Innovation is key.
In the age we live in, you cannot simply stick to old technologies or methods and never change. There’s a reason we have new products, technologies, companies emerging every single day. They are here (not all of them) to help make our lives and jobs a little easier.
In the world of marketing, there are at least 10 tools coming out every week that are supposed to make your marketing efforts easier. Just browse Product Hunt and you’ll find an array of marketing tools with crisp logos just ready to help you grow that mystical marketing funnel.
I’m not saying you need to adopt every new marketing technology that comes out. By all means, use what works for you and your company. But don’t stifle growth by being “set in your ways” and refusing to learn something new. Just because you’ve used a technology stack for the last 10+ years that doesn’t mean you should stick with it.
That’s like saying I’ve been using the payphone down the street from my house for the last decade even though cell phones exist. I mean, if there’s a better, more efficient way to do something then please put down the quarters and do it.
The same goes for marketing tech. Just because you’ve used a hodgepodge of miscellaneous tech for your marketing efforts that doesn’t mean you have to stick with them.
Work smarter, not harder.
If you use multiple technologies for your marketing efforts you’re making your life more difficult than it needs to be.
Don’t make a Frankenstein.
We live in the age where we have all this amazing tech at our fingertips that can cut down the time it takes to ramp up, optimize, and edit marketing campaigns. So why do you have your marketing efforts spread amongst a stack of tech?
What are you getting at?
Call me crazy but I subscribe to the theory of a unified system for website management, marketing automation, marketing operations, tracking/reporting, and SEO.
Whoa, that’s insane, right?
It’s really not that wild of a concept.
I mean, you wouldn’t have your refrigerator in the kitchen, your stove upstairs, and your pantry in the garage, right? No, you wouldn’t. So why spread out your marketing amongst various tech stacks?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of folks who don’t subscribe to this theory. They spread their cooking tools, food, and appliances around the house. Sometimes around the neighborhood. I know because I’ve lived it.
Companies of all sizes should have their marketing efforts live in one platform. In this case, I’m talking about HubSpot. I am not a paid spokesperson for HubSpot, just a 4-year user of the product. I’ve seen the product change trifold in just the last year and a half so I can be the first to tell you the shitty and not so shitty parts of HubSpot.
HubSpot allows everything marketing touches to live in one place.
It’s not. It’s actually really friggin’ smart.
You save an immense about of time and energy by having everything live within the same platform.
What pieces should live in the same space?
Again, I say, to efficiently run any and all marketing efforts you should have your website, your marketing automation, marketing operations, tracking, reporting, and SEO efforts under the same roof.
Because they all go hand-in-hand.
Let’s dive in.
When you build your website you should build it with the marketing components in mind. Your call-to-action buttons, forms, h1s, and so forth should all be tracked and measured in your marketing dashboard. It’s the only way you can say with certainty if something is working or not. So if you ever need to redesign a page (or the whole site) your metrics are there to back it up or tell you hey don’t do that everything is fine on that page.
This methodology is exactly where the concept “marketing operations” came from. The purpose of marketing operations is to increase marketing efficiency and organizational agility. Marketing ops as we industry folks like to call it, derived from the invention of stronger marketing technology and increased pressure from the C-suite to prove the value of marketing and contribute to the revenue. Oh, and it also helps demand gen efforts. That’s a different blog post though.
Most companies spend a lot of money on marketing. It’d be nice to have a proper way to show that spend and reach, right?
Cough cough use a dashboard cough cough
According to Wikipedia, marketing ops allows marketing organizations to shift from being viewed as a cost center to operating more like a business, with formalized best practices, processes, infrastructure, and reporting.
Let’s connect it all
As stated before, marketing automation should also be tied into your entire website.
What is marketing automation? Marketing automation exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Nothing like using the word to define the word eh?
Many marketing teams have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, etc. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier and more easily measured.
You should automate the experience each user has with the content. If Joan from XYZ Co. fills out a form on a landing page you want that data collected and automated all in one place. You don’t want to hunt down that data.
Automate the experience of a form being filled out to the email being sent to the person being added to a “marketing email” track.
What others do
Some people build their website on one platform (WordPress or Drupal or rely on static files) and then use something a la Marketo to create landing pages or email campaigns. But why? You’re doing more work and having to check more places for analytics, sources, and reporting. And usually, the Marketo pages don’t look like the website. And as a designer that breaks my soul.
If you build your website somewhere else, then make a landing page in Marketo and then push your contacts to a CRM— that’s three different places of possible reporting. And most likely, three different results. Then you have to figure out which metrics are right.
Imagine taking those metrics and compiling the data for your board deck. Oh man, god speed friend.
This is why you should have a consistent experience across each piece of marketing.
Here’s the blueprint I like to follow:
- Build your website in one place ( that includes landing pages, home page, and the blog)
- Connect and turn on the “marketing automation” components
- Measure said marketing operations
- Use this data to create dashboards and reports
- Optimize your site based on this data
- Rinse and repeat
Imagine if you have this in 3+ different platforms. You’ll be making spreadsheets until the cows, chickens, and pigs come home.
Throw in tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, etc and you’ve got another place to measure your efforts.
Here’s the dream path you should want to follow
Why I like HubSpot
HubSpot is rad. It’s also a pain in the ass sometimes too. A wise man once said, HubSpot can make easy things hard and hard things easy. But for marketing it makes your life a lot easier.
I recently made a deck to pitch HubSpot to a company so they would stop using a Frankenstein method.
Here’s one of the slides:
At the end of the day you’re going to do what you want to do. But if you want to work efficiently, create a process that will work as you scale and grow then you should consider an all-in-one solution, a la HubSpot.
Make your life easier where and when you can.
When it comes to marketing, change and innovation are good.
Side note: You should always utilize Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools and not take the HubSpot metrics as the law of the land. Google Analytics provides a checks and balances method if you will.