Four criteria to evaluate your marketing technology’s strengths and vulnerabilities.

Growing a business can be similar to remodeling an old home. A total renovation is ideal, but it’s either a bad time or too expensive. Maybe it’s a little of both.

Just as no business is exactly like another, it can be hard to know how long you can go without a tech stack upgrade. Over the last decade, Marigold Engage by Sailthru has helped hundreds of customers evolve their marketing strategies with innovative automation to meet new needs and revenue goals. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, we’ve outlined a four-part evaluation system to help you determine if your technology is holding you back.  

Data Management

Is your data working as hard as you are? Chances are it’s not. Your email lists may be in a separate stack than your social media data. Your returns data may not be connected to your sales channels. Cited as one of the most common reasons for change, successful businesses quickly outgrow the abilities of their data collection platform. In the launch phase, most brands are not thinking about setting up a loyalty program. Even fewer are thinking about segmenting data for new product launches or merging shopper data across all channels to get a fuller picture of your customer’s preferences.

Does your tech stack tell you holistically where your revenue and customers are coming from? Three questions to consider: 

  • Is it easy to import and export data across your systems?
  • Can your CRM software accommodate new fields, real time updates and unlimited storage?
  • Can we break down KPIs to audience or campaign type and create user segments?

If you cannot answer yes to all of those questions, it may be time to consider more sophisticated tools that can keep pace with your revenue projections.

Audience Engagement

Finding an audience for your product is step one. Keeping them engaged is step two. Retaining them as brand loyalists is the end goal. As shoppers become more savvy about privacy and sharing personal information, businesses must focus on cultivating personal relationships with customers. 

Marketers are increasingly benefited – and burdened by multiple ways to reach shoppers and to know when and where they are making purchases. If your CRM cannot tell you what a shopper’s Average Order Value (AOV) is, whether the customer prefers emails over texts or whether that shopper truly needs a free shipping incentive to make the purchase, then your tech stack could be doing more for you. 

Ask your audience growth teams to evaluate:

  • Does our current system quickly and efficiently collect customer data across email, mobile, SMS and onsite?
  • Can we instantly predict what our shoppers will want and create more accurate customer journeys that increase retention and AOV?
  • Are we setting up a value exchange with our audiences so that we can understand them better and motivate them to stay engaged? 
  • Knowing that cookies are third-party data collection is being scaled back, what are we doing to know more about our audience’s preferences and browsing habits?

Collecting zero and first party data provided explicitly by your customers remains one of the smartest and most reliable ways to get to know your audience. Future-forward marketers are investing more heavily in content, polls and quizzes that give shoppers opportunities to express their preferences, likes and dislikes. 

Campaign Orchestration

As businesses grow, there’s an increasing need for streamlined systems that are compatible and easy to learn. Maybe your brand started with one simple revenue stream. But now your shoppers expect to make purchases from their phones, from an email or from your app. Most businesses were not using SMS five years ago, but with 98% of all messages read within three minutes of receipt, few can afford to ignore SMS marketing any longer. Are you sending your messaging at the right time? To the right device? 

Shoppers expect a brand to know and understand their preferences. Attention spans are short.  This means marketers need a unified view of audience interactions. 

How would your marketing and retention teams answer the following: 

  • Are our marketing campaigns easy to build and modify at a moment’s notice? 
  • Are we using test-and-learn strategies to know if a campaign is really working? 
  • Are we using automated triggers and personalized send times to boost opens and engagement rates?  

More than just a quality ESP, growing businesses need platforms that work together to put all the customer data points together. New platforms, tools and machine learning capabilities have increased what marketers can do to deliver a personalized shopping experience. It’s what your competitors are doing today, and what your customer expects right now.

Analysis and ROI

As forecasting becomes a more important tool for hitting growth goals, the quality of the data you are using begins to matter more. It must come from reliable sources and deliver a fuller picture of your customer’s behavior. Part of any executive’s job is to make sure that your business strategies are competitive and deliver ROI. If you cannot track overall engagement and gather insights quickly, your business may be at a disadvantage. 

AI and machine learning have improved what marketers can learn from predictive analytics.  Ask your executive teams about how usable your current data is: 

  • Does our data tell a story? 
  • Can our teams transform this data into actionable steps? How quickly? 
  • Does our current suite of tools amplify the efforts of my staff and save them time? 

Staying ahead of your competition and on top of technology requires time and money. Even if your upgrades require a financial investment you cannot make right now, it pays to understand holistically where your marketecture stands. No business can afford to fall behind. 

Use this four-part assessment to start the conversations with your teams. Not sure what best practices should look like? Contact a CM group representative who can help you determine if your current marketecture is keeping up with your growth goals.  

Get in touch for a demo today.