MarTech Firms Pivot to Meet Post-Pandemic Demands
As we enter the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of martech firms are deciding that now is the right time to pivot.
The marketing automation company Act-On Software is relaunching today with an affordable solution for companies that are bogged down by budget cuts and lay-offs due to Covid-19 shutdowns, but they’re not the only company making big changes.
In fact, Act-On is just one of a number of martech firms gunning to help businesses as they emerge from Covid-19 shutdowns. Jungle Scout has released a solution for brands leveraging the power of Amazon, Agora.io is expanding its reseller partnerships, and BounceX is using SMS to help retailers recover revenue lost because of Covid-19. Act-On is refining its approach to marketing automation, with new product capabilities meant to drive personal product engagement and a tighter focus on helping marketers evolve their businesses.
“Some people might think rebranding during a crisis is a risky move,” says David Greenberg, Act-On’s senior vice president of marketing. “We see this move as much more than a rebrand in that it’s an exciting new direction we are taking.”
Founded in 2008, Act-On is not a newcomer in the martech space. The company’s core services, like marketing automation and email marketing, have been used by heavy hitters like SHARP, Samsung, 23andMe, and Stanford University. With Covid-19 altering the landscape for marketers in every industry, though, Act-On’s executives decided that now is the time to pivot.
“Right now, companies are relying on digital channels to reach their customers more than ever. And, as more businesses are forced to cut marketing budgets and staff, we only expect to see this behavior continue,” says Greenberg. “Our team is taking every opportunity to show businesses that growth marketing automation relieves a huge chunk of this pressure.”
Before coronavirus hit, some companies were still not fully committed to making a full, digital transformation, Greenberg says. These companies might have sent out an email blast here and there, but that was the extent of their efforts. Now, a few months into a worldwide pandemic, Greenberg says a “low-energy marketing strategy” just won’t do.
“In a Covid-defined world, marketers have to make waves at every touchpoint to truly shape the customer experience in order to stay top of mind,” he says.
To that end, Greenberg says Act-On’s new features are going to enable marketers to “do more with less.” Product enhancements are being set up to deliver speedier results, and the software has been redeveloped to be easier to use. Personalization and automation will remain Act-On’s bread and butter, but Greenberg says the platform is much more holistic and intuitive.
“Businesses are going to have to achieve a lot with tighter budgets and staffing resources,” Greenberg says. “Marketers facing these obstacles are under a lot of pressure to operate at the same capacity as they were before business as usual was upended. Preventing profit losses and staying focused on growth can be really challenging at a time like now.”
Marketing budgets post-Covid have dropped off a cliff, with the crisis upending existing priorities and marketers scrambling for alternative strategies. According to a May 2020 forecast by Forrester, CMOs are moving away from out-of-home placements and into brand-focused digital spots that allow for flexibility. But automation is expected to remain, in part because technology can offer greater efficiency than manual efforts.
That’s good news for martech firms, and it’s part of the reason why Act-On’s executives are releasing updates now, rather than waiting until industry-wide marketing budgets rise back to pre-Covid levels.
Greenberg says that marketers right now are reevaluating their marketing stacks and seeking out smarter, results-driven technologies. Marketers are also pushing for increased integration across digital platforms.
“The move to digital is an inevitable reality and the marketers that accept and prepare for this will see the best results. And those that personalize and automate the digital customer journey will see great results,” Greenberg says. “Customers are online on a multitude of channels, and marketers need to have a clear picture of that multi-channel behavior in order to create the best engagement strategies.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.