Selecting and buying a new Martech system is probably one of the most time-consuming and stressful exercises you will go through over your career as a marketeer. Yet, assessing, selecting or implementing a technical stack is now part of the job description. I know few marketers that have never been involved in such a procurement process or its unfortunate aftermath.
I do not believe there is any training course for this, nor is there a universally agreed set of best practices to guide you through this process. This is why we’ve compiled a few tips that might prove extremely valuable in making better decisions.
At first, this seems like an innocuous question, but defining the ideal outcome can be a real challenge.
When buying a car, most people have an endgame in mind whether it is more space for the kids or looking cool in the office’s car park. Ultimately, the desired outcome is balanced against financial reality and common sense (sometimes). When it comes to buying Martech, there will be multiple end games, and these will most certainly conflict. Additionally, the people making the decision won’t necessarily be users and they might not fully appreciate the technical implications. To put this into context:
What is “good” for the CFO might not be good for the CTO, let alone the CMO.
The first advice is therefore to spend some time defining what good looks like. Not a list of feature-function but rather high-level processes and their desired outcome. You will undoubtedly think of the customer’s experience but don’t forget the user’s experience. Pay particular attention to what the measures for success are? During the process, it is easy to lose track of those and get side-tracked by cost-cutting or time-saving initiatives.
Everyone has a bias. Admitting it is the first of the 12 steps program…
Here are various (only slightly caricatural) perceptions of the same Martech Project:
CTO: “They don’t have a clue about architecture and real-life technical constraints”
CMO: “They don’t realise the importance of marketing on the customer experience”
CFO: “They don’t realise we have limited budget and how many departments need it”
Ultimately, perceptions and criteria will vary depending on the department and team in question.
More often than not, IT will look to see a system that could be implemented internally. Within the marketing team the users of the Martech solution pay disproportionate attention to time-saving and user-friendly features. Budget holders, on the other hand, mostly see price-tags and cost-cutting opportunities. And, of course, vendors selling hammers see nails everywhere.
There is no easy fix for this but acknowledging that everyone involved will have a different view of the same reality is a helpful mindset.
Understanding what good looks like for the various people or departments involved is important and whenever hard choices have to be made, it is crucial to understand the impact on various objectives and communicate accordingly with the parties involved.
This is not advice you’re likely to hear every day, but try to behave like a 5 year old! Ask why, get an answer, and ask why again. Sometimes you need to repeat this process a few times. This is something you can apply to question your own objectives and requirements.
Take this as an example:
– “Why do you need this personalisation functionality?”
– “I want to personalise my emails”
– “Why do you want to personalise your emails?”
– “Humm, it’s best practice? Everyone is doing it…”
– “Really, why is that?”
– “I think it will increase the conversion rate of our campaigns”
– “Ok, so you want to increase your email conversion rate and using better personalisation might be one way of doing it”
You’ve gone from a feature/function to a business objective that has a potential (and unproven) solution.
But why is this important? When it comes down to it, asking yourself these questions can benefit in three main ways:
Those are just 3 tips to keep in mind, highlighting why building a thorough and effective procurement process is not a simple task. This is something TAP London can assist you with. Although we have a deep expertise in Adobe Campaign, but we know it doesn’t suit every situation. That is why we also frequently work with the likes of Salesforce and Braze.
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