Solving Common MarTech Issues Professional Service Firms Eventually Face
So, you’re probably here because you are trying to solve an issue you may have with your marketing technologies or maybe you are just wondering how you can make it work better for you. No matter the reason, the goal of this article is to guide you through some of our experiences to assist you with ideas about where you might need to focus next.
Before we jump in further, let’s break down what marketing technology is. MarTech, as it’s currently referred to, are various apps and software that companies use for their marketing efforts. It can also be referred to as your “technology stack”, meaning it represents the different assorted tools you use to complete your tasks. Overall, it’s basically just flashy names to categorize the software that companies use for marketing.
As important as MarTech is, it’s not surprising that many professional service firms haven’t fully embraced its full potential. And this isn’t only about keeping up with the newest technology- it’s about recognizing and understanding the central role it plays in determining your marketing success. We’ve found that it’s not uncommon for businesses to not know where to start and the possibilities MarTech can accomplish to make things so much easier.
If you want to know more about how to take advantage of your marketing technologies, stay put!
Are Your Current Marketing Tools Still the Best for Your Business?
We know that success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s steady adjustments over time before we achieve the “ideal marketing strategy”. It's important to identify the areas where professional service firms may stumble. With our 20+ years of experience, we have seen how many businesses are slow to change and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They have been successful for this long so why should they change what’s working?
The issue with keeping your strategy the same is that technology is ever changing and it does so rapidly and exponentially. The systems that were put in place years ago may not be sufficient for the current landscape or they may not be future proof for tomorrow’s needs.
There’s thousands of software options out there and not all of the software businesses are using are adding more value for the services they’ve been providing. This means that there could be other technologies that would add more value or even make things easier for the business, and don’t we all want to make our jobs easier?
Oftentimes, businesses won’t invest in the new technologies that could help them simply because they’re comfortable with the software they’ve been using for so long. They just coast with it because that’s the way things have always been and seems like such a hassle to change things. Settling for what has always been done and not being able to use newer features or insights that could make their marketing efforts work more efficiently can limit marketing capabilities.
And we just want to reiterate that we are not saying all this to say that the latest tool is always the solution or that long-standing software has lost its edge, but rather that there might be room for reevaluation and a chance to enhance the effectiveness of your software. It’s worth getting advice outside your business to weigh the pros and cons.
Is Your Data Integrity Intact?
The most time consuming aspect of any professional service firm’s marketing is their data. It can be overwhelming, to say the least, and this is why most don’t look at it often. They just look at what’s already available in their current marketing tool. Information can be missing or the correct information may not be readily available.
More often than not, businesses use the default options to store information. This prevents insights that would be gained from a little bit of customization and configuration. When data isn’t correctly stored or it’s missing, it makes one heck of a challenge for reporting accurately. It may be that the reports that are being pulled may not be providing the insights to help you invest in the right marketing efforts.
Here’s a common example we see often. Say that you have created a few email campaigns. You are expecting to see a jump in your website traffic from those emails, but there isn't. If your email marketing efforts aren’t properly connected to your website analytics, you may be thinking that your email marketing isn’t yielding the results desired to make them worth it.
Emails that aren’t properly sending tracking information to your website analytics don’t show up in the proper traffic channel. This result makes it seem that SEO is the main driver of traffic to the website, when it’s actually not. The traffic isn’t being properly attributed to the email efforts when it really represents a larger portion of traffic. Because the data isn’t properly configured, it’s missing from the proper channel and reporting is way off.
It isn’t just about missing data, but also how it gets organized. Simple configurations or modifications can properly put data in an order that makes it easier to understand and gain valuable insights from.
We could go on and on about numerous examples that we’ve helped professional service businesses solve, but the most important thing we’ve learned is to leverage marketing processes to ensure goals and desired outcomes are prioritized. The main thing is taking the time to review, configure and clean up the data so that it can work harder for you when you do run reports or look to gain valuable insights for making marketing adjustments. This is something you’ll want to do on a regular basis.
And honestly, there isn’t a one-size fits all solution. You’ll want to make gradual improvements that build up to better results for the long-term. Some will be quick wins and fixes, but others will take more time to work for your unique situation.
What Should You Be Looking for in Your MarTech?
Let’s dive a little deeper. Not knowing what to look for surfaces as a huge challenge for many professional service firms. We all want better results for our businesses, but we aren’t always sure where to look, what to do, or even where to begin. There are so many places you could start that you can get stuck in wasting time in an area that won't provide the best results. So it’s not like there's a lack of desire or effort, but if you know where to invest, that can make a huge difference.
The good news is you don’t have to become an expert at everything or even get into the weeds (that’s why you’re the boss!). Our best advice before diving headfirst into all of the complex tools and systems, is to start with a marketing audit.
Having someone else review your current marketing technologies and software can give you an outside perspective, this way you can get an unbiased review. An audit should shed some light on areas that may not be working as hard as they could be, or limitations with your current software. Sometimes, the tools are too advanced for a business’s needs and they could use a simpler solution. Other times certain tools just don’t integrate properly with the apps you use, which prevents them from working together to gain efficiencies.
It really is a mixed bag on what can be uncovered. Remember, the goal is to get your MarTech in a place where everything is working together and providing you with insights and abilities to enhance your marketing efforts.
Is Automation Necessary for Your Business?
Another super important part of mastering your marketing technology is understanding how to make automation work for you. Automation is the use of technology to carry out repetitive tasks or processes without you having to manually do them, therefore increasing efficiency and accuracy.
For example, when someone clicks on a link in an email for something specific you are tracking, you can trigger a postcard to be sent to their physical address for a timely “thought you might want to know about this deal” kind of note. Basically automation is where the magic happens. Beyond platform integration, automation gives us another avenue to refine MarTech strategies.
By automating processes, businesses can experience benefits from sharper targeting to more personalized experiences for customers. Our insights have helped shed light on specific areas of automations that many businesses tend to overlook, highlighting opportunities for even greater optimization and success. If businesses embrace automation, they can streamline operations, reduce errors, and make sure that their marketing efforts are performing consistently and in a timely manner, and in the end, unlock a ton of advantages.
Unsure if MarTech is Really Worth it?
Understanding marketing technologies is all about navigating its layers and complexities. With all of the different tools and strategies available, it’s really no wonder that businesses can feel overwhelmed.
A startling 44% of professional service firms juggle between 5-10 different marketing technologies. And while some businesses use several different technologies, it's important to know that the number isn't proof of effectiveness. It actually emphasizes that businesses see value in diversifying their tools to enhance their marketing strategies.
From data collection to automation, it’s our creative strategy-driven approach that promises a nice balance. And with so much at play, integration is crucial. Marketing leaders are now prioritizing integration to weave these technologies together and have them working in a methodical ecosystem. When you are able to successfully do this, there aren't just immediate benefits but also long-term benefits for those that truly master the strategies.
Where Does the Future Lead?
MarTech is an ever-evolving field, and it's evident that it's not just a passing phase—it's the norm for how professional service firms keep up with marketing for the future. As it continues to advance, emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, are playing a transformative role in the next MarTech wave, heralding a new era of innovation and possibilities.
For professional service firms, it’s a good idea to start incorporating those adjustments now. It's essential to adapt and refine your approach sooner rather than later to avoid the potential pitfalls of waiting too long. MarTech shouldn't be viewed as a fleeting trend but an ongoing investment, one that promises exponential growth and efficiency for those businesses willing to commit.
No matter the pain point, it starts by having an honest conversation and taking the time to thoroughly review your marketing efforts. It’s good to explore what the possibilities could be. After all, the point of using technology is to make our jobs easier and to improve results so that we can focus on larger opportunities. Especially in the professional services realm, having vision is essential for where we are headed next, staying a few steps ahead of your clients.
We’d love the opportunity to review things with you and see what we might uncover together that can be a game changer for your marketing success.