In this guest post founder and CEO of digital strategy agency ntegrity Richenda Vermeulen offers her insights into the six key steps you need to take to tackle the martech market…
Over the years of working on digital strategy with our clients, once in a while we will see big game changers in the market.
Martech is the current game changer.
Martech is intended to make our lives as digital specialists easier, and offer our clients a better ROI. In an era of hyper-personalisation, with AI nipping at our heels and automation a way of life, martech is a must.
Just five years ago, there were around 1000 martech solutions on offer. Now that figure is upwards of 7000. This is an indication of a growing demand for martech solutions, but at the same time, one of the key drivers of distress for marketing specialists.
The problem? No one quite knows which tool is best. In our recent research report, when we asked marketers which software was offering the best ROI, 31 per cent of respondents answered uniquely. More worryingly still, 28 per cent couldn’t tell us who offered them the best ROI at all.
What does this tell us? There is no silver bullet when it comes to martech. The key to success is a strategy-first approach to your technology stack.
While on your journey to developing the perfect martech stack for your organisation, you’ll come across cunning salespeople, overblown promises and software that promises to do it all. Below are six key steps to tackling the martech market and avoiding buyer’s remorse:
Put your customers first
You should be building your martech stack based on your customer’s needs, not your internal needs. Don’t invest in a marketing automation tool purely to streamline your marketing processes, that should be a byproduct. Keeping your customer’s journey front of mind means your martech stack makes your customer the number one priority.
Stay in the now
Salespeople will dazzle you with tools that have capabilities way beyond what you need right now, with the promise of future-proofing your business. Future-proofing is important, but ensure you solve today’s problems first. Don’t get distracted by tomorrow’s possibilities.
Talk, trial and interrogate
Once you have a tool in mind, learn all you can from people who don’t have a horse in the race. Steer clear of the references martech companies offer, and try to find businesses who are using the software. Their day-to-day impressions will reveal whether the technical specifications operate as promised, and whether the capabilities align with your needs. Wherever possible, trial the product!
Budget for beyond the purchase
Our research showed that 1 in 4 businesses were unable to use their own tech, and the same number experienced buyer’s remorse. Oftentimes people exhaust their budget on tools – but can’t implement them without training. Bear in mind this process could take a few months, and that new staff will need to be trained as you go.
Elect a leader
An internal champion for the tool will keep training on track, and drive usage – plus, they can be the go-to for any changes or customisations, which will keep your ongoing budget in check and avoid unnecessary add-ons. Ensure the person has a good level of emotional intelligence and an ability to train people.
Add an agnostic
Your budget won’t always allow for this – but where possible, a tech-agnostic advisor can objectively analyse your wants and needs, to tailor a recommendation that suits your business.
Martech isn’t going anywhere and we want to celebrate it. A smart, well considered stack can optimise your work and is worth its weight in gold – but an under-utilised, bloated or ill-matched one will put you off the whole deal and send you back into the dark ages. Take control of the martech market – and the benefits for your business will speak for themselves.