Choosing the right MarTech tool is a decision that shouldn't be made lightly. Over fifty percent of companies report that they don’t use their MarTech enough, and twenty-one percent say they’ve invested in technology they never use. These 7 tips should help you on your way to selecting the right tool for your company.
1. Identify Needs
Identifying what you need from your MarTech tools may seem like an obvious step, but when you’re starting your purchasing journey, this is something that companies can lose sight of very quickly. Why? Think about it like going into a supermarket when you’re hungry. Your eyes are larger than your stomach, and you lose track of what you originally went in for. By the last count, there were nearly 7,000 brands that exist in the MarTech space.
Write out what your goals are, and what function your MarTech tools must have to help you achieve these goals. Consider not just immediate goals, but long-term goals as well. As you continue your search for the perfect MarTech tools, you will find companies that offer features you have never considered before. These new features should always be looked at from the lens of how they fit your goals. John Caldwell of Red Pill Email preaches for companies looking to add MarTech to ask themselves, “What are your ‘nice to have’ features, and what are your ‘need to have’ features?” Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What is the most important need that this product will solve?
- What functions are necessary for your MarTech to have to address your needs?
- What is your budget?
- What is the cost of implementation, and what savings do you expect to receive in return?
2. Integrate Teams
Having every relevant department buy into whatever MarTech you are considering before you buy is another step that one would hope doesn’t need to be said — but many companies are guilty of saddling their employees with tools that they have no desire to use. As Kristen Hicks of RampUp states, “if the people making MarTech purchasing decisions aren’t the ones who will be using it every day, there’s a real risk of a disconnect between what the decision-makers think the company needs and what your team actually needs.” This means that lines of communication must be open throughout the MarTech choosing process, with at least one representative from each department weighing in. Not only will there be valuable insight from each team with the purchase is finally made, but each team is more likely to fully buy in since they had a level of ownership in the decision-making.
Integrating teams has an added benefit — getting rid of those pesky data silos, where different departments are using different tools for different goals. As Bryan Yeager of eMarketing states, “Silos cause redundancy. They don’t allow you to get a single view of the customer. From the [consumer’s] perspective, that can cause disjointed experiences.”
Of course, it may not be possible to completely integrate all teams on one MarTech tool, but any increase in department integration and communication is always a good thing, as is the reduction of data silos. Having different departments like sales and marketing use the same tool, especially data orchestration tools, results in faster, more meaningful campaigns with every department on the same page.
3. Check Compatibility
Chances are, the MarTech you are looking to get is not the first your company has ever purchased. Your company is most likely using dozens of MarTech products— in fact, enterprise companies use an average of 91! Whatever MarTech you choose should be compatible with the previously bought tools you still intend on using. Not only should your tech be compatible, but it should also enhance the utility of the tools still being used. If a MarTech tool does not play well with others, it should not be considered. Here are a few questions to ask a 3rd party MarTech sales team in regards to compatibility:
- Is there a list of programs that their MarTech works in conjunction with?
- Are there programs that are incompatible with their tools?
- How long does integration typically take?
- What skill-sets/previous experience should an employee have to use this product? Are there similar products that use similar functionality?
4. Check Compliances
When making your MarTech decisions, always keep regulations and compliances in the back of your mind. The ways in which data is used and shared are rapidly changing, and companies must be prepared to be compliant with data regulations, such as the GDPR in the EU and the CCPA in California. Amendments to the CCPA are still being hammered out, but one thing is for sure — your company will be liable to class-action lawsuits and governmental fines if data is not utilized correctly. For this reason, whatever data is collected for marketing purposes should be easily gathered, partitioned, and, if requested by a user, expunged. A tool that can seamlessly manage and segregate data, such as Lineate’s Consent Manager, should have your company prepared for whatever future regulations come down the pipeline, and will make your company more nimble for whatever unforeseen bumps that arise.
5. Research Options
Be sure to thoroughly research the MarTech products — and the companies that make them! Consult your trusted sources in the industry and get their take. Also, you can check in with marketing forums, such as Only Influencers, or research groups, like Forrester. Research should extend when you get in touch with potential vendors. See what their communication is like. Ask to speak to people that aren’t on their sales team. Get a real feel for the company, and see if it matches well with your own. The vendor you choose will be your partner while you implement their tools. Be sure you are choosing the right one.
Tip: Ask to connect with an existing customer to get their take on how the company works from implementation time to ongoing customer success support.
6. Build Out a Rollout Plan
Building a Rollout plan is imperative to having a successful MarTech product. Map out who will be using the new tool as well as how and when they will be trained to use it. Make sure people know well in advance when the rollout will occur. Nobody in your company should be out of the loop when you launch your new tool. One major advantage? See if the software you are considering provides access to training or a customer success team. Ask if the software partners you’re considering provide access to benefits like campaign monitoring services and optimization. While some software vendors may consider this “white glove,” others will include it as a part of your contract. Lastly, be sure to retire any tools that your new tool replaces, so you can avoid redundancy and confusion.
7. Develop an Audit Plan
Before your MarTech product is purchased, be sure to have a way to audit how it is performing. Is it fulfilling the needs in which it was brought in to do? Is it increasing efficiency by speeding up processes, supplying real-time data, or meeting/exceeding expectations? How is your new MarTech being measured, and by whom? As Anita Brearton, the founder of CabinetM, puts it, “without a comprehensive view of the technology you’re using, testing or retiring, you are flying blindly and increasing the risk of data and security exposure and escalating costs, not to mention your ability to connect overall technology implementation to marketing performance.” It is important to have a system with which to audit as you are bringing your new MarTech tools online — and knowing both what you are looking to measure and how you are collecting your auditing data.
No matter what you are looking for in MarTech, Lineate can help. Whether it is a data orchestration solution to streamline your cross-channel marketing, custom software development, or data silo integrations, Lineate has the expertise to work with you and develop the tools you need. Reach out to us to learn more.