Gartner’s new CMO Spend Survey for 2018-2019 says that the average percentage of a CMO’s budget, allocated for martech, jumped from 22% to 29%1. This makes martech the single largest area of investment when it comes to the marketing department’s resources and programs. So how should you approach a promotion, career change, or new set of duties that relies on you jumping straight into a new Martech stack?
Marketers need to be agile in their ability to adopt a mindset that’s going to get the best out of their inherited platform, or their venture into a new one to prove its worth.
With over 7000 platforms available2, how does one become a Darwinian marketer, ready to adapt to survive at a moment's notice?
We’ve spoken with martech users and customer success managers to ascertain what is the best practice when it comes to adopting a new platform, saving you time and painkillers. Get ready for instant relief.
You before them
Before you commit your time, energy, or sanity to any platform, you need to have a hard look in the marketing mirror. This self-reflection will help gauge how much you need to lean on the product's support team, and how much time you expect to get what you need.
Where are you in terms of your journey with the platform? Are you in more of an educational stage of learning, or do you already have an informed view of the product so far?
If you’ve inherited the platform from your predecessor, what was the handover like? What was the goal of your predecessor, why was it important, and how close were they to achieving it?
If no handover exists, you’ll have to lean more heavily on the platform's customer success team, if any, or point of contact for a Martech 101 lesson.
Establishing this before you begin is crucial to having a clear vision of what you’re going to need from your vendor.
What are your goals?
Once you’ve got your priorities in order, it’s time to assess what the goals of your company are. In the previous section, we discussed the possibility of a handover mentioning what your predecessor's goals were with the platform.
This may have changed since you took over the role, or entered the business, so it’s important to discuss this with your colleagues or senior management.
What channels is this particular platform assisting? What does ROI look like for this particular platform?
Equally important is gaining the joint agreement from senior stakeholders as to what is expected of this vendor so that you can begin moving forward with obtaining this goal.
If you’re new to the business, this can seem like a daunting task to undertake. Drilling it down into something more simple, such as “What’s our number one problem at the moment?” can help hone your focus.
What’s the product capable of?
Now that you’ve confirmed what goals your company wishes to achieve, you can begin to see how the platform can reach them. Particular features may or may not be relevant for your particular goals, but it’s crucial to learn what the product is capable of before you decide strategy.
For each platform, the amount of data you need will also differ. Some will require a weekly visit to the site to get a wider view, and for others, it will be a daily granular insight into how it’s performing.
Setting a foundation of knowledge will help you to view the data you need, although for the latter it’s good to begin building on that knowledge to become an expert in the platform. After all, the more you know, the more you’ll be able to gain from the platform.
Furthermore, whilst we wouldn’t suggest basing your company’s strategy on what another company may or may not have planned, it is wise to enquire as to what the future holds for your vendor. What’s their product roadmap like? Could this present any opportunities for you?
A strong product road map allows vendors to communicate effectively on how this will benefit their clients in the long run.
What does the future hold?
Whilst we wouldn’t suggest basing your company strategy on what your vendor may or may not have planned, it’s wise to inquire as to what the future holds for your partner. Do they have a clear product roadmap? And, if so, what opportunities would this mean for your business?
Many platforms will encourage its users to provide feedback on not only their product but also your requirements. This is your chance to discuss what your business may need to increase the amount of service you get from the vendor.
Managing your relationship
The top martech platforms usually provide customer success teams to guarantee healthy client relationships and a commitment to excellent service. Taking advantage of this can be the difference between smashing your goals or turning off the platform altogether.
Customer success managers can teach you the best ways of hitting your goals, but can also recommend different ways of using the platform that still benefit you and your business. Being open to suggestions from your CSM can enhance the offering the platform gives you, delivering a greater ROI for your company.
Whilst we advocate the use of digital meetings, such as Skype and Google Hangouts, there’s nothing better than a face to face conversation. Asking to meet your CSM representative isn’t a far fetched request, to get the most out of your investment.
Data led improvements
Now that you’re fully equipped to use your new platform, it’s time to begin using the data insights to help guide your strategy. What has the platform unearthed about your customer’s behaviors? And, what changes do you need to make to your strategy, UX, or even marketing communications?
”Martech stacks can produce some fantastic insights and it is important that businesses take note and adjust their website or any marketing communication according to the data, backed up by further testing. Product owners to regularly collaborate and share these insights with other areas of the business to keep stakeholders on board.”
Vickie Metcalfe | Digital Product Manager, Wendy Wu Tours
A delicate balance between what’s right for you, your company, and how your provider can best deliver that is crucial to the success of any platform. Agility, flexibility, and open conversations are also a plus.
Watch below to see how Infinity approached award-winning Stannah with a customer-first mindset to help achieve their goals.
1.CMO Spend on Martech, ChiefMartech, (2018)
2.Amount of Martech Vendors, ChiefMartec.com, (2018)