Marketing technology can do amazing things. With all the potential that data, automation, and the myriad tools now available have put within our reach, it’s an exciting time to be a marketer.
But sometimes it feels like too much.
The frequently shared graphic from ChiefMartech.com of the marketing technology landscape includes nearly 2,000 vendors, and the creator makes clear that there’s no way they captured all of them.
In most things, having more options is a positive. But when it comes to technology, it can lead to shiny object syndrome. It’s easy to be intrigued by the next big thing and be swayed by how “cool” something seems, instead of focusing on what’s most useful.
As a result, 63% of marketers say they have to manage too many marketing technology vendors. If you have too many products, then you’re likely spending money on functions you aren’t using and may be needlessly making your employees’ jobs harder.
Reasons to Focus on Better Technology
The solution isn’t buying more tech products, it’s singling out the best ones to meet your needs. Narrowing your martech stack to just those products you need most can provide some clear benefits.
- You won’t have to ask employees to constantly learn new tech.
Your team is busy. They have enough on their plates day to day without having to drop everything to learn a new product – unless the product is really something that will make their lives easier over the long term or improve your results considerably.
Being picky about which technological products you invest in not only keeps you from spending money on products that will go unused, but also ensures your employees can focus more of their time on the work you hired them to do.
- You’ll spend less time on all the administrative tasks involved in a new purchase.
Committee meetings, contracts, working out the terms – all those tedious, but necessary tasks that are involved in purchasing a B2B technology product – they’re not fun, and they eat up time your team could be spending on more productive activities.
All those administrative purchasing tasks are necessary to complete sometimes, sure, but you can minimize how much time goes to them by making sure you only make the final move on products that your business will clearly benefit from.
- Less time spent training means more time spent getting results.
The whole point of purchasing a sophisticated marketing technology product is to use it to drive better results. If your team is always moving from the training period for one technology to the next, then when will they have time to really put the technology to use to start making improvements?
What to Ask to Find the Right Technology
Not all businesses are the same and every marketing department has its own unique challenges and goals. Only you can figure out what technology products are the best for your needs, but we can help equip you with a few questions to get started.
- What challenges do we need solved?
This isn’t a question the top-ranking marketing staff should tackle on their own; it should be a discussion amongst everyone in the department. Which efforts aren’t paying off the way they should? What difficulties are you having when it comes to measuring results? Which day-to-day tasks are harder to accomplish than they need to be?
Figure out what’s not working well now at all the different levels in your department so you can make sure your tech search involves identifying the features that will solve the problems you actually have.
- Does this product address the needs of people in different positions and departments?
If you invest in a product that’s meant to be used throughout the department but only meets the needs of a few of your staff, then you’re probably paying more for its limited use and efficacy than it’s worth. Again, this requires getting a good portion of your marketing team in on discussions to get a feel for what features people across all positions will value and want to make use of.
- How difficult will it be for employees to learn?
Does the technology you’re considering require extensive training before your team will be able to figure it out, or is it pretty intuitive from the get go? Does the vendor offer resources to help people get familiar with the product and do they have a reputation for being available to help with ongoing questions?
It sounds obvious to say it, but a product no one uses will do you no good. Make sure you’re confident that you’re purchasing something the people in your department will be able and willing to use.
- How well will it integrate with the other tech we have?
You don’t want to have to do extra work to get your different technology products to talk to each other. Make a list of every piece of technology your team relies on now – and not just your marketing team, think about sales and customer service as well – and ask every vendor you talk to about the compatibility between their products and your list.
The more easily a new technology product can link up with your older ones, the more powerful and useful it will be for you. And no employee (or even intern) will want to be stuck doing manual data entry in order to make sure your products all include the right information.
- Will this help us achieve our goals?
Here we have the most important question of all: will it help you reach your main goals? Will it contribute to revenue by either helping you make money, saving you money, or saving you time? If not, why would you buy it?
Be willing to ask the tough questions and really analyze what you’ll get out of owning the product. You don’t need a complicated martech stack just to have one, you need a few good products that make your job easier and help your profits grow.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0