Check it out what you will find on this article about marketing technology:
- Understand Your Team’s Requirements Inside Out
- See What Your Competitors are Using
- Really Understand How Long Implementing the New Martech Stack Will Take
- Make One Person Responsible For Each Tool?
- Devote Some Time to Innovation
We’re half way through 2019 and the number of marketing technology products just continues to grow with the present number pegged at 7,040, up from 6,829 in 2018. While your company marketers will no doubt rejoice at having so many options to pick from, there enthusiasm may be misplaced. Choosing from all those products to build your own personalized martech stack is going to be a task alright! What if your competitor has opted for a new tool that allows them to reach prospects faster? Do you do the same, or look someplace else?
To top it off, most marketers admit they cannot keep pace with marketing innovations. So, is looking for the perfect marketing technology stack a wild goose chase? Yes and no. Yes, you cannot have a tool-set that will do everything you ever wanted. No, creating a martech stack that delivers and gets results is totally doable. Let’s take a look at some of the key concerns you need to address before going out shopping…
Understand Your Team’s Requirements Inside Out
Instead of simply Googling a random list of tools or hopping onto Capterra, consider sitting down with the people who will actually be using those tools first. Chances are your marketing team already has a list of tools it wants to try out. So, understanding your team’s requirements, working through each tool’s features and seeing if they are a good fit will be crucial.
Here are a few questions you should consider asking here…
- What tools does our team currently use?
- What tools are our team eyeing?
- Do we have each process our marketing team is using properly documented?
- Are there any areas where our marketing team is struggling?
- Does our current marketing technology stack help the team complete the processes efficiently and fast?
- What features do the tools in the marketing team’s wishlist have that can forward greater efficiency/capabilities?
- Are these capabilities actually greater than what our current stack can enable?
Based on your answers, list out the top features that you need in your new martech stack. So, you may realize that social media analytics can help your team create more targeted content. Or, your current email marketing tool is woefully outdated and three new tools out there can easily help you plug those inefficiencies.
Reinventing your business can be a troublesome task. Here’s how to carry out business innovation like a pro.
See What Your Competitors are Using
Understanding what your team wishes to get is a good start. But you can skip to understanding what works and what doesn’t by taking a look into your competitor’s marketing stack. After all, if there are multiple companies out there using the same (set of) marketing technology products, chances are it’s because they work and get results. Some tools that can help you spy on your competitors…
- Siftery: Uses automated data collection to track what marketing tools the top brands out there are using.
- Stackshare: A crowdsourced service that lets companies display their entire tech stack to developers.
- Datanyze: Uses a company’s website to understand what all tools it is using.
- Spyfu: Let’s you enter keywords and see what ads your competitors are putting out there.
- SEMRush: Gives you the lowdown on your competition’s SEO tools and tactics.
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you spy on your competition. If you are interested in understanding a particular facet of your competitor’s marketing technology, then a simple google search will suffice, too.
Want to learn more on how to get the most out of your marketing data? Here’s how to put your marketing analytics to good use.
Really Understand How Long Implementing the New Marketing Technology Stack Will Take
Let’s not kid ourselves, implementing a new marketing technology stack will take a lot of time and money. So, once you have a list of tools to try out in place, the first order of business will be to understand the time frame it will take to rollout the tech-stack. Some questions to ask at this phase…
- Will the implementation be carried out in one fell-swoop or gradually?
- How much time will we need to test each new product?
- Who will be responsible for testing and implementing the product(s)?
- How much training will be required for each tool?
- Will data need to be moved from our legacy system to the new one? If so, how much time will it take?
- Will we need to customize the tools after implementation?
It is always better to assign more time than is needed. More often than not, you will encounter issues that were not accounted for before. You may have new staff members that have no experience with current generation of marketing technology. Or, you may realize that training your people will require more time than was originally envisioned. Or, integrating the new tools with your legacy applications may prove to be a bigger hurdle than anticipated. All these (and perhaps more) issues will be all the more likely if this is the first time you are attempting a martech update. Overestimate the time required, then add some more to it, just in case. Marketing is an ever evolving discipline. In fact, we are at its fourth stage already.
Make One Person Responsible For Each Marketing Technology Tool
Once you have rolled out your marketing technology stack, consider assigning one person as the incharge for each of the tool. Ideally, it should be someone who has been trained the most or has extensive experience with it. Said person will work as the go-to guy in case the rest of the team needs so troubleshooting done. He/She can also run experiments with the tool and come up with innovative ways to put it to use. How much time your point person should spend on the tool depends entirely on their existing workload and your company size. Initially, the person in-charge may be needed more as your team negotiates with its learning curve. However, as they gain fluency in using the tool(s) the in-charges may gradually give up control.
While in small companies, a single person can easily devote 10-30% of their time to understanding a tool, in larger organizations, more than one may need to work on it full-time. Hiring dedicated managers to oversee the transition, or asking the service provider to send someone over can work, too.
Devote Some Time to Innovation
Your new marketing tools will enable you to do some of your tasks in interesting new ways. While your point-man might find some ways to find novel uses of their designated tool, you can also have your team work on them. There are a bunch of ways to do so.
Firstly, you can give each employee a certain amount of time to play with the new tools and see if they can come up with new tactics or efficiencies. This has been famously tried by Google, which gives its employees 20% of their time to work on their own projects. If some of the projects are found to be useful, larger teams can take over them and turn them into company-wide processes or products.
Alternatively, you can set up a growth team which will be tasked specifically with experimenting with tools and tactics to find their best use-cases. These teams will actively probe your marketing team and provide an external perspective by playing the devil’s advocate against their established practices.
Even though marketing technology budgets are on the rise, it would be best if you used your own requirements to gauge whether an update is really even needed. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect martech stack. In fact, it would be best if you looked up your existing or upcoming stack as a perpetual work in progress.
Tools will either prove to be useful, or will fall by the wayside as teams become familiar with them, or come across better options down the line. As martech is an evolving field right now, it is easy to fall for the shiny-object syndrome and hop from one tool to another pointlessly. The best course of action is to develop a marketing strategy, then find the tools that best fit it.
To kick things off, you can try Runrun.it. A cloud based productivity and time tracking tool, Runrun.it is designed from the ground up to enable fast and effortless collaboration between team members, whether they are working in-house or remotely. Feel free to signup and check it out. Runrun.it is free to try.