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%. This makes martech the single largest area of investment when it comes to a marketing department’s resources and programs1.
This is understandable as Martech gives marketers a plethora of insights into their efforts. Thus enabling them to autonomize best practice in the future. However, as a result, marketers could begin suffering from ‘there’s an app for that’ mentality?
So, before you rush off and begin a supermarket sweep of the martech market, it’s important to consider that too much of a good thing can sometimes be detrimental to your business. Buying too much without thinking about the core practicalities risks you not seeing the results you hoped for, and leave you flooded with platforms.
To err on the side of caution when it comes to picking the right sort of martech is ultimately the key to seeing real results. In order to guide you through the martech maze, we’ve compiled the 4 questions you and your team need to be asking before you consider any martech investment.
Why are you investing?
The UK’s martech sector is expected to rise by another quarter in 20192. It has never been more apparent that the buffet of martech vendors is open, and marketers are already loading their plates.
However, by taking stock of your business goals, you allow yourself time to ponder the why before you buy. Why do we need this new piece of tech? What value will it bring our business? How will this inch us closer toward achieving X goal?
A clearly defined “why” can act as a martech compass, leading you straight to the platform that’s right for you. However, if you’re stuck on answering the big why then perhaps consider your customers. What data insights will this platform give you to enhance their experience with your brand?
“A martech investment should first start with how it can improve the efficiency and productivity of the marketing function, as well as the value it will bring to the consumer.4”
Charlotte Rogers | Senior Writer, Marketing Week
Focusing not on what’s cool or trendy, but what’s pivotal to your team meeting your goals and aligning with your long-term strategy is the foundation to which all martech purchases should rest upon.
Who’s going to manage this?
Once you’ve figured out the why now it’s time to decide the who?
It’s recently been discovered that 62% of marketers agree that their biggest challenge of managing martech is their team’s competency3. This can have huge implications when it comes to achieving your goals via your new platform.
However, do you simply need to re-train someone on your team? Or, do you need to externally hire? Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
It really depends on the type of vendor you match with.
If your chosen martech vendor speaks in a comprehensive language you’re unable to decipher, then hiring a data analyst externally to interpret this for you could be beneficial. Although they can be difficult to recruit, that’s for another blog, they could save you valuable time when applying your newly found insights into the business.
However, if your new martech supplier has customer success, training, or service teams, which most top vendors will, then one of your existing employees could be trained to become an expert in the chosen program. Along with the continuous support of the vendor's customer success team, your employee could be fully functional in no time and maximising the results you see.
"A CSM builds strong relationships by meeting their client’s representative regularly to learn about their business and the challenges they face. This knowledge allows a CSM to ensure their client is fully informed on the relevant best practices for using Infinity, and how it benefits them."
Michelle Garnham | SVP Customer Success, Infinity
How long is it going to take?
Whilst time is money in business, success can take many forms. Some can be quick-wins, and others need nurturing before their results start to show. Confirming how long until you expect to see results is key to picking the right vendor to invest in. The trick to establishing this is open and honest communication about what you hope to gain from your investment. If it’s clear from the offset what you deem as “overall success” your vendor should be able to give you a timescale.
On a more granular level, you could go as far as to establish specifically what your desired ROIs are. If it’s quantifiable results, like an increase in CTR or lead generation, or more intangible ones, such as reduced stress amongst the team and increased efficiency, then each will have its own measurement of time. After you have confirmed this, you can decide whether the pairing is right for your business.
Ultimately though, trying to estimate the timeframe in seeing a genuine benefit to your business is all about practising patience, and thinking realistically about how long it will take to see measured ongoing results.
“The return on those business cases is not even annual, often you’re looking at that over three years minimum. It’s like investing in property, infrastructure and people, it’s got to have that same time frame.5”
Keith Moor | CMO, Santander
What’s the catch?
There’s no perfect martech vendor out there. Anyone who claims to be is either in denial or straight up lying. Any martech vendor worth their salt will not only explain the pros of a particular program, but also the cons.
A healthy and honest discussion between client and vendor about the practicalities of a particular program and its capabilities is crucial.
Questions that you need to be ask your vendor could be the following: 1. What impact will this platform have on your company’s SEO ranking? 2. What’s the deployment resource needed? 3. Will it slow down the functionality of the site? 4. How will I still comply with data protection policies?
Identifying these concerns before you integrate a new piece of software into your tech stack is crucial to gaining a balanced argument for investment to your colleagues and seniors.
Martech investment isn’t always a simple decision, but with due diligence, you gain clarity on the opportunities worth pursuing. Your business will be committing time, energy, resources, and funds into making your new platform successful, so it’s worth taking the time to ask the right questions beforehand.
Infinity's customer-centric approach is designed to completely understand your objectives, and actively facilitate the improvements that impact your business. We know no two businesses are the same, so we give all of our customers a customised strategy to using our platform to the best of its ability.