There are so many technology and productivity systems available…
Which ones do I really need? Please help!
That’s a great question. Open any news media site, social feed, or thought leadership blog post and I bet you’re going to see a mention about the ultimate marketing tech solution which promises to be a game-changer. Reported by the 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey done by Gartner, 33% of most marketing budgets goes towards technology alone. However life-changing the newest and shiniest of these systems may appear to be, how can you determine which of the thousands of products will really help grow your business, and which are not worth your time and investment?
Tech, … meet our friend Strategy. It seems like a no-brainer that anything your marketing team does should align with your strategy, but it’s overwhelming to tackle the evaluation and decision making involved. Especially when every day there’s a new email of the greatest thing you’re not using, and how it’s going to cause you to fail if you don’t click here! It helps to have a guide and a process to tackle the massive supernova of technology duds, and find the real lasting star that you’re going to wish on.
Chances are that you already use either a CRM system, social media automation service, or at the very least an email tracking system. Take your past analytics and review them to see which of these tools gave you the best return from a time-saving aspect, to customer satisfaction, and lead generation. Investigate to see if you are using these tools to their full potential, or if any of them are overlapping in service offerings. You could streamline your existing technology array and still keep all of the same capabilities, or save valuable marketing dollars.
Asking yourself the right questions in this process is key to finding the magic combination of tech that’s’ right for you and your company. What questions are the CEOs and CFOs asking that you can’t confidently answer? What do you spend the most time and money on currently, and is there a better way? Once you’ve reviewed your current stats, look for any gaps in your technology flow and marketing strategy. You may be covered 100% in your social media process, but lacking in actionable analytics. Create a list of your haves and have nots, so when you assess any new technology it’s easy to see where it can fit into your strategy, or if it’s totally unnecessary.
Step 2: Consider your business goals
The real question is Why?
What is your company’s ‘Why’? When you ask your staff why they use a certain system, or why they take a certain action the answer should ultimately be adding some kind of value in achieving your main purpose. Any new product or technology that applies to the less important, auxiliary marketing functions, and not your core goal should be taken out of consideration. Any value it adds will not be sufficient in measuring up against your existing core processes and the value they provide.
Identifying those top business priorities will automatically remove a larger chunk of systems from consideration. Driving leads may be more valuable to one company, while another can stay on top by simply communicating with and retaining their existing client base. Ask yourself which outlets in your technology stack deliver on this kind of activity for you? Can this new product do better? Why?
Step 3: Assess your target audience and markets
Serving Millennials can be an expensive venture but if that is your core audience, then the payoff in marketing efficiently to them can be huge. If your marketing technology solutions are not modern enough to keep up with changing trends and popular channels, then an upgrade could be money well spent.
Also consider the locations of your audience and how current their technology use might be. Some systems out there today can undoubtedly improve the user experience by offering translation options, or better mobile optimization. Meeting the requirements of this latest era’s sophisticated needs and providing a first-rate experience for your customer base is key to seeing your profit potential realized.
Step 4: Assess your team’s technical savvy
Now that you’ve narrowed down the options and found which products have made the cut thus far, the choice to add new technology can be as simple as determining whether your team has the time or the skill set to learn to use it. Consider also that more training on the existing systems may provide a greater ROI than jumping into a new product entirely. We’ve seen this to be one of the #1 causes of buyer’s remorse. You may stumble upon a phenomenal product, but if no one uses it, then it has no value.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that the devil is in the details. Making a technology change and managing that process is where things tend to fall apart. A new product also means new processes, new problems, and often a change in thinking from what you believed was best in the past. Jumping ship and placing your trust in a new product isn’t for the faint of heart. Make sure your team is all on the same page so everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Before investing, ensure that you are aware of all the features, benefits, and usage requirements so you can see how the newest tech product fits (or doesn’t fit) with your current marketing strategy. Best case scenario, there is a phenomenal new product that is so amazing, you may actually need to design a whole NEW strategy around it.
If that happens, please give us a call!
Rogue Marketing Agency
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