A new Forrester report predicts that marketing technology budgets will “grow by double digits” in 2018. Why? Because we all realize that a cohesive strategy that fuses real-time marketing technology and product is a must if we are to drive growth. With a boat load of marketing technology options and vendors to pick from – MarTech states there are now over 5,000+ here are a few guidelines to consider:
Keep the Customer Front and Center
Mapping out your customer journey is a good way to make sure you are evaluating real-time technologies with the customer in mind and particularly how they interact with your brand. Any technology investment should help you close the gap between the current customer experience and the ideal customer experience.
Be Technology Agnostic
Just as your customers want to be treated as a segment of one, your organization also has individual needs. While you can certainly learn from best marketing technology practices in your industry, there is no one size fits all. Keeping an open mind and being technology agnostic is important when assessing the marketing technology solutions specific needs of your business; the maturity of your brand; the resources you have available, and the capabilities of those resources to adapt to new marketing technologies, tools and processes. You need to assess each technology solution based on a balanced approach of best practices and your individual organization requirements.
Avoid the Shiny New Toy
In an ever-evolving marketing technology environment, where the number of new vendors and tools available has grown by 40%, in the last year, it is easy to be seduced by the “latest and greatest.” But the critical question to ask is whether, or not, this “shiny new toy” is an investment that can be sustained over the long term. Chart out the operational requirements and manpower needed to implement, execute and sustain the marketing technology you are considering, across all functional groups.
Establish Acceptable Trade-offs Upfront
Be prudent. The addition of several new technologies all at once can quickly overwhelm your organizations resources and have the opposite effect from your intention. The goal of investing in new marketing technologies is to help make it easier for your organization to reach its goal, interact in a relevant and meaningful way with your customers, thus drive increased revenue. Consider a phased approach. The marketing technologies now available allow you to layer the tools your organization needs on top of your existing system. A phased approach helps avoid new marketing technologies from becoming major operational nightmares. If your organization does not have a solid data foundation where all customer data is centralized and easily accessible by all, start there.
Ultimately, Marketing, Customer Service, and IT teams need to work together to choose the right marketing technology products. Make sure all parties are part of the process from the beginning. The days of silo decision-making are long gone.
To find out more about how to prioritize and apply a phased approach to marketing technology investments, download our latest eBook, The Value of Context, Cross-Channel and Real-Time Capabilities: Advancing Marketing’s Productivity.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.