After many years of using, abusing, buying, advising, and even selling marketing technology, I’ve concluded that the difference between success and failure is rarely little to do with the technology itself.
Remarkably, buying technology can still be a very emotive and irrational practice. Poor buying decisions can often be grouped into two distinct headings:
- Vanity purchase – Buying a well-known pr popular tech brand, because it seems everyone else is buying it.
- Impulse purchase – Quick decisions where full requirements (beyond just the tech) are not fully understood.
Marketers are often suckers for …well… Marketing! Tech vendors have traded well off this knowledge. Resulting in a lot of tech-bloat – buying far more than we need. Poorly planned purchasing – limited requirements that don’t look much beyond the features of the technology.
That’s why I advocate you looking more rationally at your new or existing tech stack and consider your MarTechonomics, to avoid falling into these traps.
Buying and managing your tech stack by considering some fundamentals of economies brings real benefit. Let’s consider a few key areas…
As mentioned above, the average organisation utilises about 40-50% (source: Econsultancy) of what they buy. This is poor financial planning. Imagine other walks of like where we did this – the family of four buying an eight bedrooms house, just in case.
A balanced budget will help you make more of what you own, too. I’d advocate spending circa 60% of your budget on the actual technology and allow for the inputs – data, process, integration and resource. Don’t also forget the outputs – reporting (both KPI and at a tactical level) campaign strategy and quality content.
Build a strong cabinet
Not unlike a government (often steered by economic thinking) it makes sense to have a balanced team – modern marketing is a blend of at and science, so make sure you have resource (be that internal or external agency support) that can cover both the technical aspects (building workflows, routines, integrating your systems) and the more creative side – engaging comms, well-thought-though campaigns that stand out.
If the technology is large or new to your organisation then access to special advisors can help too – be that retained or occasional external consulting or educating resource that can help you make the most of what you have.
Taxation of data
Like all forms of taxation, expect to lose some of what you have every year. In MarTech terms it is your data. The average database erodes at circa 25% a year (Source: Hubspot) and so alongside your annual licence renewal of the tech, ensure you have budgeted to keep the best quality and quantity of data inside the system. Adding breadth of data will help with personalisation (especially for ABM programmes) and quantity will ensure a wider top of funnel to work.
It also pays to keep a contingency budget – for when you need to boost your activity – have at hand budget to bring in more data to support your retention and acquisition campaigns at short notice. Consider how the pandemic meant telephone follow up was hampered by offices closing – what new data did you need then to keep the activity going? (Emails, cell/mobile numbers?)
Elasticity is important in economics and when it comes to your marketing technology, it’s all about the response in the market. That means that having a nimble and progressive approach to your campaigns and programmes is key. Best practice is a moving feast – response rates will change over time, so make sure you have campaigns, process, content and reporting that are regularly reviewed.
Hero content that may be working well now, may not work well in the coming weeks or months so make time to regularly review your approach and respond to what the market is telling you (by way of your response rates and KPIs)
There a number of other considerations when it comes to adding to your tech stack – remember to see the wider picture and look beyond just the technology to make the most of your technology.