Marketing Technology

The use of technology to support marketing activity has boomed in the last 10 years. In this article we walk through the choices of technology which can support your business goals. We discuss where CRM fits in and a simple way for you to define your marketing technology requirements.

Marketing Technology

In today’s marketing world, you face a growing choice of marketing  technology (martech) services which promise to change the way you market to your consumers.  The need to be tech savvy is growing for those who work in marketing. In the past, marketers likely only talked to IT teams when they forgot a password or needed a new laptop. But now in many businesses marketers and IT teams work hand in hand on a daily basis. 

Marketing technology tools are designed to make life simpler for marketers to market. They automate difficult, time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks.

While the Marketing and technology teams have to work closely to set such systems up, the end goal of martech should be to remove or significantly reduce the need for IT involvement.

Ten years ago, there were less than 100 martech suppliers and now the number is over 7,000 companies working in this space. 

Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2019): Martech 5000 (actually 7,040)

The Martech annual landscape survey identifies 39 groups of technology solutions for marketing.

We believe these 39 groups can be further grouped into these four key areas.

One to one interactions with the customer

  • Email Marketing
  • Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM)
  • Identity Management
  • Community and Reviews
  • Customer Service
  • Feedback and Chat
  • Advocacy, Loyalty & Referrals
  • Lead Management
  • Interactive content
  • Mobile apps



  • Call analytics and Management
  • Audience / Market Data
  • Data enhancement programs
  • Marketing Analytics, Performance and Attribution
  • Mobile and Web Analytics
  • Dashboards and Data Visualisation
  • Business / customer intelligence and data science
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Tag Management
  • Customer Data Platforms
Table with laptops and marketing technology

Media and advertising

  • Events, meetings and webinars
  • Influencers
  • Social Media Marketing & Monitoring
  • Mobile marketing
  • Display and programmatic
  • Search & Social Advertising
  • Native / content advertising
  • Video advertising / marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • DMP
  • SEO


Enabling and optimising systems

  • AI and Machine Learning
  • CMS and Web Experience
  • Marketing Automation
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Asset Approval Systems
  • Optimisation, Personalisation and Testing
  • iPaaS
  • Cloud/data integration,

One to one interactions with the customer 

Marketing technology has changed the way consumers interact with brands. From scanning your own groceries, to paying bills online, access to the internet has made life easier for consumers. You can now complete many mundane and administrative tasks without the need to engage a ‘real’ person.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t cases where interaction with a ‘real’ person isn’t required. But it does mean for day to day tasks, customers can complete them quicker and with less fuss through using online systems.

This reduces the need for large customer service teams in many businesses. It means the customer service teams who remain are more skilled. They only need to get involved with more difficult topics. 

Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM)

Behind these automated interactions is the concept of Customer Relationship Marketing. Customer Relationship Management is a way of organising how your business interacts with its customers. The ability to do Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) is one of the most important benefits that digital marketing can offer your business. Key benefits include

  • You can connect directly with a consumer rather than via a third party
  • You can keep a track of those interactions so you have a customer view history
  • It is usually scaleable because it is largely automated.

A key requirement for any CRM system is the ability to manage data about the customer. To be able to store the data securely and safely. To make the data accessible by systems and people as required. All this has to be done within the rules around data privacy and anti spam laws. We cover these areas in our article on digital data and insight. 

There are three key areas where your CRM system can have a major impact on your digital marketing. These relate back to the three key external goals we set up in our introduction to digital marketing – Reach, engage and sell.

CRM and Reach

Whenever you place a digital media advert, it is possible to create and insert a piece of code into the advert which sends you a ‘signal’ when that code is activated. This system is called ‘tagging’ and is run through a system like Google Tag Manager

This ‘tag’ lets you identify consumers by their behaviours so that you can start to re-target them. So for example, if two people watch your ad, and one clicks on the ad and another one doesn’t, you can serve a follow-up ad to the one who clicked with a different message.

On your website, you can also set up cookies that track where a website visitor goes and enable you to separate out consumers by their online behaviours.

The intent of these tracking systems is to generate insights for your media planning. Rather than blast all consumers with the same message, you can start to tailor and target specific consumers with the highest potential. And save yourself spending media money on consumers who don’t react to your ads. So, it’s a huge efficiency driver.

Tablet with gmail open

CRM and Engagement

You will see many websites (including our own) offer visitors the opportunity to sign up to receive notifications. This could be advance notice of promotions or new product launches. It could be informative or educational news not available elsewhere. These registrations can be very valuable since they tend to be your most interested or loyal consumers. And they have given you permission to contact them.

This channel is extremely cost efficient if you can generate a large enough mailing list. It only costs you the time to create the email. Many systems now automate the emails, so for example you can write an email welcoming people when they sign up to the service, but have it automatically sent everytime someone registers. 

There are many of these automated email systems and it’s a competitive market. Below are three of the most well-known systems to get you started with your research in this area if you don’t already have an email registration system set up. 


Convert Kit


CRM and Sales

If you have set up your own online store then CRM systems can be a powerful way to deepen the relationship with your brand. Along with your contact data, you will also have purchase data about each customer who buys from you. 

So, you can start to identify groups of buyers based on similar behaviours. And develop marketing campaigns around those behaviours. Maybe there are some consumers who only buy at certain times of the month or year? If you understand what that is, you can develop marketing programmes to get them to buy more often. 

If you know that some consumers always buy ‘extras’, then you can start making offers to bundle these complementary products together to drive more sales. 

And if in the worst case, someone has just stopped buying from you, you can send them an offer to try and tempt them back. Although if you haven’t heard back from a customer for a while, it’s usually best to have a bit of a spring clean of dormant accounts. 

Qualitative research- two people talking over coffee

Defining your Marketing Technology requirements

It can sometimes feel that IT people and marketing people speak different languages. But when it comes to defining your martech requirements, we’ve found the concept of a “User story” very useful. The User Story comes from IT but it bears a similar structure to the concept of a “positioning statement” from the world of marketing. So we’d recommend using this structure when building out your martech requirements. 

It follows a very simple format. As a (USER), I want to (NEED), so that I can (BENEFIT).

IT definition of a user story

user story is a tool used in Agile software development to capture a description of a software feature from an end-user perspective. The user story describes the type of user, what they want and why. A user story helps to create a simplified description of a requirement.

Marketing definition of a user story 

A marketer would look at a user story like a positioning statement. It defines the (BENEFIT) from an end-user perspective (CONSUMER ORIENTATION). The user story describes the type of user (TARGET AUDIENCE), what they want and why (NEEDS/OUTCOMES). A user story helps to create a simplified description of a requirement. (GOAL OR MEASURE)

Example marketing technology user stories

We close off this section on marketing technology with some example user stories, In each case, we share the types of software solution and companies who offer these services. It is not a complete list by any means. Remember the format. As a (USER), I want to (NEED) so that I can (BENEFIT).

User Story 1

As an online media buyer, I want to focus my media spend on consumers showing the highest interest, so that I can increase media spend efficiency.

  • Technology and example providers : Data Management Platform (DMP) systems like Krux (Salesforce), Adobe Audience Manager and Sitecore.


User Story 2

As a Marketing Analyst, I want to have 24-7 access to live data on brand performance, so that I don’t have to waste time manually running reports.

  • Technology and example providers : Automated dashboards – Beckon, Tableau and Datorama


User Story 3

As a Brand Owner, I want to have 24-7 access to live data on brand performance, so that I am able to optimise campaigns and channels on a daily basis.

  • Technology and example providers : Automated dashboards like Beckon, Tableau and Datorama


User Story 4

As a Website Owner, I want to make it easy for website visitors to quickly buy from an online retailer, so that I increase the chances of a sale.

  • Technology and example provider : E-commerce – Market Track


User Story 5

As a Social Media channel owner, I want to analyse what consumers are saying about my brand, so that I can act if there is an issue or opportunity.

  • Technology and example providers – Social Listening tools like Meltwater, Radian 6 and Radarly


User Story 6

As a brand owner, I want to be able to easily create new content for my website, so that I drive engagement with my target audience.

  • Technology and example providers – Content Management like WordPress, Wix, Adobe Experience Manager and Sitecore


User Story 7

As a brand website owner, I want to monitor issues with the content of my site, so that I can ensure the quality of the experience of my website.

  • Technology and example providers – Automated Site monitoring like Siteimprove and Wordfence


User Story 8

As an website owner, I want to be able to contact consumers directly, so that I increase the frequency of contact without having to spend more media dollars.

  • Technology and example providers – Email CRM Adobe Campaign, Sitecore, Mailchimp, many others


User story 9

As an online store owner, I want to  be able to sell directly to my consumers, so that I don’t have to rely so much on retailers.

  • Technology and example providers – E-Commerce CMS like Shopify Scquare, World Pantry, Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, Magento


User Story 10

As an marketer, I want to have a Single View of a Customer across all marketing touchpoints, so that I can create more relevant and engaging experiences.

  • Technology and examples providers – 360 Database and Data Integration, Krux, Sprinklr, Exact Target, Adobe, Sitecore, Oracle

Three-brains and digital marketing

We have worked on many digital marketing projects and have good experience across all aspects of digital marketing. We know how to connect these expertise areas back into driving your brand marketing and growing your sales. 

If you want to know more about how we can support your digital marketing to grow your business  through our coaching and consulting services, click the button below to send us a message.

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