If given a choice between a moderate (1 percent to 20 percent) annual revenue growth or hyper-growth (greater than 41 percent) for your emerging company, which would you choose? Well, most would probably opt for hyper-growth.
What if you had data that showed the martech stack that companies plan to leverage to achieve those growth rates? The SiriusDecisions 2017 Global CMO Study asked almost 100 marketing leaders at under-$50-million companies “What systems and/or tools will you be investing in over the next two years?” Here are the results by tool category and annual growth rate:
Given their resource constraints, if an emerging company could only pick three tools to invest in over the next two years, the top three that achieve higher revenue growth (on the basis of the current annual growth rates of the companies responding to the survey) are:
- Customer advocacy management tools to support reputation activities
- Marketing automation platforms (MAP) to automate core marketing processes for reputation building, demand creation, sales enablement and customer lifecycle management
- Marketing resource management (MRM) tools to manage planning, budgeting, projects, assets and communications, and analytics
Within the category of reputation systems and tools, which are used to influence online perception about an entity such as a person, company, or brand, we found the following trends:
- Moderate-growth organizations. The most popular tool is customer intelligence management to help collect and aggregate customer feedback, and the second most popular is social media management to manage the digital presence.
- Hyper-growth organizations. The most popular tool is customer advocacy management. Tied for second are PR management, which enables organizations to develop and distribute content, and customer intelligence management.
Within the category of demand systems and tools, which are used to automate core marketing processes that drive demand, we found the following trends:
- Moderate-growth organizations. The most popular tool is advertising (e.g. ad exchange, ad tech-enabled solutions, data management platforms, demand-side platforms, paid search), and second is Web conversion optimization, which maximizes the Web site’s ability to attract, engage and qualify visitors along the buyer and customer journey.
- Hyper-growth organizations. The most popular tool is a MAP, and the second is events management, providing support for planning and organizing events.
Within the category of operations systems/tools, which are used for the administration of business practices to create the highest level of efficiency possible within an organization, we found the following trends:
- Moderate-growth organizations. The most popular tool is analytics addressing how and why results are achieved, and the second is Web analytics to track activity and engagement of site visitors.
- Hyper-growth organizations. The most popular tool is MRM, and second is business intelligence, enabling companies to collect and analyze data for better decisionmaking.
Of course, you can’t achieve such rapid growth through technology alone. There must be a balance between people, skills, process and technology. According to our research, to surpass that $50 million revenue mark, emerging companies should invest in specialists to maximize their investment in MAPs, upskill the individuals doing analytics, and formalize repeatable strategy and planning processes.
To learn more on this topic, specifically “How to Use a Slingshot to Take Down Goliath: Technology as a Growing Company’s Unfair Advantage,” join my colleague Jessie Johnson and me at the SiriusDecisions 2017 Technology Exchange at The Fairmont in Austin from October 30 through November 1.