Have you heard of martech?
Martech is a short, insider term for marketing technology. It means the technology you use in your business to market, from things as simple as your cell phone to robust customer relationship management systems. You have martech whether you call it that or not.
- New tools and technology come out all the time
- Certain tech doesn't work well with each other
- If your business goals are fuzzy it's hard to figure out the right marketing technology for you
You might have heard the term tech stack. Tech stack refers to all the technology you use to run your business (or your household, for that matter). Martech refers to the specific tech you use to market your business.
If you say “I'm reviewing my martech” it's a fancy way to say, “I'm looking at my marketing technology, and I want to simplify and streamline how I market.”
The 5 or 6 important marketing technology tools you need
You probably already have most of these tools. Here's what you really need to market online.
- ESP or Email Service Provider – you might be using SendFox, Aweber, Mailer Lite, Active Campaign, or any one of many other email service providers. I often call this your autoresponder system. Your ESP lets you contact existing customers and prospects in an organized manner using email, including pre-scheduling emails if you wish. It helps you build consistency in reaching out and gaining more sales.
- CMS or Content Marketing System – Since you are marketing digitally (using the internet) you must have some place to create, store, and display your digital content. For you this is probably a website. Your digital content could be blog posts, articles, podcasts, or videos. Basically, your business needs a place to store and manage all the digital content you create and distribute across the internet, a place online that customers and prospects think of as your business home.
- Merchant card – You need a way to collect money digitally, a tool that takes a customer's credit card and transfers money into your bank account. I use Paypal and Stripe, but there are other merchant card tools you can use. Some businesses use Shopify.
- Website management tools – There are dozens of tools to help you run and manage your website more efficiently. You might have a page builder for your website that helps you create graphically pleasing pages that get more results for you. I personally use Beaver Builder templates and another tool called Swipe Pages. You might use Google Analytics to track traffic on your site. You might also use a tool to help you with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your blog posts and pages, something like Yoast.
- Social media marketing system – If you use content marketing on social platforms you'll need a way to organize and schedule your content. My recommendations would be based on what type of social media and what type of content you are using. You might use tools like Canva (for content development) and a tool like Later or Publer or Hootsuite for scheduling – it really depends on your social media marketing plans.
There are an infinite number of website management tools and it's easy to get too many and then never use them. Click To Tweet One I consider essential is Pretty Links, which takes a long, complicated web address and lets you customize it into something short and memorable.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Many of the online business owners I know don't use a specific CRM to store customer information, vendor information about their purchases, customer support emails, and related information. It's definitely smart to keep your key information in one place. Lately, I've seen people keeping themselves organized on Trello boards. If you do decide to use a formal CRM it will help you keep everything in one place. Otherwise, you might end up with information stored in 5 or 6 different places. Over time, this becomes hard to keep up with. Some CRMs you might hear of for online businesses include Hubspot and Salesforce.
I'm all for as few systems as possible and fairly simple systems unless you are pulling in well over $200K a year. Over and over again I've helped clients who bought into vastly complex and expensive systems. This can be a big problem for you.
- The system is so complex you, as a small business, will never use all its capability, but you are paying for that.
- The system is so technical you have to hire a specialized team member to help you run it, driving up your costs.
- You might get frustrated and after spending several years paying for this system you ditch it and have to start over again with a new tool.
I help small business owners figure out how to best set up their technology stack and their marketing technology. If you need help with that consider hiring me for a single hour to get your questions answered. Be sure to review your marketing technology at least once a year. Evaluate what to keep, what you are not using and paying for, and any other changes you might need to make.
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