By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Podcast.
As a son of a radiologist, Frans Riemersma was taught to value functionality over features. Now an established marketing technologist, the Top 10 Martech influencer in Europe and founder of MartechTribe shares valuable insights on how you can leverage Martech solutions to augment your business’ marketing efforts.
Image from LinkedIn
The 30-minute Rule
People often make the mistake of looking for marketing technology solutions right away. However, Frans points out that it’s important to understand first what you’re trying to solve. If you know what your goal or objective is, formulate it in one sentence. For example, “I want to set up a LinkedIn campaign,” “I want to set up a calendar,” or “I want to get a better view of who’s visiting my website.”
Afterwards, go online, search up for a tool that will help you meet your goal, and check out the free trial. If within 30 minutes, you haven’t achieved your goal yet then it means that the tool is not intuitive or not doing the job for you.
Trends Your Business Might not Want to Miss Out
Frans mentions four Martech trends that businesses can adapt.
First is to gather your clients in one place with a Customer Relation Management (CRM) platform. This is how you can cross and upsell and make money more efficiently. Today, there are free tools that you can use, such as Agile CRM, Close.io, and HubSpot. These can provide a lot of services even to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The next one is to automate your lead generation (one tool you can use is LinkedIn automation). Leads refer to people who aren’t your client yet but have the potential to be one. After generating them, the next step is to have your leads in one place. HubSpot and Agile CRM also offer lead management tools.
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The third trend is to understand what your clients are doing across different channels. This is where Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) help. Big corporations, for example, use CDPs and customer journey tools to understand their customers’ behaviors across the entire spectrum of their channels — how they flow from another. This way, you can give your customers the right message (e.g. offer the shorter messages on mobile and the bigger ones on the web). Some of the customer journey tools that Frans mentions are Heap.io, Woopra, and Mixpanel.
While these three trends are already being done by corporations and can be applicable for small-scale businesses as well, Frans shares a fourth trend that has not been widely used yet: to personalise content. With AI tools such as MonkeyLearn, you can put all reviews, comments, and emails sent by customers into one document and analyse which are positive, negative, or neutral. You can also identify five or 10 topics that your customers talk about the most.
From there, you can make sure that your content reflects the needs of your customers. If you want to create a copy that’s gender-specific or neutral, there are also tools like Textmetrics that can do just that.
What About the Data?
Given the different tools that you can use, data can oftentimes be overwhelming.
Frans advises starting looking into your clients: Who are your clients? What about their firmographics — are they Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies? Afterwards, identify the clickbait across these channels then examine the words that they commonly use. After pulling out the keywords, incorporate them in your Google AdWord campaign. These words would be effective as they are basically generated by the public — your audience and your clients.
The Democratisation of Marketing Technology
Scott Brinker, a leading figure in the Martech space, has previously mentioned that technology today is now being commoditised.
Before, Frans shares that you would need to hire and brief a developer to help you manage your data. With this process becoming more taxing, professionals (including Frans) started doing things themselves. And with the democratisation of marketing technology, you can now use online no-code and low-code tools such as Zapier and Blender.io in lieu of a third-party developer.
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These platforms also allow you to create workflows and your customer data flow. For instance, if you get a new website visitor from a specific country, with a specific background, these tools can help you enrich such lead information (e.g., identity which company does your visitor belongs to based on IP address). These can also help you automatically send data from your site’s form submissions to your Agile CRM account, populate it there and put them into specific buckets. With this technology, you can send out personal emails and even address them on the chat function of your website.
Why Engage with Your Audience
Websites are designed to help businesses with their search engine optimisation and marketing endeavours. They help people be found.
When asked about the content heaviness of a website, Frans notes that it has nothing to do with informing your audience but with attracting them. Based on the AIDA model (AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action), informing and attracting audiences are a separate thing.
But if you really want people to come to your website, the key is to chat and engage with them. Drift, which is a brilliant chat program, uses AI that allows you to create a chat flow. Similar to an email flow, you can initiate a conversation, automate your response (e.g., if they don’t respond, you can remind them of what they can do to reach you out; if they respond, you can provide a particular corresponding answer). If you’re into Martech audition, an example of a chat flow that you can use is to ask your website visitor how many people do they have in their marketing team. If it’s above 10, you can offer them your service.
With these tools, you don’t have to be awake 24/7. You can simply automate answers.
These chatbots also have different variations. Intercom, for instance, offers a chat functionality wherein you can automate conversations and break in or overwrite the bot when you’re at your desk.
Chat flow cuts down response time into just a couple of seconds or minutes — and allows you to catch your target client right then and there. It’s advantageous because people have a short attention span in today’s consumerist society. By getting an immediate response, they can easily make up their mind if they will avail of your service or product or not.
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The Impact of Video
When talking about marketing, the impact of video is not one to be ignored. Videos convert really well and they’re also recognised by Google. They help improve your SEO performance.
Today, there are tools like Bonjoro that can help you personalise videos and send them directly to your customers. Video-based platforms such as Zoom and TikTok are also on the rise because they help give your audience an idea that you’re a real person. They also correspond with the so-called global village idea, which tells that you can find somebody across the globe who shares the same thoughts with you. All these are possible without you having to go big on money.
Taking Geography into Account
With services and products now becoming more accessible, he notes that there’s a need to have multiple strategies. This is because the type of technology a country like the United States has is different from what’s available in Europe. In Europe, businesses are very much involved with content creation. European tools are also at the forefront when it comes to scaling content and creating them in bulk.
Having multiple strategies is also essential because one brand can be considered top-of-the-bill somewhere and low-end in another. Each country has a different language, currency, and metric system. And if you don’t speak the same language, you won’t sell.
Screengrab from MartechTribe
Fran is the publisher of the European Supergraphic, which compiles thousands of Martech solutions, and provides new tools to high-profile clients such as Scott Brinker.
He recently unveiled the Supergraphic 2021 alongside local versions (including Dutch, Belgian, French). For a copy of his tool, visit www.martechtribe.com and fill out the submission form. To learn more about how he can help your business with your marketing endeavours, check him out on LinkedIn.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast The UnNoticed, you can listen here.