Is your marketing working? How do you know? In our four-part series, we’re taking a look at marketing technology and helping you diagnose what you need in your martech stack to answer the crucial question: are my marketing dollars worth it?

For this final post, we’ll take a look at the issues your business might encounter once you decide to delve into the world of marketing technology and choose a specific software. If you haven’t read our series introduction or our posts on audience segmentation or marketing attribution, we recommend diving in after you read this.

In a recent survey on the adoption of marketing technology, 59% of companies reported that they do not fully use the technology that they have at their disposal. Marketing Charts shared that a minuscule 4% of marketers say that they felt their “marketing stack” was fully integrated.

Common categories of marketing technology include advertising, content, social, commerce, data, and management. With all of the proven data behind the effectiveness of marketing technology across all of those categories, how can modern companies still not be utilizing every last shred of technology available to them?

There are three reasons why the marketing technology you’ve purchased doesn’t get used. Let’s start from the top…

1. Buying for the Wrong Reasons

There must be a hard and fast reason for buying, adopting, and optimizing an organization’s marketing technology. This reason must be related to either a specific pain you’ve experienced or an identified opportunity for measurable improvement. The following are not good reasons to begin marching down the path of purchasing a marketing technology:

  • “All of our competitors have it.”
  • “I had it at my last company.”
  • “I read a Buzzfeed article that said buying it was a good idea.”
  • “It looks really cool in the product demo video on the website.”

Instead, choose a marketing technology platform for reasons like these:

  • “I could save two hours a day if we automated this process.”
  • “We need to increase sales-qualified leads by 10% this year.”
  • “Growing our marketing contact database by 25% is a goal for our company this year.”
  • “Having insight into the ROI of our marketing campaigns will help us better understand where to place our time and effort and future hiring needs.”

Undoubtedly, poor reasoning or understanding of goals before purchase is the number one reason for marketing technology sitting idle or being wasted. Be sure that you have a need and that you can measure technology’s impact before buying so you don’t join the 85% of marketers who aren’t using their marketing technology to its fullest potential.

2. Lack of Invested Ownership

While marketing technologies can have widespread impact on businesses of all sizes, an individual or very small team must be accountable and invested in the buying process, implementation, and optimization of any technology.

You can ask fairly simple questions to determine who should have a hand in steering a decision like this:

  • Where is the budget for this product coming from?
  • Who will be using this system the most?
  • Other than primary users, does this technology impact any additional teams or people?
  • Do you have executive buy-in and support, whether it’s direct or in respect to the empowered team/individual?

According to a recent study, 48% of decisions to initiate adding a new marketing technology are made by senior team members who will also be a power user of the technology.

3. Unrealistic Expectations

Marketing technologies are often closely tied to sales metrics and performance. A characteristic of the majority of salespeople (and certainly some marketers) is a high sense of urgency and relative impatience. Often, new technologies are expected to work flawlessly at the time of implementation. This almost never happens. While perfect implementation and functionality are always the goal of new technologies, there will undoubtedly be growing pains whether they lie in the actual functionality of the technology or the adoption and successful use by your team.

Scott Brinker lists the complexity of integrating technologies as the single most challenging obstacle related to their use of their marketing technology. Make sure that when you’re bringing in a new technology, expectations for implementation are set appropriately. And give as much support as possible to your implementation team, so that roadblocks and those pesky growing pains are at a minimum.

Getting Marketing Technology Right

Marketing technology will make good marketing teams great and will expose mediocre teams for what they truly are. It’s a powerful tool for your business, and one that in today’s marketing world, you cannot succeed without. With the above three considerations, I trust that you and your team will be successful in your purchasing decisions.

Part 1: Why You Need a Strong Marketing Technology Stack

Part 2: Why You Need a Strong Marketing Technology Stack: Audience Segmentation

Part 3: Why You Need a Strong Marketing Technology Stack: Marketing Attribution

Companion Piece: Your 2017 Marketing Toolkit

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Tyler Williams

For Tyler, it’s not about being the best as much as it’s about doing the absolute best that you can. His natural competitive streak pushes him to his limits – and it’s that nature that allows him to take his clients to the next level.

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