Marketing Technology (Mar-Tech) can be very useful to your business, if you know what to use, when to use it, and how it works best. But choosing the right marketing technology is not easy, even for those of us that use it regularly. Functionality is a great way to decide which platforms are right for you, but it seems as though this is becoming more of a “best fit” decision, as the technology companies grow their product and pivot, resulting in changes in the functions offered. So what is the best way to create the marketing stack that is right for your business?
The first step is to define your business objectives for the Mar-Tech, and recognize that technology in marketing, as it is anywhere else, is a means to an end. Before you make your choice, you really need to have a strategy in place and define your goals. Are you trying to increase your reach, decrease your marketing costs, improve your efficiency, or is it a combination of some – or all – of these? Or are there other goals? Once you have defined your goals, you are ready to go to work finding possible solutions and determining which are most appropriate. I say “most appropriate” because unless you decided on the business objectives while reading the features of a specific product, you can usually count on needing to adjust the solution or add a second – or even third – piece to achieve 100% of your goals.
For example, if you are putting an email marketing program in place, is part of your strategy to integrate landing pages with the program? What goals will the landing page(s) help you achieve? Are they a central piece to your strategy? What kind of metrics are you going to use to determine how successful your email program is and to help you figure out how to improve it? Do those metrics need to be part of the email marketing platform, or are you going to use a different platform to do your analysis? If you have an analysis platform in place already, will it integrate with your top choice email solution? If not, which side of the equation will you adjust, metrics and analysis functions or the implementation and tactical functions?
All too often I encounter companies that have selected technology based on a recommendation that did not begin with their business goals and strategy in mind. That usually leads to disappointment for the business leader. And using the wrong technology can cost you much more than you may realize. Subscription costs are not insignificant, and your team’s time is valuable. Walking away from something you had not carefully considered in advance of implementation may be much more expensive than you can afford.
And, once again, a great marketing strategy can save you much more than you may believe. Want some assistance in setting your goals, strategy and finding the right solution? We’d be delighted to help!