Being a marketing consultant doesn’t protect me from an inbox full of pitches for marketing solutions with promises of increased revenue. I get a lot of them – maybe even more than average. As a matter of fact, I frequently ask for demos and invite sales calls so I can stay on top of emerging MarTech products that may have promise for my clients. But I always read or listen to the claims with the knowledge that nothing is “one-size-fits-all.” If you don’t, you could fall victim to Marketing S.O.S. – Shiny Object Syndrome.
Every time I hear a business leader say they are thinking about a new technology or tactic because they’d heard it would help them gain market share faster, cheaper, or better, I ask how much they expect the solution to add to their revenue or reduce the workload for their team. You might be surprised to learn that many business leaders do not have a clear idea about how the new technologies they are considering will help. And it’s easy to see why: Out of the box solutions have functions that, once included in a strategic program, will yield the business results. But the apps never yield the results on their own; someone has to develop and apply your strategy.
There are three main ways a business can benefit from the implementation of marketing technology. Technology can help improve your customer experience, give you greater insight into your customers’ buying process and needs, and reduce the amount of work your team needs to do manually. I detailed these in this blog. All too often the new technology sounds exciting (especially when you hear about it from a motivated sales rep), but it doesn’t pan out to be what you thought it would be, so it becomes the shiny object that quickly dulls.
Focusing on real goals, especially gains in one or more of the three areas mentioned above, will help keep your budget on target. Without a driving force to keep you on track with MarTech, you will end up with technology that is wrong for your needs. So, how do you avoid Marketing SOS if you’re not a technology wizard? Easy:
- Make sure you are clear on the goals you want to achieve, and have real target numbers. These can be goals for growth, revenue, time saved, etc.
- Ask specific questions about how the technology will help you achieve the goals you described, not just if it can.
- Compare at least two or three similar apps before you make any decisions; and ask for a demonstration or a trial period before you commit to the purchase.
You can also reach out to a consultant who is more familiar with the technologies available and doesn’t have any motive for recommending one over another. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t get distracted by that next “best thing” in MarTech, or it can easily derail your program’s success.