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Posted By:  ECT News Network on 04/16/2019 in Marketing

Marketers, It's Time to Demand an Assist From Your Tech

Marketers, It's Time to Demand an Assist From Your Tech

By Kyle Flaherty 

The role of e-commerce marketers seemingly changes every day.

The truth is that today's ecommerce marketer must vigilantly learn about the latest platforms, social and commerce; the latest marketing technology ("martech" for the cool kids); and, of course, stay ahead of how to delight their customers with every brand interaction.

Fortunately, my gig lets me talk to some of the top marketers in the business. These folks are with many brands you'd recognize, and others you soon will. Additionally, we have used surveys and data crunching to look at hundreds of marketers and how they succeed.

Sure, a lot of it is about staying on top of the trends in the industry -- from direct-to-consumer brands to Instagram checkout to new shipping logistics. But most importantly, marketers are always honing their skills and looking for the next, best advantage in the marketplace.

And here's the dirty little secret we found when doing our research: Most successful e-commerce marketers share three core skills. These allow them to move beyond traditional marketing-like campaign management and email marketing execution and instead focus on the entire customer experience -- from the first interaction to building true customer loyalty in the long term.

Now, it's time for the secret, and let's keep it between just us. Successful e-commerce marketers have figured out how to combine these three skillsets into one:

  • Marketing Technologist
  • Data Scientist
  • Brand Marketing Artist

Most teams in e-commerce don't have the resources to throw these titles onto three separate people, as we all know. So the great ones are figuring out how to learn these skills AND demand that the technology they implement works to assist and amplify each of these skills. Let's go through the three individually and discuss what you should look for in yourself and your technologies.

1. Become a Marketing Technologist

Transforming yourself into a marketing technologist doesn't mean hours and hours spent reviewing mundane data sheets and dry webinars. E-commerce marketers have a variety of resources at their disposal to sift through the thousands of available technologies by taking a customer-first perspective.

Instead of focusing on how a specific technology serves YOU, simply ask, how does it serve my customer? Does it make my message more personalized, targeted and relevant to the buyer? If yes, that should be a key indicator that it could help you as a marketer.

Of course, technology can be an overwhelming part of the role for many B2C marketers. As marketing becomes more and more reliant on technology, marketers have to be completely comfortable with evaluating, using and optimizing tech. While it's great to have options, the vast array of options today can also lead to analysis paralysis for many marketers.

How do you know what's right for your B2C brand? Simply follow these steps:

  • Align your marketing strategy: Understand what you're trying to do first, then select the technology that helps you accomplish it.
  • Make a shortlist: Read reviews, and get recommendations from colleagues, analysts, and experts to figure out the best options out there.
  • Make an informed decision: Do the research, take a demo, and really look at the technology in-depth before you commit.

2. Data Science Without Data Diving

Every marketer also has to think about data constantly. In fact, much of the technology you're using is likely focused on gathering, analyzing, and optimizing the customer experience according to the data.

Data has become a non-negotiable part of the B2C marketer's role. At the same time, data has also become harder than ever for marketers to really dig into. The explosion of marketing technology, channels and devices makes it ever more complicated to access and analyze data.

That's why marketers today need an assist. You need help not only pulling together all your data but also surfacing the most important metrics that will impact your business. Toward that end, you need to:

  • Have access to all of your customer and prospect data: Your customer data must be unified within a platform like a B2C CRM in order for you to use it effectively.
  • Extract key insights from the data: Find the right metrics to guide all your marketing campaigns and make sure you're living in a world of assisted marketing.
  • Optimize your campaigns for ROI: Start creating campaigns that deliver more value immediately.

Seems tough, right? But if you secure the above you'll be a full-fledged data scientist, just without the degree.

3. Paint the Brand Experience

Technology and data are all well and good, but they're nothing without the creativity and skill of you, the marketer. We're all still human, after all, and human beings still respond to the funny, the original, and the surprising in marketing.

Even if you have the best tech stack and can perfectly A/B test and optimize everything, you still have to come up with a creative campaign to catch your buyers' attention.

This is why marketing will always be an artistic and creative role. Even when it comes to AI and more advanced technology, humans still guide the data inputs and influence the end results. You're selling your products to humans, and your human creativity can have a huge impact on how your marketing is perceived.

With the right mix of creativity along with the right technology and data, you can power serious marketing growth.

About the Author
Kyle Flaherty is CMO at Zaius, where they love marketers...no, seriously. Zaius has a B2C CRM that has a built-in marketing assistant driven by data science. Go say hi to Zam and imagine the possibilities.

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