
  2. Data/ID Unification: Where we unify the various sources of data and create a single customer view
  3. Campaign Execution: Where we utilize the single customer view to to targeted communication to customers.

Data Collection

Ad Placement Logs

This is where we recorded every ads (in all platforms including AdWords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, etc) that we have placed and also the responses of the ad viewers.

We need to record the responses so that we can do efficient retargeting later on (eg. we may want to only place ads for ad viewers who have previously responded to our ads)

Feature Tracking

This includes both web and app feature tracking where we will be tracking (with user consent) what users are doing in our website/app.

Customers in our web/app may need to be sent a customized message depending on what they have done/used different features (e.g. we may want to send specific message to users who have items in the abandoned cart but have not checked them out)

Social Data

This is where we collect data about what customers are talking about our product in social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Transaction Data

This is where we record the details of transactions done by customers including when, where, and the list of items purchased.

If we are selling a wide variety of items, this data will be the foundation of building a model of what and when to cross-sell or upsell.

Survey Data

We can use survey platform to collect a more detailed data about our customers from their preferences, interest, household information, and more.

Data/ID Unification

Single Customer View – Data Lake

All the data that we have collected will not be very useful if they are kept in their respective platforms.

We will need to join them together to have a rich view on each of our customers. (eg. Customer A had seen ads 1, have used both web and app, have searched multiple times but have not made any transaction. But he/she has been discussing about our product in his/her social media)

Campaign Execution

Once we have the data ready in the Single Customer View, we can personalize our communication to customers in at least three different category of platforms:

Targeted Advertising

We can push our Single Customer View data (excluding PII data) to ads platform so that the ads shown to customers will be relevant to them.

Personalized Messaging

We will be able to personalize our email, push notification, in-app messages, text messages contents starting from a personalized greetings including their names to a personalized and timely offers based on what they have been looking at.

Web/app Personalization

This is similar to Personalized Messaging, it’s just that the personalization happens on the web/app itself.

We can have a tool to show specific feature only to customers who have satisfy a certain filter.

For example, we may want to only show a certain offer/reward to our higher tier customers which are not visible by default.