Technology is designed to help marketers express their creativity. It helps them make sense of the knowledge they extract from the big data they have collected – usually through super smart platforms. The reality is that the martech landscape comes with a lot of complexity, and there are still a lack of great solutions out there for data silos, accurate attribution and end-to-end reporting.
A modern marketer nowadays might need to log in to various platforms to perform tasks such as putting together a monthly report. Below is a typical scenario showing the amount of tools a marketer might need to complete a single task and provide an up-to-date analysis on how their marketing is performing.
This is called tool overload, which means it’s easy for your marketing team to get overwhelmed on a daily basis managing various tools. Because each platform is focusing on a niche area and has its own way of interpreting data, the challenge marketers often have – besides juggling a significant number of technologies – is making sense of data silos and showing campaign ROI.
For this reason, I think that marketers don’t need more tech – there is only room for better tech; technology that focuses on contextualising data, saving resources by improving productivity and quality of work.
The amount of tools a marketer gets to use on a daily basis transforms the role of a marketer into a technology manager. The challenge for marketers is to make sure that they stay focused on strategic thinking and creativity, when they have to spend a good part of their day managing tools. Creating a martech stack that is relevant and efficient is not a small task – it requires careful planning and regular auditing, which I previously blogged about in detail.
In order to avoid tool overload and build an optimised marketing technology stack, I recommend considering the following aspects before buying a shiny new tool:
Getting the basics right
The world of martech is an extremely dynamic environment, and better solutions are hitting the market every day. However many of these tools have originally been built through product acquisition lacking seamless integration. For this reason it’s important to have a strategy on how to build and grow your martech instead of spreading your efforts over too many platforms at once or constantly adding new pieces to the puzzle. Your strategy will help to ensure that you are only choosing and onboarding the right platforms for your needs. A few key questions to ask:
- Is your current technology making the team more efficient or slowing it down?
- Can you measure business impact with the technology that you have?
- Do you have the expertise and capacity to manage this tool?
Integrate, customise and onboard
If you choose the best solution for your business but fail to integrate it with your existing technology stack, you will struggle to benefit from the platform. The data will not flow easily between the systems, teams won’t align on the ways they extract knowledge from the data, and you won’t see the benefits from your powerful new tool. Key questions to ask:
- How will this tool be integrated into your current marketing workflows and systems?
- Can you integrate the new tool quickly, seamlessly and with minimal disruption alongside the existing stack?
Customisation is another key aspect that will help you rollout a tool that delivers on your needs. An easier and more willing on-boarding process will follow, as users will see the relevance and the added value of the new tool. Focus on providing comprehensive training to users – it will help them get the most out of the the tool and extract the most value from the platform.
Your vendor’s agility matter
In an era where there are constant advancements in technology, the agility of your vendor, and the ability to develop and innovate really counts. But how can you measure your vendor’s agility? See if they listen to their clients. Most vendors have forums where customers recommend smart product features, and the best vendors alway try to incorporate the customer feedback into their roadmaps. Martech providers need to future-proof their existing products as tomorrow’s reality for marketers is going to be all about predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nowadays companies are already suffering from tool overload. Vendors of the future are those who will consider these challenges and invest time in understanding how their solutions fit in harmony with the full technology stacks their clients have.
Taking good care of the points listed below should put you in a position where martech can help you scale and grow. Having a strategic roadmap and getting the basics right will make or break the effectiveness of your stack. Remember most of the time it’s a strategy, not a tool issue.