If you are still at all on the fence about the role of marketing technology in your overall strategy, consider this fact from Gartner’s 2016 CMO Spend Survey:
For the first time, marketing technology spend has actually surpassed advertising spend for companies.
Pretty exciting, right?
In fact, 70 percent of businesses expect their marketing technology spend to increase in 2017.
That means more companies are recognizing the value a quality set of marketing technology solutions can play in optimizing their demand generation strategy. For marketing technologists, it means your role is in the spotlight.
The responsibility for evaluating new solutions, pushing adoption among the marketing and sales teams, and proving return on investment for each piece of software in your stack is more important than ever. Pressure is on to optimize your team’s solutions and ensure budget continues to increase headed into 2018.
In order to make that happen, here are a few tips on where marketing technologists should focus their efforts to create a convergence of clean, enriched data, innovative strategy, and the right technology solutions.
#1. Put Clear KPIs in Place to Easily Measure the Success of Each Solution
Here is a pretty jaw-dropping statistic for marketing technologists:
The number of martech companies grew a whopping 40 percent between 2016 and 2017.
While more solutions mean better innovation, they also mean you can easily get caught up spending money on platforms that really do not deliver on their value proposition. That is exactly why setting clear KPIs for each solution (and measuring those KPIs against a benchmark frequently) is so important for marketing technologists.
By consistently evaluating how solutions perform, you will ensure you never waste time or money on platforms that do not actively contribute to increasing revenue. While the KPIs you set will vary based on the solution ( For instance, the success of your automation platform will be measured differently than your data management software.), there is one simple question you can ask about any tool in your martech stack to determine the right measurement for success:
Does this tool make my team more efficient and/or more effective?
Figure out how you can measure that and then do it consistently.
#2. Train Your Teams on How to Integrate Technology into Their Processes
We're sure you’d agree that one of the biggest problems marketing technologists face is getting teams to successfully adopt new technology added to your stack.
Some solutions feel like a blessing from the marketing gods; your teams voraciously adopt and implement the tool into their daily workflow. Others may feel like pulling teeth to get your teams to actually use them (despite the tremendous value they may add).
That is a big problem for marketing technologists. Unused software accounts for $30 billion lost dollars in the U.S. alone according to a report from 1E.
That is a lot of money being swept down the drain due to a problem that has a relatively simple solution, namely, better training.
Marketing technologists who spend time training their teams find better adoption (and therefore less wasted budget) of their martech solutions. Whether that training comes from you or the vendor, it is essential that you are properly onboarding your teams onto the solution rather than just throwing something new into the mix and hoping it works.
For more on training, check out this post from the ReachForce blog. While the piece specifically talks about training as it relates to automation software, the same basic principles can be applied to any tool in your martech stack.
#3. Regularly Report on ROI to Chief Marketing and Chief Information Officers
The budget for martech solutions can often come from your company’s chief marketing officer, chief information officer, or both. According to the Garner report cited earlier, both CMOs and CIOs are dedicating just over three percent each of total company revenue to marketing technology spend.
They are not doing it because they just have more money than they know what to do with; they are doing it because they expect to see significant returns on their investment.
As a marketing technologist, it is your responsibility to report on those returns regularly and to do so in tangible terms that make sense for your audience. That means you cannot just take those KPIs you set and present them to a CIO; figure out what is important to that CIO and find ways to measure and report on that.
#4. Never Underestimate the Importance of Clean, Enriched Data
You can get your CMO to sign-off on a budget for every martech tool under the sun, but if you are not working with clean, enriched data, those tools will never yield the results leadership expects.
That is because quality data is the backbone of any marketing strategy. Every martech tool in your stack relies on quality data to effectively operate. Think about it. What good is an automation tool when you have phony email addresses? How can you properly segment customers without robust demographic data?
As a marketing technologist, these are the questions you need to be asking long before you start investing in a wide array of martech tools.
If you are looking for the one data management solution that can get it all done for you, look no further than ReachForce. ReachForce Smartforms enriches data in real-time as it comes in across multiple marketing channels. The ReachForce data management solution then unifies that data and scrubs it clean of any duplicate or bad data.
Pretty amazing, right?