So you might be wondering why I’m starting off by pointing a big fat finger at something you’d think I would be praising left, right, and center, considering my background in digital marketing. And the reason is simply put; my goal is to help clients grow their business, not to play around with shiny new marketing technology 24/7 and ‘constantly’ be at the forefront of the latest and greatest.
That doesn’t mean to say that I neglect all upcoming trends, updates, and technologies that are made available to a digital marketer, quite the contrary actually. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that such platforms aren’t useful or don’t improve one’s marketing capability, but that there are a certain time and place for them. There are so many questions to answer before deciding whether we need them or not, and in many instances, we just decide to throw our logic and reasoning out the window and take a leap of faith.
Nowadays, I feel that marketers are transfixed on implementing new technology, programs, and tools at the expense of the business’s bottom line. We spend way too much time attempting to get buy-in from stakeholders, setting everything up, learning the ins and outs of the tool, just so we can be inundated with overcomplicated processes and generate insights we already knew prior to using the product. In turn, you could be effectively killing your business by focusing on the above.
Rather than spend all this time and energy on fancy programs, how about we focus more on driving incremental value for the business?
Here are a few reasons why it might not be the best idea to invest in new marketing technology.
1. Investment, setup, and learning how to use new marketing stacks can be a massive time suck and resource hog
The first thing you have to realise is that in most instances you’ll likely devote a significant amount of time, money and business resource just to get a new marketing platform off the ground.
Case and point a business I know of decided to update their email marketing capabilities. They went all out on an incredibly expensive platform which required significant upfront investment, along with having to recruit an entire team to run it. They also ended up needing the resource from a whole bunch of other teams within the business (along with constant support).
After a year of getting everything set up, they managed to send the very first email, which was nearly identical to those being sent previously. Granted, they finally had some basic email measurement (e.g. open rate, click-throughs) to report on, but in reality, they duplicated the existing email system, added in additional processes, and sucked up, even more, business resource. The irony was that this platform came about because they wanted to reduce the reliance on various businesses units and save a tonne of time to execute on email marketing campaigns.
Here are some things to think about before going ahead with a new marketing platform.
- Will this solve my problem, provide incremental value, or help grow the business in some way, shape or form?
- What are the direct and indirect costs of the tool (money, time and employee resource)?
- What ongoing costs and resourcing is needed to keep it running?
- Am I going to make additional sales, leads or achieve my marketing goals with this tool?
- Is there a more efficient way to reach the same result?
2. If you can’t show clear value or some sort of financial return then don’t even bother
Every time I hear ‘we get such valuable insights from XYZ’ I want to bang my head against a table.
Insights into what?
How do these insights help us?
Did we already know this stuff beforehand?
Are we just overcomplicating things?
These are just some questions that you should be asking your marketing team (or agency) and I can probably hazard a guess that 9 times out of 10 you aren’t going to like what you hear. In many cases I feel that we decide to over complicate what’s involved, to compensate for the apparent lack of value we’re receiving from new platforms in order to justify its existence within a business.
Before you get yourself tangled up in the situation above here are some things you should think about.
- What will this platform allow us to do, that we cannot do already?
- What tangible insights will I glean from this new platform that will help me improve my marketing activity?
- Will we be able to show clear value and attribute business success back to the new platform?
- Am I going to see a positive return on my investment?
3. Just implemented a new marketing platform? Great! You now have a whole new set of numbers and metrics to get your head around.
When you’ve got a shiny new marketing platform that is firing off all of your amazing email campaigns, or a new ad management platform that is looking after the social advertising, you probably now have a whole bunch of performance metrics to report on.
The most common scenario is that you have to somehow integrate campaign performance data into your existing reporting tools and dashboards, or recreate them entirely from scratch. Better yet, you’ll have to educate stakeholders (managers, right up through to C-suite) on what all the numbers mean and may need to create a whole bunch of training documentation.
Take five to answer these questions.
- Is the platform able to report on the metrics that myself and other stakeholders care about? If the measure of success is the acquisition of new leads, am I able to report on this?
- How do these numbers and metrics align with our marketing or business objectives?
- What is the degree of difficulty of integrating the new platform with existing reporting tools and dashboards?
- Will I need additional resource outside of my team to help with reporting?