There was a time when operating an in-house marketing team was an activity reserved for massive companies. Marketing budgets, staff, and strategies required millions of dollars to keep afloat.
Two decades into the 21st century, things have changed. Technology has streamlined and even cut out the need for many traditional marketing activities. Online marketing, in particular, has made an affordable and effective promotional world accessible to many SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses.)
If you’re considering bringing your marketing in-house, though, you want to make sure that you set the stage before you make the switch. Here is some of the most important software that any modestly scaled in-house team will want in its tech stack to operate productively.
1. Communication Tech
One of the biggest upsides to an in-house marketing team is the communication factor. Removing a third-party agency can simplify your marketing communication and make it more efficient.
Marc Anidjar, partner at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, highlights “cutting out the middle man” as a critical part of his firm’s streamlined, in-house marketing efforts. Anidjar explains that “An in-house marketing team enables the firm to be nimbler and make quicker, more effective decisions.”
The business owner goes on to explain that removing the middle man enables his team to create relationships directly with advertisers. However, he also highlights that it added new costs in the manner of having to manage their own accounts.
In order to keep these additional costs at a minimum, it’s important that you utilize technology. Whether that comes in the form of emails, phone calls, video chats, or any other communication channel, you want to set clear guidelines for your marketing communication.
This should be codified both for internal and external marketing interactions. Smooth, effective communication is ground zero for in-house marketing staff to manage its various advertising accounts.
2. Collaboration Tech
There are many facets to modern in-house marketing. SMBs and larger corporations alike must learn to organize and streamline their marketing activities if they want an in-house effort to be effective.
One of the best ways to do this is to find technologies that can bring a multi-pronged marketing activity into a single location. A DSP (demand side platform) is a great way to unify a critical marketing activity: buying and managing marketing inventory.
A DSP provides a single interface where you can formulaically purchase, scale, and optimize advertisements. The ability to do this in a single location can save your in-house team endless hours spent moving from one advertiser to the next. It can also help them maintain greater consistency throughout marketing campaigns.
3. Creativity Tech
The creative side of a marketing campaign is rife with an endless procession of various creative tech tools. Most of the creativity-driven applications you need will vary depending on the size and scope of your marketing strategy. For instance, a small, regional business can create a local ad for their Facebook page using a free content creator like Canva or Picmonkey.
However, a larger company will likely need to utilize a more comprehensive CMP (creative management platform) software throughout its creative efforts. A CMP is a powerful tool that integrates many aspects of content creation into a single platform.
CMP provider Bannerflow describes its platform as one that enables “small, in-house teams to produce complex digital campaigns, for multiple markets.” The goal with a quality CMP is to go beyond the mere creation of the content. The program should also integrate the rest of the process into the mix as well.
In other words, if you’re creating a banner for your marketing, your CMP should help you through the entire workflow process for the campaign. You should be able to use the single tool to create, personalize, optimize, and distribute the piece of marketing collateral.
Whether you’re utilizing smaller tools or larger CMPs, you want to have the right creative tools in place. This will enable your in-house team to produce internal content that is consistent and effective.
4. Data and Analytics Tech
Data is a key component of modern marketing. You want to collect and analyze data as you operate. This can help you perfect future marketing efforts and maximize your ROI.
Many CRM (customer relationship management) platforms can provide some of these key insights. However, you also want to consider setting up a CDP (customer data platform).
A CDP can aggregate customer information from across your organization in a more marketing-focused manner. A CRM manages limited, manually input customer data. A CDP goes further by gathering data from across the various customer touchpoints in your company. From there, it organizes it in a manner that yields critical marketing information.
Along with a good CDP, you also want a solid EOP (experience optimization platform.) An EOP considers a customer’s interactions across the entire marketing experience. It can implement testing and personalization tools that can perfect your marketing efforts over time.
In-house marketing has many impressive advantages. It can cut costs, improve creativity, promote transparency, and solidify your brand’s messaging. However, if you bring your marketing in-house, you want to do it the right way.
Make sure you build a tech stack that is personalized to your company’s specific marketing needs. Use your tech to streamline time-soaking activities and fill employee skill gaps. If you can create a robust in-house marketing team that is equipped with the best MarTech for your needs, you can truly tap into all of the benefits of in-house marketing.