What technology are you looking to add to your tech stack? | Original Research


We spoke with 100 marketing leaders and asked "What technology are you looking to add to your tech stack?" In this roundtable discussion Benji, James, Dan, and Logan breakdown the findings.  

Discussed in this episode: 

  • Top Marketing Automation Softwares
  • Tools don't solve strategy problems
  • Video as a way to keep automation more human 


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Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is B two B growth. Welcome in everybody. James and Dan are here with me and we like to think of ourselves as your Nerdy B Two b marketing friends here to break down some original research for you today. So, if you're new to this, we asked a hundred B two B marketing leaders fifteen questions and we have been breaking down the findings on these original research episodes. Last week I actually went back through and I tagged all of our original research episodes so they're easier to find in the feed. You can scroll back through, you can check those out. Today we want to talk through the tech stack and tech can be one of those things. It will skyrocket your productivity, it will help you communicate more effectively with clients, it can automate systems, all that sort of stuff, but it can also give you a headache and it can be a pain to figure out how to implement learning new tools. And so we asked a hundred of these marketing leaders what technology are you looking to add to your tech stack? And we're gonna talk about that today. And I like this question because it showed some areas of focus, like desired growth and I think it's gonna give us some insights, give you some insights to walk away with, and we'll break that down over the next few minutes. James, I'M gonna throw it to you first here, because sweet fish has seen a bunch of growth over the last few years. So there's obviously key tech editions that we've had to add. As you think of what we've implemented for our team and our tech stack, anything that instantly boosted our productivity that sticks out to you that's been crucial to our work? Yeah, so two tools come to mind. One I think about our transition away from Treloh into a sauna. It just gave us a much cleaner way to actually action items that we were talking about in team meetings and put dates on them, and it was organized in such a way where I noticed almost instant our productivity going up and we started using a Sanna as opposed to at least the way we were using cello. There's probably some trailo masters out there that have figured out how to manipulate Trailo to make it work for them, but for us, you know, we're managing about a hundred different clients. Got A thirty five person team and I felt like we had just grown past what trailo could do for us, and so that move over to a sauna was incredibly helpful and also helped from a production workflow. So just the episodes that were producing. Again, a hundred different shows that we're producing, ten different producers, to streamline the process of how an episode gets produced, just found that Assana was way better. And then on the marketing front, going really going all in with Hubspot, I think helped us a ton. We're managing all of our de like how our deals flow through our pipeline. Their dashboards are, I think, pretty incredible. So I've gotten a lot of value out of those two tools. A Sanna on Hubspot. So, Dan, on the marketing front of side of things. I Know James has been here since the beginning, but you, when you came on the team, you're more focused on marketing. Is there anything we've added to our tech deck in your time here that you're like, oh, this was super crucial for us. Dude, when I started we were using hubspot and then I took us away from hubspot and then we went back to hubspot. So what I realized is that we really needed hubspot, the hubs. Hubspot does the Best B two B. It's just that I was still new to be to be and I didn't realize how freaking good hubspot it was dealing with the B Two b environment than than it was or than I had previously come known from B to c on the hubspot was just overpriced and what it could do, and then I realized, oh no, there's way more under the hood and a B Two b situation that makes hubspot totally worth it. Yeah, yeah, it's interesting when we were looking at the findings what people said. So I'll just going to some of the results from asking this question. Marketing Automation tools is definitely the most popular answer. That was stated over and over again by these marketing leaders. And then other...

...answers, if you're just bucketing them, which I like doing that to try to give us themes, attribution, crm and then video, which we were talking before we hit record on this, and video. You might not immediately go tech stack when you think of video, but instead you're thinking of like your content creation suite and that video is clearly a huge part of that in today's, you know, marketing landscape. So you it does make sense it just when I first saw that as the results, like Oh, that's interesting. So I'm I might be the only one, but I did need some clarity around the difference between marketing automation tools and a CRM so I'm like preparing for this and actually just like googled I came across the Business News daily. They had this as the differentiator. They say customer relationship management. So crm software and marketing automation software serve different purposes. The main difference between crm software and marketing automation software is that the CRM software is used primarily for sales purposes and marketing automation is used sleep for marketing. So there's some like cross over there, especially when you depending on the type of team, you structure, you sit in, you might be using very similar tools. But that's the differentiator. Dan, I thought it would be good for us to talk through first why marketing automation is so important and then maybe take us through some of the top marketing automation tools. Could we do that? Absolutely. Marketing Automation is important because it allows you to extend all the things that you want to do in the sequence that you would actually would want them want to do it in and I became very aware of my need for this thing even before it was even called marketing automation. I was twenty four and somebody had finally given this kid a break and let me take over a brand that nobody cared about. It was like the JV girls volleyball team, like nobody cared about it. No one gave it time or resources, and they're like here, Dan, you could do something with this brand. I was like yes, I'm going to freaking crush it. and Um, as a team of one, it was a struggle. I had email to send, some social posts like two thousand ten, like facebook pages were becoming a thing. I was sending out direct mail. People were coming to the website and asking for information. I just didn't have a way to really organize at all and even follow up with the people that were like begging for more information. Then I discovered marketing animation, and it's one of many discoveries I had that year, but one of the big pieces was how to just create a simple sequence so that every time someone went to the website requested a brochure, it would kick off the simplest sequence of Oh, send it to the mailing house to send them a brochure right internal fulfillment. Send that person an email saying, hey, here's the basic information you probably are based on the most frequently asked questions we get in the call center that you probably want to know, and then a drip sequence of next most likely questions they're going to ask sent to them. So I know, hey, they're being nurtured in a relatively kind of simple manner, but back then was revolutionaries. There's less emails I had to send them follow up with people. It's almost like you could ask yourself, what would we like to have happened here if we had an unlimited amount of time and energy to do all this stuff we wish we could do? That's what you can do with marketing automation is to make sure the right things are actually happening at the right time and the way you would like them to happen. And of course there's limitations with it and every software has its own limitations of things that can or can't do. So you kind of have to build around what these programs are actually able of doing, because, even though you'd like to go personal with everyone you know, some make it easier to do that than others. Some of my favorite software programs that I've looked at and some of them my views, but others I've just heard about a lot from others, is, of course, number one's hubspot. I think everybody knows the hubspot kind of rules the marketing automation game. But then right behind it is salesforce with marketing cloud and part DOTS. There two solutions. There's Marcato, very popular in the B two B space. I don't know why, but people like it, I guess, the time, and then for smaller B two B companies, active campaign and infusion software definitely still in the mixes being really popular. And a little shout out to mail chimp, though I don't really...

...you could call that marketing automation, but it's there. I guess it's okay. It's interesting on the mail chimp side, which is funny because we're like talking about mail chimp last last time too, but they are expanding and it's interesting to watch like what they're adding, because they were really niche and now I'll continue to watch where they go from here, but it does feel like they're going down the marketing automation track a little bit more now. They've got that into it, money they got acquired by into it a couple of years ago and and now they got that big company money to to dump into their products for the big boy energy. Yeah, yeah, for sure. They're all over that now. They're just what can we spend money on? How can we grow? Absolutely I was watching the NFL week. One of the NFL happened two days ago and uh, I'm seeing into it mail, chimp ads and so I thought, okay, that's that's that big boy money. You got that into it cash dropping it on TV commercials. Well, I think it's fascinating. Again ago. Okay, so marketing automation tools. It makes sense why we'd be looking into that to add our tech stack attribution crm. When we we flip from just findings two recommendations, James, as you hear all this and we're walking through it, anything that first jumps out at you? Yeah, I think for me it's, you know, marketing teams need to be looking for ways to save time on on the tasks that are going to drive pipeline. We've seen in this research from different questions that pipeline is ultimately what marketers are are measured on and so I think thinking about your tools in such a way that, you know what allows me to focus as much energy as I can on driving pipeline, as much creative energy. So for us, you know, it's a sauna, it's hubspot. There are a few other tools, but I think marketing teams can get really Geeky when it comes to like putting together a tech stack, and at the end of the day what you're trying to do is is be as efficient as possible so you can focus all of your creative energy on how you can drive pipeline for the business. Yep, and piggybacking off of that, I think video becomes like it's so important and we talk about it and like we specifically are like nonstop on the video train right now. But it's interesting because even our evolution, like I look, when I came onto the team back in November, we're a podcasting agency. We were not really utilizing video in any meaningful way, especially on Linkedin, and so it's like we want to have these ways where we can communicate our message effectively in a personal way and we want to do that not I don't have to rerecord over and over and over again right like I want to distribute this content well. So thinking through strategically, how do we get our message into the market, how do we do it effectively and how do we save time while doing it? To me, that's been the evolution from basically over the last ten or so months that I've been on the team, is how we think about video and how it can actually like you could put that in your automated sequences and it could add a personal touch and there's there's so many elements to putting video into your marketing automation. That is incredible. And then obviously it's a great social tool and and all the things there. But that's what came to my mind initially as I'm looking at these like you can partner video with marketing automation, with it with the other things that were kind of in that list. Dan, how about you, man? Do you find that marketing automation like critical for scaling your marketing efforts, but it doesn't substitute for your marketing? No, how like you just can't get a Marcato or an infusion software hubspot and expect to be good at it right away. Right. It's like it's like downloading photoshop and being being able to like make something beautiful with it. Yeah, there's kind of a skill involved. We're getting some landing page dragon drop software and thinking you can just from a template make a landing page that can convert the traffic over um at a high percentage. They're skills involved and how to use these automation tools...

...and it's not easy to come by, because even the people who are great at marketing ops don't necessarily have the marketing chops in order to know what emails need to go where. And then the copywriters who know how to write good emails or right good content sometimes struggle with you. But what's possible with the how you can craft their journey and these marketing automation tools. So it's kind of a diverse skill set you need to even be successful with them, which is why are the people that are good at it are kind of rare and well worth the money you can invest with them, because it's a strong Nix of technical knowledge of what's possible here and then how to actually use it to create a journey that's, you know, worthwhile. B Two B growth will be right back. There are a lot of questions on marketers minds right now and analyzing the latest trends can be a full time job in itself. Can, then, a r filter really improve brand awareness? Why are streaming ads so allowed? What do viewers really think about shoppable ads? Marketing Group does the hard work for you, dropping a quick to read free newsletter in your inbox every weekday, covering essential topics from influencers and advertising to social media and more. Marketing Group never misses a beat. Get The answers you've been looking for, along with the ones you haven't even thought of yet. Upgrade your game alongside a growing community of over two hundred and sixty five thousand marketing professionals. Check it out by clicking the link in our show notes right now. So it's kind of a diverse skill set you need to even be successful with them, which is why are the people that are good at it are kind of rare and well worth the money you can invest with them, because it's a strong Nix of technical knowledge of what's possible here and then how to actually use it to create a journey that's, you know, worthwhile. And you're also balancing like what do we want to tell them with? What do they want to hear? What do they actually know already. That's such like when we talk about being personal in your marketing. Its success can sound fluffy, but that's where they start to meet, right where it's like, okay, we want to tell this message to the market. But also they might not be educated, they might like there's a million things that they might have questions on that we think they already know. So having someone that can put themselves as a marketer in their shoes of the person that you're trying to educate that skill is is extremely, extremely important, James, for you on video specifically, as we I know, we have like made a concerted effort in the last I'd say a few months to be just like heavy there. Talk a little bit about that and why you've just been like okay, we have to we have to go all in on video and like some of the strategy, if you would. Yeah, so I went to lunch, I don't know, I guess it was a couple of months ago now, with my friend Todd Klauser, and it was after he had really started to blow up on Tiktok and on on Linkedin. We've been friends since he was at, I think, customer gauge prior to joining refined labs and he wasn't really doing a lot of video back when he was a customer gauge and then gets to refined labs starts doing a ton of video on both Tiktok and Linkedin, and I had already met up with todd, I think, a couple of times at that point. We were we were friends, and I remember showing up and seeing him at lunch, this guy that I've already I'm already friends with, and I remember the feeling that I had like I was meeting with the celebrity because I was seeing him show up in my feed both on Tiktok and linkedin every day for the last like several months since we had met for lunch prior to that, and it's something clicked in my mind at that point. I was like we have to start taking video serious because if you can build that kind of affinity just by putting yourself on camera and showing up in an intimate spot like someone's feed in a social platform that they use every single day.

And I've heard a lot about the psychology behind like particularly with Tiktok, because it takes up the the entire screen when you're watching a tiktok video. It's like your whole phone is consumed with this person's face talking to you, and so the intimacy that comes from that is real. And I just remember sitting across the table at my favorite pizza spot with todd going, oh my gosh, I'm getting to I'm getting to have lunch with Todd Klauser, and it's like, wait, a minute, I'm already friends with this guy. What do I think? Like? But because he has mastered video, he's been able to build affinity like he has done with me, somebody who's already his friend, with thousands of other people that have never had the opportunity to actually become friends with him feel like they are his friend. And so that, Aha, really drove me to saying we have to start doing video much more consistently. So we started really nailing down, like what are our pillar pieces of content going to be? What are the series gonna be? BTB, growth, original research, the journey, the Echo Chamber, and we just need to be scheduling these recordings on a regular basis so that we can pull clips from our pillar content that goes to our podcast and use it on social for our video strategy. And I noticed it whenever I went to Dallas a few weeks ago for podcast movement. I had multiple people come up to me and call me out and like Oh, hey, James, SAMs, James. And it's not like it happened everywhere. I'm not pretending like I'm I'm I've reached any sort of even micro celebrity status, but I don't think that those few people would have sought me out and and found me across the hall at the conference if I hadn't started getting really aggressive with video for the months leading up to that event. So I've I've seen it work and I'm convinced that even though the you know, I'll put up a video and it gets twenty five likes and I'm like a man. I could do a text post and get a hundred and fifteen likes on that same post, but I can't build the kind affinity that I can getting, you know, a thousand views and twenty five likes on a linkedin video. So I know that, like my pride and my ego has to get set to the side for actual business results and an actual affinity building. You know what's interesting on that too, is videos so underrated because you can sit behind and type for as as long as you want and get your wording all right, but then when someone meets you in person, if you're you can't actually hold like good back and forth. It's it's interesting to watch that dynamic versus. If you choose to get good on video, granted you don't have to go live right so you can be editing, but you you see what you come off like and you're able to tweak things and change and your vocabulary grows even like hosting podcasts now for five years. Like the way I say things or how I think about what I'm gonna say is vastly different, and so if you want to get better at messaging and how you word things, trying to talk it out is a really valuable way of trying to figure out do I communicate my message effectively? And then on the todd closser thing, I have to tell you, James, this is kind of funny because watching his evolution over the last few months, where he's like todd to me is the funny guy. He's like I go to Linkedin and he's he's funny and I watched so many of his videos on silent for a while where it's just like either subtitles on the screen or whatever. I check in now and then then, like time goes by and all of a sudden, like the last month or so, I'm like wait, todd serious, he's serious todd now and he's like actually dropping bombs. Yeah, it's great content, but you gotta have both sides of Todd. We need to make sure that he keeps the funny side very active, because everybody loves loves that as well. I just thought it was funny. If you're listening here here, Benji, bring back the funny. We don't have to say goodbye the serious todd, but we need some funny todd in our lives. Exactly, exactly. Okay, Dan, one thing on the list was also just talking through just not relying solely on marketing attribution software. So...

...can you just talk us through anything else here that you you thought stood out to you on on the attribution side? The attribution side is interesting because when I saw that, that's like it's one of the top pieces of marketing tech that marketers are looking to acquire so they can be more data driven. It just kind of makes me smile and hanging my head a little bit it's such there's such a strong narrative to be data driven. Yet marketing attribution software only gives you one piece of the puzzle that you need to tell like a complete story about what's going on, and even then I don't think you can actually get the full story. It's like, you know, trying to read tea leaves in order to tell the future and your your cup. Here marketing attribution just gives you one tiny little snippet. Is it worth it? Yes, it's more than nothing. So I like what attribution software can tell me. I'm like the naysayers now are going against that narrative and saying it can't tell you anything. Oh, I could tell you something. You can tell me which of my paper Click advertisements are working the best. It can tell me which SCO efforts to spend more time on. It can tell me how well my SMS and email marketing campaigns are going. You can tell me a lot, but it only tells me one piece of the story. It doesn't make up for what I call like the three pronged like attack you can do to try to understand what the customer journey is actually like, because the other two big pieces of it are are you actually just talking to your customers, like you having conversations with them and asking them what their journey was, and then are you just putting it into surveys and asking them like hey, how did you hear about us? And leaving an open field probably the easiest thing you could do, and it's on your demo farm or your consultation farm. How did you hear about us? Leave him a blank field and just let them tell you. A lot of them remember. Let them tell you, and then you can kind of triangulate between marketing, attribution surveys and Gen them just getting it straight from their mouth, you can kind of get a better picture of what's going on. So I'm happy that people are going after it, but I'm also kind of scared that it becomes the one leg of the stool that they just rest on. They're just gonna fall over on it. Though, Dan and and Benji, one of the things that I saw in this research there are some marketers that we surveyed that said that they wish a tool existed that wasn't on the market. So there's things like a tool to help with creating a fan base, a way to keep in touch with dead leads that doesn't feel automated and and and instead feels human, something that you know, utilizes personal SMS, a a B M tool that helps you do personal a B M, opposed to personalized a b m. and when I saw that stuff come back in the research, I just thought, well, no, Dubh like, that's your job as the marketer, like you were probably compensated very well to be a great copywriter and to write copy that doesn't sound like a robot wrote it and that does sound more human. A tool with helping create a fan base. Oh, man, like, that's that's why they hired a marketer, like there's so much that goes in to creating, you know, creating a fan base, creating affinity. It's creativity, it's outside the box thinking. A tech stack is it almost feels silly to have to say this out loud, but a tech stack is not going to solve that problem. And, man, if it did, then I don't know, like that that tool would be worth billions of dollars in about six seconds. But that's to me. What's so invigorating about being a marketer is getting to think through these things and figure this stuff out so that you can drive pipeline for your organization. Instead of, you know, just hoping that there's gonna be some tool out there to save the day, we should just had a tool that did my job. That's what I hear. I don't want to do anything. Yes, I mean, that's it right, because the tech stack needs to make us more efficient. It should help us get some of our time back when it's doing it what it should do right, like, if we're gonna add a tool make me more efficient, give me some extra time to then do exactly what you said, James, be more creative, be in a a headspace where I can think through strategy, through high...

...level things that are going to push the organization forward. And, uh, they actually like allow me to do what I'm best at, you know. So don't take away my job, don't take away my job, but but allow me to do it to the best that I possibly can. And Uh, I love this episode. I think it's such a fascinating question because it's like, well, what are we gonna hear? You know, I think when you just hear the question on its own, what tech tool are you looking to add, you might not think of all the implications, but I think there's so many things we could we could highlight, and you guys did a great job of highlighting some of those today. So Hey, if you haven't listened to all the original research episodes, go back find them in the feed again. I did tag them, so you can see him now clearly in the B two B growth feed. If you haven't followed the show yet, go ahead and do that and then connect with Dan James and myself over on Linkedin. We're sharing some of these clips, this content over there and we also want to have conversations around marketing and business and life, so I would love to connect that way. We'll be back real soon with another episode. Thanks for listening, everybody. If you enjoy today's show, hit subscribe for more marketing goodness, and if you really enjoyed today's show, take a second to rate and review the podcast on the platform you're listening to it on right now. If you really really enjoyed this episode, share the love by texting you to a friend who would find it insightful. Thanks for listening and thanks for sharing.

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