How to find value for your martech stack

How to find the best value for apps, tools and platforms in your martech stack. Recommendations for best products to stretch your marketing budget.

As marketers continue to face shrinking budgets, many are facing a new challenge—how to stretch a dollar on their martech stack. The COVID-related revenue slowdown has forced even many large marketing departments to think small when it comes to purchasing. 

The choice of keeping personnel on the payroll or purchasing new technology and tools is a tough decision for many in marketing management.  

“Finding value in purchasing martech tools is like being a part-time marketer and a part-time detective,” said Renita Williams, chief executive officer of The Marketing Plug, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency founded on finding strategic value for brands. “Since COVID marketing departments are very price sensitive, so when buying new marketing tools or renewing contracts finding the best pricing value has to be at the front of your mind.” 

Verifying value

One popular tactic to stratech marketing budgets is to heavily increase investments in chatbot and chat services.

Enhanced chat services can provide value to a budget many different ways, including: 

  • Offsetting personnel loses by ensuring chat services offer direct links to product listings and special promotions;
  • Offering standard comprehensive responses during predictable ‘rush’ hours so staff is not needed; and 
  • Proactively pushing campaign information to the general public who visit the site, in lieu of staff reductions. 

“We have seen a dramatic increase with online chat and chatbot feature requests as marketers try to do more with less,” said Williams. 

Pricing structure is the foundation for stretching your marketing dollar, regardless of the martech tool, technology or platform you are purchasing.  

Recommended tips on finding the best value in pricing:

  • Look for platforms and tools with monthly membership costs, not per-service or per-feature fees that can add up quickly;
  • Look for platforms and tools that offer special ‘lifetime’ promotional pricing so costs remain fixed;
  • Identify platforms and tools that have pricing tiers based on use or number of users instead of one standard price; and
  • Ask current vendors about discounted platforms and tools they may have access to from their client roster. 

Ahrefs, a digital marketing agency, has made it a principle foundation of its business to provide sources to marketers at minimal cost. 

“We believe offering free tools should also imply technical stability and resilience,” said Ahrefs CEO Dmitry Gerasimenko. “Usually free tools that are effective generally create a buzz on social media or bloggers so that is a good way to start your research.” 

Recommended resources

There are countless no-cost and low-cost apps, platforms and tools for marketers to use. Discovering the right ones for your company’s use is harder than it sounds and relies upon thorough research. 

One low-cost marketing tactic Williams has seen a dramatic increase in is an obvious statement of the COVID era in which we are living.

“Requests for product photography have increased to an all-time high for us,” said Williams. “It is a low-cost marketing tactic that was overlooked before COVID and now it is a real driver of revenue.” 

Williams also recommends these other no-cost or low-cost apps, tools and platforms for your martech stack:

  • AppSumo, a software pricing service that offers special promotional pricing with partners that include Evernote and Mail Chimp; 
  • Book Like a Boss, a low-cost booking platform; 
  • Wishpond, a marketing automation service; and
  • Planable for social media scheduling. 

“Make sure you demo all products before you even spend a dime,” said Williams. “Marketers now have to stretch their budgets more than ever so getting into a habit of identifying the best pricing for your martech stack is really a long-term solution for both people and profits.” 

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.

About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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