After working with over 500 of the world’s most ambitious brands to help them make sense of martech, we learnt a thing or two about marketing technology.

From these experiences over the years, we’ve put together our top 12 tips that you can use to plan and futureproof your martech stack.

1. The martech landscape is just a fun bibliography

Whilst the supergraphic that covers the marketing technology landscape might be a nice way to articulate the size and complexity of the environment, it is a bibliography, not a strategy.
We have seen many marketing departments over-implement technology to the point of chaos and internal confusion – this is not how marketers will align their strategy to the wider business. There is a martech arms race fought by the vendors, and this is not something that you need to replicate in your organisation.

2. Start with the outcomes first

Your c-suite don’t care about the martech vendor’s story and the results they’re promising – these are likely to be much further away from achieving than you plan for.

Instead, it is far more powerful to focus on meaningful outcomes that the c-suite are likely to see for themselves over the next few months. e.g. providing a vision for the dashboard that you WILL make available within 6 months of deploying the marketing technology.

This is what will get the key stakeholders bought into the vision, not a re-articulation of what you have been told and promised by the martech vendor.

3. Identify the 3-5 top business reasons for the technology

When deploying marketing technology, there should always be a business reason and a strategy behind it.

At Clevertouch, we believe there are 12 business reasons for investing in marketing technology. This includes:

  • Smarter revenue
  • Increased customer experience
  • Sales and marketing alignment
  • Greater customer insight

If there isn’t a business reason behind the technology purchase, then the project is likely to fail as there won’t be a real desire for adoption across the wider business.

4. Operate above the campaign level

Marketing technology shouldn’t be just about improving campaign performance. Justification for a martech purchase based on improving campaigns will only get you so far.

Thinking more holistically about the marketing department and its impact on the business, rather than at the campaign level ensures Marketing is seen as being more relevant to the business. Marketing technology is about driving fundamental business change, not just your campaigns.

5. This is not about technology, this is about change management

When implementing marketing technology, one of the most important elements is ensuring that you bring everyone with you on the journey. This is about change management, not just technology implementation.

Consider your current marketing capability - the ‘as is’ – and then consider what it will look like after optimising or implementing marketing technology - the ‘to be’, and overcommunicate your vision. We recommend you read John Kotters’ bible on change management and be guided by his 8-step model for change (which you can read more about here).

6. Don’t just focus on the technology

From what we’ve seen in the market, those that implement marketing technology for the first time focus predominantly on the technology, rather than the team and skills. Those that are going through large scale marketing technology implementations and revamps for the second or perhaps even third time, place greater emphasis on department structure and skills.

Make sure you focus on OD & D - Organisational Development and Design - more than just the marketing technology itself.

7. Give it a project name

Think bigger than calling it ‘the CRM project’.

It needs to be defined by the business reasons for which you are implementing marketing technology, and not just the technology category name.

When Fujitsu went through their digital transformation driven by marketing technology, they called the project “Lighthouse”, because they were guiding the business to become more digital and customer led.

8. Training is for life

Post-implementation having a training program for skills development is a must. Consider budgeting a certain amount every year for personalised training, and documentation including on-demand videos. Organisations that are making considerable impact are allocating a budget of at least 2:1 software to services support. Currently the typical budget allocation ratio is 3:1 for first time implementors and this is too small. Second and third time around they are more experienced and understand that they ned to allocate more budget on the adoption and skills surrounding the technology.

9. Better to buy than build; self-development can be expensive.

Your IT department may tell you that they can build you a martech or CRM system that has everything you need. But ask yourself the question, are you a business or a software house? It’s often considerably more expensive and will take way more time to develop a technology in-house than buy a platform off the shelf.

10. Recognise some marketing technology is more important than others

For SMEs there are 4 must have technologies, for the Enterprise there are perhaps 6 must haves. Don’t get distracted by the shiny marketing technologies that don’t provide real business impact or benefit.

The Martech Spine for the SMB and Mid Market The Martech Spine for the Enterprise

11. Focus on the Martech Spine™

By focussing on the Martech Spine™ you build a robust foundation for your wider marketing technology environment. As discussed in point 10, the technologies in the Martech Spine are way more important than the other 8,000 in the landscape.

These marketing technologies map externally to the customer lifecycle and internally to processes across the business. The Spine by its very definition aligns the business around the customer and forces the Marketing department to be more integrated and valuable to the rest of the business.

12. Simplify, Connect and Inform

The most successful brands that are seeing exceptional results with marketing technology are focussing on these 3 mantras.

  • Marketing technology doesn’t need to be complex; Simplify your marketing technology environment.
  • The ability to Connect your platforms and remove siloes of data in the business means less reliance on spreadsheets, but by Connect we don’t just mean joining up technology, but also connecting the Marketing department to the rest of the business too.
  • The most successful CMOs move beyond creating insightful dashboards and reports, to providing deeper insight into the market and customers which Inform the business at much greater depth.

These tips work for us and our customers – and we hope that they will help you too. For more information on Clevertouch and how we can help you make sense of martech, why not get in touch