At its core, marketing is about creating relationships. In contrast, technology at its core is about creating efficiencies.
As the modern digital marketing landscape has evolved to move well beyond the walls of websites and social media platforms, modern technology has simultaneously risen to meet those challenges – and that dynamic has molded and evolved to become what we commonly refer to as MarTech.
Overwhelmingly, 96% of CMOs believe that MarTech is absolutely necessary for achieving future goals. According to Marketing Charts, the global landscape for marketing technology has increased 22 percent year-on-year, confirming that automation is a fundamental tool for business transactions. Much in the same way that effective digital marketing should involve crafting the right messages at the right time. It is increasingly important to ensure those messages reach the right people on the right platforms.
Traditional MarTech solutions tend to fall into one of seven categories:
- Content marketing tools
- Rich media tools
- Social media tools
- Automation tools and platforms
- Advertising platforms
- Sales tools
- Data and analytics platforms
More than ever, in this ever-evolving business landscape, marketing professionals need a continuous and consistent blend of art and science. It is not enough to simply throw technology at the problem. Rather, marketing practitioners must understand and make decisions with the application of strategic data science, while implementing a creative digital execution strategy Ultimately, understanding your company’s MarTech stack means embracing a DevOps culture. This mindset will see the available technology as part of an agile ecosystem that’s continually evolving to elevate your brand, product or service.
Adapting to a DevOps Culture
Effectively leveraging MarTech involves establishing standards and managing expectations, combined with a healthy dose of both communication and collaboration across all key stakeholders.
For instance, most companies’ digital marketing platforms center around their websites, and yet most traditional business websites are relatively inefficient in terms of how they operate and evolve to meet customers’ needs. By moving to a DevOps mindset and partnering with strategic consultants to address some of these relatively simple inefficiencies, companies could see notable and measurable results before they ever manage the actual marketing content. These improvements would include:
- Greater availability through the development and maintenance of a scalable and reliable hosting environment
- Faster time to market through increased weekly deployment capacity
- Improved website performance through reduced average time-to-first byte (TTFB)
- Optimized infrastructure costs through a reduction in cost that still supports the overall company infrastructure landscape
- Reduced operational costs through decreased operational activities and improved infrastructure and operational process automation
- Portfolio rationalization through updated digital assets inventories
Leveraging your company’s MarTech stack all starts with having concise goals in mind. Innovative and effective digital marketing goals should expand your brand’s digital footprint in ways that focus on bringing new experiences to your customers in ways that won’t unnecessarily raise overhead costs, limit availability, or delay new features. By partnering with developers who employ agile methodology and DevOps automation, your company’s website can create the types of connected experiences consumers demand. This enables fast, lean and targeted responses to their changing needs while maintaining the stability necessary to keep the whole platform running smoothly.
When we look at both the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape and the many tools and platforms available to navigate it, the idea of creating an effective MarTech platform can feel both exhilarating and intimidating. By focusing on using that tech to create greater efficiencies within the digital marketing knowledge you already have, you can improve brand consistency, speed up time-to-market and deliver significant operational cost savings while allowing your digital marketing team to focus on what really matters – the needs of the consumer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elaina Shekhter, CMO & Head of Strategy, EPAM Systems
Ms. Shekhter heads up EPAM’s Global Marketing and Strategy, working to integrate a variety of functions that have a material influence on the strategy, positioning, and global brand of the company. She has held a number of leadership roles within EPAM, including most recently as the Global Head of Business Development and, prior to that, as the Global Head of the Travel and Consumer Business Unit. Ms. Shekhter is an advisory board member for the MACH Alliance, a group of independent tech companies dedicated to open, best-of-breed ecosystems. She is also active in the software startup and emerging technology community, representing EPAM in its investment in the Go Philly Fund to support regional venture funding for seed and early-stage companies, including as a board member of recent EPAM seed investment, SigmaLedger. Ms. Shekhter also takes a special interest in artificial intelligence and sustainability initiatives and is focused on expanding EPAM’s investment in these areas.
Prior to joining EPAM, Ms. Shekhter was with the travel and marketing giant, Carlson Companies, in Operational and Business Development roles including Head of Retail and Entertainment for 24K, a spin-off of Carlson Marketing Group. Prior to Carlson, Ms. Shekhter was a Manager with Ernst and Young Consulting, specializing in CRM and Analytics engagements for notable clients such as 3M and GE.