MarTech Thoughts | Federico Brandi
How has your approach to customer engagement/retention/loyalty changed due to new MarTech tools and solutions?
I'm lucky enough to have started working in Marketing in a digital context first. That helped me look at digital channels as the default. Yet the pace of change is incredible, and it takes time to stay up to date. New avenues to communicate with the customers are always welcome, and you should tailor the message to fit the platform. Yet, it's important to remember that the rules of marketing did not change, and focusing on the latest tool should not substitute a well-thought and articulated strategy. Tools should help in executing that strategy and assist in sales funnel attribution.
With all the new MarTech tools and solutions now available, what's one of the critical pitfalls to avoid in the procurement process?
I can see two ways:
Build agile teams able to deploy quickly, by breaking down projects in smaller tasks
Do not go all-in. Start testing on a small scale, with appropriate tracking and statistical analysis in place to evaluate success or failure.
How have you best managed to integrate legacy systems with new MarTech solutions?
Fortunately, we didn't have that problem. As a start-up, Roojai.com was able to start from scratch and build our own systems. We faced some issues when we wanted to integrate with "incumbent" partners. They do have problems with legacy systems and integrating them with ours gave us more than one headache.
What MarTech vendors have impressed you with their solutions and understanding of exact business needs and challenges?
I am a big fan of Salesforce. They are the core of all our operations, and they provide excellent support.
We try to avoid agencies as much as possible, mainly because we want to build in-house capabilities. That makes deployment harder sometimes. It's a long-term investment.
How has your organisation/team dealt with the challenge of the marketing industry and wider digital world evolving at such a fast pace?
We try to be agile, test things and move quickly. We continuously test new ad copies, creatives, UI designs, and more. We always have A/B tests running, and we decide what to track before launching them, to know what a winning test would be. We are lucky enough to have a robust Business Intelligence team, and we work closely with them.
Currently, what are you primarily looking for in your digital marketing efforts? Awareness or engagement? Why?
It depends. From my experience, different channels work better for different goals. So, I don't have the same expectations for Paid Search, Facebook, YouTube, and Display. Each one of them has a place in a marketing strategy. I would say, try to saturate Performance channels as far as it makes economic sense to you (based on your target Customer Acquisition Cost and Customer Lifetime Value).
Then move to Branding, with a precise positioning in mind for your brand, to build long-term awareness and sustainability (increase in direct and organic traffic).
What is your key takeaway piece of advice that you would give when speaking to others on how to evaluate and select a MarTech stack?
Ask yourself two questions:
What success would look like in testing a tool or platform?
How do you track success?
Tracking and measuring is the key to optimising marketing budgets and campaign effectiveness.
How did your MarTech journey begin? Please let us know your top 3 findings and discoveries.
As I said before, I started working in marketing directly in the digital world.
First, I started with social media management. Then I moved to digital advertising and SEO.
I'm a digital-first guy, and I am discovering the power of traditional channels. Finding the right balance between digital and traditional channels for your brand is probably the most challenging part.
Second, I think it's important to keep aside some budget for testing new platforms and products. Nine of ten platforms will not deliver, but finding a new one that does will give you an advantage on your competitors.
Finally, study your math! Marketing needs to be based both on emotions and facts. The creative side needs to work hand in hand with the analytical one. And you need to be able to understand statistics to make an informed decision. Especially with the amount of data available today.
For you and your team, which is currently recognised as the larger challenge - MarTech integration or MarTech strategy?
I'd say strategy. As I said before, we don't have a problem with integration, being a young company. But we have many things we want to do.
Then prioritisation becomes key to executing and delivering results.
We make a list of the things we want to do, measure complexity, define priorities, and decide what to do first.
Have you mainly chosen to adopt established MarTech or have you also looked into the emerging opportunities? Which?
We tried both types. Usually, performance is relatively similar (except in unfortunate cases). The differentiators are integration and support.
Our two primary providers are Google and Salesforce. And WordPress for the content part of the website.
Which MarTech brands have you found have/are close to best meeting your expectations when it comes to customer experience? Let us know of any brands which have exceeded expectations.
We tried many, and the big guys didn't disappoint (too much). Google and Salesforce have great tools that help us along the customer journey. We had a great experience with ActiveCampaign but decided to move to Marketing Cloud for integration reasons, not for platform issues.
What do you predict as being the top MarTech trends for 2020?
I think more and more marketers will start realising the importance of blocking bots and click farms.
Delivering real results beyond vanity metrics will become more of a theme.
And finding new ways to talk to customers while they increasingly use ad blockers and understand how to recognise sponsored content.