graphic showing network of MarTech tools used for B2B digital marketing strategies

As technology expands, so do business solutions. In recent years, the exponential growth of marketing technology (MarTech) reflects the increasing importance of digital marketing and the need for businesses to leverage technology to enhance their efforts.

Because B2B marketing funnels and sales cycles are lengthier and require nurturing strategies to convert potential customers, implementing the right MarTech could provide a significant competitive edge. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of MarTech in your B2B digital marketing, as well as recommend the appropriate tools for your MarTech stack. But before we dive in, let’s first explore what MarTech means.

Since its coinage in the 1990s, MarTech has become an integral part of marketing initiatives. Now, the MarTech landscape shows more promise than ever – in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation reached an all-time high. And it hasn’t slowed ever since. On the contrary, with the introduction of generative AI technology, sophisticated data management systems, and other ways to automate processes, there are now technological solutions for most business needs.

What is MarTech?

MarTech (or marketing technology) encompasses the software and tools marketing teams use to maximise their marketing efforts. This technology is meant to streamline processes through the automation of time-consuming tasks and to help marketing departments everywhere easily reach their target audiences.

Although MarTech and AdTech (advertising technology) have been referred to interchangeably in the past, the difference between the two is, at the core, the difference between marketing and advertising. Where MarTech is used to manage, measure, and optimise marketing campaigns across multiple channels and touchpoints, AdTech focuses on the tools and technologies used to deliver, target, and measure online advertising campaigns. It’s important to note that AdTech can be a part of a MarTech stack, but not vice versa.

This brings us to the MarTech stack. The term refers to a collection of specific software utilised to manage the workflows and daily tasks in the marketing process. Just like a stack of pancakes, each layer in your marketing technology stack depends on the one below it. The point of a MarTech stack is to be efficient with your digital marketing strategy. After all, having all your tools and software in one place is easier than having to perpetually switch between platforms and apps.

While MarTech stacks are specific to your business needs, a rule of thumb is to have your stack encapsulate every stage of the marketing funnel, from awareness, attraction and interest, to consideration, engagement and conversion, leading to active management of your loyal advocates.

It can be said that the overarching benefit of MarTech is, in a nutshell, enhanced efficiency. By automating processes, centralising data and workflows, and optimising campaigns through real-time data and analytics, MarTech ultimately aids in achieving better engagement and conversions in B2B digital marketing strategies.

Thus, investing in MarTech and using it effectively could result in significant ROI – emphasis on “using it effectively”. Like any other marketing initiative, investing in something without a preconceived strategy could have the opposite effect to the one desired. Indeed, a 2022 Gartner survey found that marketers only use 42% of their MarTech stack’s capabilities, which is already a significant drop from 58% just two years prior.

To increase ROI, marketers need to critically assess their businesses’ needs and compile a MarTech stack accordingly. While every company has its specific requirements, here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before investing in MarTech for your stack:

  • What are my business goals and how can a MarTech stack help me achieve them?
  • What is my budget for building and maintaining a MarTech stack, and how can I allocate it effectively?
  • What types of data do I need to collect and analyse, and how can I do this efficiently?
  • What tools do I currently have in place, and what gaps do I need to fill in my MarTech stack?
  • What features and functionalities do I need in my MarTech stack, and how can I prioritise them?
  • What is my team’s technical expertise, and what level of support and training will they require to effectively use the tools in my MarTech stack?
  • How can I ensure that my MarTech stack is integrated and interoperable with other systems and tools that my organisation uses (including my website and digital channels)?
  • How can I ensure that my MarTech stack is scalable and adaptable to changing business needs?

So, despite the enhanced capabilities of MarTech, it still is, at the end of the day, a set of tools dependent on the hands (or, in this case, brains) that wield them. The good news is that, when used strategically, your MarTech stack can provide enormous value.

This brings us to the types of MarTech you should consider for your B2B digital marketing strategies.

Types of MarTech for B2B digital marketing strategies

Content Management Systems (CMS)

CMSs are platforms that facilitate the creation, organisation, and management of digital content. They offer user-friendly content creation and editing tools, enable content organisation through hierarchical structures and search/filtering functionalities, and provide publishing capabilities with scheduling and version control features. They also offer templates and themes for website design or customisation, allow user management and permissions for collaboration, and often include SEO optimisation features. Even more, some of them support content distribution across multiple channels, such as social media and email marketing.

Here are some popular CMS platforms that allow you to create and organise content, manage user permissions, and customise the website’s appearance and functionality.:

  • WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. Open source and free to use, it has a large community of developers and users. It is a good choice for businesses of all sizes and can be used to create a wide variety of websites.
  • Umbraco is an open-source CMS known for its ease of use and flexibility. If you’re looking for a CMS that is easy to learn and use, this might be the right choice.
  • Sitecore is a commercial CMS that businesses of all sizes use to create and manage their websites.
  • Webflow is a cloud-based CMS that allows you to create and manage websites without any coding knowledge. It’s known for its drag-and-drop interface and its ability to create responsive websites.
  • Squarespace is well-suited for small websites. With its user-friendly interface with pre-designed templates, simplified customisation and integrated hosting, it’s  a good option for beginners who want to create visually appealing websites without delving into complex technical aspects.

Social Media Management

Social media management helps you efficiently oversee and optimise social media channels for marketing purposes. By employing specialised software platforms, you can streamline social media activities, monitor performance, engage with the audience, and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns.

These popular tools help you create and save content, including text, images, and videos, and schedule them for automatic posting at optimal times across various social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

  • Hootsuite is a popular platform that aims to simplify social media management by providing a comprehensive set of tools and features to effectively engage with audiences, analyse performance, and streamline social media activities.
  • Buffer caters to individuals, small businesses, and larger enterprises, providing a comprehensive set of tools to streamline social media management and improve online presence.
  • Sprout Social is a subscription-based platform for businesses of different sizes, from small to large, helping them streamline their social media efforts, enhance brand presence, and drive engagement with their target audience.
  • HubSpot Social Media is a component of the HubSpot platform, a comprehensive inbound marketing and sales software solution. It provides tools and features to help you manage and optimise your social media presence effectively.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising helps promote products, services, or brands, by delivering targeted ads through platforms such as websites, search engines, social media, mobile apps, and email. This form of advertising encompasses various techniques like display ads, search engine marketing, social media ads, video ads, native ads, and email marketing. It heavily relies on data-driven strategies and technologies, enabling marketers to track and optimise their campaigns based on performance metrics. By leveraging audience segmentation and targeting, digital advertising can help you reach your desired audience, increase your brand’s visibility, drive website traffic, and achieve marketing objectives.

Here are some popular platforms that offer audience targeting, campaign management and ad performance tracker, while also supporting a range of ad formats, like text, image, video, and interactive ads:

  • Google Ads is a powerful platform for businesses to reach their target audience, drive traffic, and generate leads or sales. It offers you the opportunity to reach potential customers at various stages of the buyer’s journey and across different digital channels, through its extensive reach and targeting options.
  • Facebook Ads Manager is a platform developed by Facebook that allows you to create, manage, and optimise your advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
  • LinkedIn Advertising is a platform provided by LinkedIn, the professional networking platform. It allows you to create and run targeted advertising campaigns to reach a professional audience on LinkedIn.
  • AdRoll specialises in retargeting and audience targeting solutions, by providing tools and capabilities to run effective online advertising campaigns across multiple channels, including display ads, social media, email, and more.

Targeting and personalisation

Targeting and personalisation are two key strategies that aim to deliver customised and relevant experiences to specific individuals or groups of users, also known as your audience segments.

First, targeting entails identifying specific segments or groups of users who are most likely to be interested in a product, service, or message. It involves analysing and understanding user demographics, interests, behaviors, and other relevant data to define the desired audience. So, it allows you to focus your efforts and resources on reaching the right people. The next step is personalisation, which refers to tailoring the content, recommendations, offers, or overall experience to meet the unique preferences, needs, and characteristics of your target audience, by leveraging data and insights for a custom approach.

Here are some platforms that help you deliver personalised and data-driven experiences to your customers by experimenting, testing, and optimising your content and digital channels:

  • Optimizely is a leading experimentation and optimisation platform that helps businesses create and deliver personalised digital experiences through a suite of tools and features to optimize websites, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints, improving user engagement, conversions, and overall customer experience.
  • Adobe Target is a comprehensive testing and personalisation platform offered by Adobe Experience Cloud. It allows you to optimise your digital experiences, run A/B tests, and deliver personalised content to your website visitors and mobile app users.
  • Dynamic Yield is an AI-powered personalisation platform that helps you deliver individualised experiences to your customers across various digital channels.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

CRO is a process that aims to improve the percentage of website or app visitors who convert into customers or take desired actions. It involves analysing user data, evaluating the user experience, conducting A/B and multivariate testing, personalising content, optimising the conversion funnel, and continuously iterating based on data and user feedback. By focusing on CRO, you can increase your ROI, improve marketing effectiveness, and drive your business’s overall growth.

Here are some tools that provide useful features like A/B testing, goal tracking, heatmaps and user behaviour analysis:

  • VWO (Visual Website Optimizer) is a comprehensive conversion optimisation platform that helps you improve your website and user experiences through A/B testing, multivariate testing, and personalisation.
  • Crazy Egg is a web analytics tool that provides visual insights and heatmaps to help you understand how visitors interact with your website. It offers a range of features and reports that help optimise your web design, improve user experience, and increase conversions.
  • Google Optimize is a website testing and personalisation platform provided by Google that allows you to create and run experiments to optimise your website and deliver personalised experiences to your visitors. Google Optimize integrates seamlessly with other Google products, such as Google Analytics, to provide a comprehensive view of website performance and user behavior.

Social Listening and Monitoring

Social listening and monitoring entails tracking and analysing online conversations and mentions of a brand, product, or specific keywords across various social media platforms and online channels. This gives you a holistic picture of how your brand (or a similar brand) is perceived, allowing you to play into the way your audience communicates and behaves in future campaigns. It involves monitoring social media platforms, blogs, forums, news sites, and other online sources to gather insights and extract relevant information about the brand’s reputation, customer sentiment, industry trends, and competitor activities.

Here are some platforms that provide tools and features for social listening, sentiment analysis, trend tracking, and competitor analysis:

  • Brandwatch helps you gather and analyse data from various social media platforms, online news sources, blogs and forums to understand consumer sentiment, track brand mentions, and gain valuable market insights.
  • Sprout Social is, as mentioned, a social media management platform While its primary focus is on managing and publishing social media content, Sprout Social also provides tools to monitor and analyse social media conversations relevant to your brand or industry.
  • Mention is a social media monitoring and brand tracking tool that helps you monitor your online presence, track brand mentions, and stay informed about relevant conversations happening on the web.
  • Hootsuite is, as discussed, a popular social media management platform which also provides social listening and monitoring capabilities.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM MarTech refers to software and tools that are designed to help businesses manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. Like other MarTech, they provide businesses with a centralised database for customer data, as well as tools for managing their interactions in parallel with sales pipelines, and marketing campaigns. This way, you can analyse customer data and behaviour, track sales and marketing performance, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Here are some software that provide a centralised database for customer data, as well as tools for managing customer interactions, sales pipelines, and marketing campaigns:

  • Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform that helps you manage your sales, marketing, customer service, and other core functions.
  • Zoho CRM is designed to help businesses of all sizes through a comprehensive set of tools and features to manage customer interactions, track sales activities, automate workflows, and analyse data.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based CRM platform offered by Microsoft. It combines various business applications, including sales, marketing, customer service, finance, operations, and more, into a unified platform.
  • HubSpot CRM is a cloud-based CRM platform developed by HubSpot. It is designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their customer relationships, track sales activities, and organize their sales pipeline.

Web Analytics

These tools collect, measure, and analyse data related to website performance and user behaviour. Web analytics MarTech solutions typically include software applications that provide insights into website traffic, visitor behaviour, conversion rates, and other KPIs.

Here are some software to help you collect data on website visitors, including the number of visitors, their geographic location, the pages they visit, how long they stay on each page, and their interaction with your website features:

  • Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics service provided by Google. By implementing a tracking code on your website, you can gather valuable insights and data about your website visitors, their actions, and the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts. At Dusted, we have recently helped our clients upgrade and master GA4.
  • Adobe Analytics is a web analytics solution developed by Adobe Solutions that empowers businesses to gain deep insights into their digital performance, customer behavior, and marketing effectiveness.
  • Matomo (formerly known as Piwik) is an open-source web analytics platform. Unlike other popular tools, it offers a self-hosted solution, meaning the software can be installed on a server controlled by the user, providing more control over data privacy and ownership.
  • Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform that focuses on user behavior tracking and analysis. It provides you with insights into how users interact with your web and mobile applications.

Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to create and send personalised email messages to your subscribers and track campaign performance metrics. Some of the key features of these platforms include email list management, email template creation, A/B testing, segmentation, personalisation, automation, and reporting, which allow marketers to create targeted email campaigns.

Here are some popular and easy-to-use email marketing platforms that help you design professional-looking emails, segment your audience, automate your campaigns, and measure your results

  • Mailchimp is a popular email marketing and automation platform that offers a range of features and tools to create, send, and track email newsletters, automated campaigns, and targeted messaging.
  • Constant Contact is an email marketing and online marketing platform that enables you to create, send, and track email campaigns, as well as manage other online marketing activities.
  • Campaign Monitor helps you create, send, and track email campaigns. It provides a range of features and tools to engage with subscribers, build personalised email campaigns, and analyse campaign performance.
  • ActiveCampaign is a more advanced email marketing platform that offers a variety of features, including email automation, segmentation, and analytics. It is a good choice for businesses that need a more robust email marketing solution.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO MarTech is used to optimise a website’s search engine visibility to increase its organic search traffic. Through these software applications and services, you can analyse and improve your website’s technical and content-related aspects to achieve higher search engine rankings. Some key features include website audit and analysis, keyword research, competitor analysis, on-page optimisation, link building, content creation, and performance tracking and reporting.

Popular SEO platforms include:

  • SEMrush is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that helps you discover relevant keywords, optimize on-page elements, identify and fix technical issues, analyze backlink profiles, gain insights from competitors, and track keyword rankings.
  • Moz is a well-known provider of SEO tools and resources designed to help you improve organic search visibility and optimise your websites.
  • Ahrefs is a popular and comprehensive SEO toolset that helps analyse backlinks, organic search traffic, and keyword rankings for any website.

Marketing automation

Many consider the most important type of MarTech to be marketing automation, as it works in conjunction with other MarTech to enhance their capabilities. Unlike the tools listed above, marketing automation entails incorporating many different MarTech software, offering a holistic approach to marketing where every feature and function can be found within the same platform.

These software and technology tools help automate repetitive and otherwise manual marketing tasks, like email campaigns, social media posts, lead scoring, and customer segmentation. Marketing automation can help you streamline your marketing initiatives, save time, and improve efficiency by automating routine tasks and workflows. Through its plethora of tools, marketing automation can help you to generate more leads, as well as nurture them through personalised messages and lead progress tracking. This can result in an increase in sales and improved customer satisfaction.

Here are some software that offer a range of capabilities for lead management, email marketing, landing page creation, social media marketing, and marketing analytics:

  • Marketo is a leading marketing automation platform that help you streamline and optimise your marketing efforts, through a plethora of features including lead management, email marketing, campaign management, customer engagement, and analytics.
  • HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform that provides a suite of tools and services to help businesses attract, engage, and delight customers through a range of integrated tools and features that cover various aspects of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM.
  • Pardot (owned by Salesforce) is a marketing automation platform specifically designed for B2B marketers. It offers a comprehensive set of features and tools to help B2B marketers automate their marketing processes, nurture leads, and drive more effective marketing campaigns.
  • Oracle Eloqua is also a platform designed for B2B digital marketing strategies, offering a wide range of features and capabilities to help automate marketing processes, engage with target audiences, and drive effective marketing campaigns.

Effective use of MarTech

Now that you know the types of MarTech and their benefits, you might think it looks good on paper (or, in this case, on the screen). But how does it look like in practice?

To answer this question, let’s look at some B2B companies that have successfully managed to convert leads by building an effective MarTech stack and utilising it properly:

  • Autodesk, a software company that develops 3D design and engineering software, uses email marketing to stay in touch with customers and prospects. They send out a variety of emails, including product updates, sales pitches, and customer support information. Through their successful email marketing campaigns, the company has seen a significant increase in customer satisfaction and retention.
  • John Lewis, a UK-based department store chain that sells various types of products, uses web analytics to track the performance of their website and marketing campaigns. The company uses this data to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges, such as identifying that a large number of website visitors were searching for specific products. They then used this information to improve their search engine optimization (SEO), which ultimately resulted in an increase in website traffic and sales.
  • Adobe, the popular software company that provides creative, marketing, document, and experience solutions, uses social listening and monitoring to identify opportunities to improve its products and services, as well as to identify potential customers. This way, they recently identified a trend of customers complaining about the difficulty of using its Creative Cloud software. So, they used this information to create a new tutorial that showed customers how to do it. As a result, they saw a significant decrease in customer complaints.
  • Electronic Arts, the video game company also known as EA, used Optimizely to personalise their website for different types of gamers. For example, they showed different game recommendations to visitors who had previously played specific games, and they displayed different content to new and uninitiated visitors. As a result of using Optimizely personalisation, they saw a 40% increase in conversion rate.
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global information technology services and consulting company, uses a CMS to manage its website and other digital assets. The CMS allows TCS to easily create, update, and manage content without the need for specialised technical skills. This helped the company improve its website’s SEO, which has resulted in increased traffic. Moreover, the CMS has also made it easier for TCS to create content and manage its social media presence, which has helped the company to connect with potential customers and partners.

In conclusion

The importance of MarTech in B2B digital marketing strategies cannot be overstated. The exponential growth of MarTech reflects the increasing importance of digital marketing and the need for businesses to leverage technology to enhance their efforts. As we’ve seen, some of the benefits of MarTech for B2B companies include better data management, personalisation and increased customer engagement, as well as easier multi-channel marketing. A good MarTech stack can significantly impact digital marketing campaigns by improving efficiency, engagement, conversions, and ROI in B2B marketing. Ultimately, implementing the right MarTech stack can provide a significant competitive edge in B2B marketing by enhancing the marketing funnel, sales cycles, and nurturing strategies to convert potential customers.

Work with us

Websites are a vital part of a successful marketing strategy: they are the place where all your potential customers or clients are funnelled and converted. Some websites offer a truly immersive user experience, with their easy navigation, live chats, up-to-date information, and personalised content.

To create websites with features like these, you need to have all your technology harmoniously working together. This entails integrating your MarTech into your website, which can help you track your visitors’ behaviour and understand their interests. By developing a website informed by your users’ preferences you’ll successfully appeal to your target audience, which should ultimately provide you with a competitive advantage and an increased ROI.

So whether you are already using MarTech or are thinking of doing it, one thing is for sure – your marketing software needs to be integrated into your website.

This is where we come in.

Dusted is a specialist strategic branding, activation and digital agency. We work with some of the most ambitious, innovative and game-changing businesses in the world, blending strategy, creativity and technology to solve their branding and multi-channel activation challenges. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you assess your current MarTech stack and, most importantly, decipher the data and insight it generates.