Contributor Mary Wallace says martech is the conveyor belt that delivers the widget — the content. No belt, no widget. No widget, no need for the belt.
Within the typical marketing organization, the people responsible for marketing technology (Martech) and those running Content Marketing are completely separate from one another.
Martech is more technical in nature, involving if/then statements and ones and zeroes. Content Marketing is creative, evoking emotions and promising relief from pressing problems. Yet to drive lead engagement and fill the pipeline, the two must be tightly linked.
Understanding The Two Sides
Martech gets the content in front of the potential buyer. When used to its fullest potential, it encompasses emails, websites, SEO, lead scoring, segmentation, PPC and so much more. Through Martech, marketers can:
- Understand buyer needs by analyzing data, including digital body language
- Segment customers and prospects
- Deliver content based on previous actions
- Predict who is going to purchase based on the known and unknown target audience
But Martech is nothing without content — content is what prospects and customers engage with. This includes (but is not limited to) email messages, white papers, infographics, tweets, blog posts and websites.
Content explains what your brand is about to your target audience. The truth is, leads don’t care how they got the information, they care about the value the content has for them at the time they receive it. From a marketer’s perspective, content:
- Engages leads
- Provides branding and differentiation
- Creates need and educates prospective buyers
- Establishes thought leadership
Martech is the conveyor belt that delivers the widget, aka the content. No belt, no widget. No widget, no need for the belt. But many marketing organizations do not consider the two in tandem when defining organizational structures and building strategies.
Interweaving the two functions improves ROI and pipeline performance. Nurture programs can be designed to deliver the right content because Martech helps identify content gaps that can then be addressed. As a result, campaign performance is higher.
Programs can be designed to capture leads that have leaked from the funnel — identified and segmented using technological means — and reactivate them with content that aligns with their needs and solves a problem.
Synergy is also required at an operational level. Content marketers can leverage the data within Martech to better understand what content is resonating, what medium generates the most engagement, and where there are weaknesses and gaps.
By placing landing pages with gates in front of content, content marketing can collect audience data that can be pulled into the Martech engine, then analyzed and deployed across other channels. Leads can then be engaged as they travel along the buyer’s journey.
Additionally, when the two functions work in concert, there’s no duplication of effort and campaigns can be launched on time and easily optimized.
Martech and Content Marketing are two of the most important tools in the marketer’s toolkit. Some experts maintain content is the most important, while others stand firmly behind marketing technology’s primacy.
What’s clear, however, is that neither one can do its best without the other. This is becoming ever more apparent as the consumer and B2B paths to purchase become more and more complex, helped along by increased mobile engagement and the tendency of B2B buyers to research purchases themselves before contacting a salesperson.
This doesn’t mean that marketers must become experts in both Martech and Content Marketing. On the contrary. Specialization in Content Marketing and Martech is needed to expand what can be done to improve lead acquisition, engagement, and funnel speed. But the two must work in harmony.
Without good content, the best Martech in the world won’t deliver results. And without Martech, it is nearly impossible to determine the appropriate content for the individual and deliver it at the right time. All of which means that only when technology and content are applied together will marketing’s contribution to business results be maximized.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)