As a marketer in today’s data-driven world, it is very hard to keep your head on straight. With thousands of martech solutions in the market vying for your attention, combined with the pressure to make data-driven decisions and justify expenses, it is easy to become overwhelmed by martech-driven marketing.
The result is a constant feeling that you are falling further and further behind. While that may be, it is also likely that you are in good company as this is a common anxiety among most marketers.
Here are three tips for dealing with the anxiety from tech-driven marketing.
Understand and Acknowledge the MarTech-Driven Marketing Landscape Is Needlessly Complex
It’s not your job to sort it out. There are thousands of martech solutions out there and you can’t/shouldn’t keep up with all of them.
If you did, you would hardly have time for your day job. It is better that you understand the technologies as broad capabilities (such as marketing automation, CRM, content management systems, etc.) then focus on determining if you need that capability and why.
Then carefully select vendors with that capability to work with on specific solutions.
Ignore the Noise and Get Back to Marketing Strategy
Too often, marketers are letting the marketing technology world dictate how strategy should be run.
For example, when discussing lead development strategy, I had a client tell me that their marketing automation vendor was looking into it. This is akin to having your building materials provider design your dream home. Some may offer basic design services, but the result is likely to be staid and semi-custom, at best.
Similarly, most martech companies do not want to be in the business of developing your marketing strategy, but they oftentimes are forced to do so in order to get you comfortable with leveraging their technology.
No one wins in this scenario, and what often results is a generic marketing strategy.
The key is to understand what broad martech capabilities are relevant for you and to build a custom go-to-market strategy that reflects your brand’s vision and purpose.
Then incorporate data-driven capabilities — and lastly, evaluate a specific solution.
Don’t Be a Slave to Your Data
I often hear marketers ask, “How can we better leverage all this data?”
This is like starting your holiday shopping by asking, “How can I leverage all of the available retailers out there?”
The more sensible questions should be: “What do I want to achieve and how can data help me get there?”
Then, look into your own data to determine if the relevant data is there. If it isn’t, don’t fret. Many times, the relevant data is cheap to generate, and you should begin to understand what it is you specifically need and how best to generate it.
Concluding Thoughts About Tech-Driven Marketing
After many years in consulting with Fortune 500 companies on marketing data and technology strategy, I can confidently tell you that the vast majority of marketers feel overwhelmed and not in control.
What I can also say is that most marketers do not struggle with what to do; rather, they struggle with what not to do.
With a torrent of marketing solutions available today, it is easy to lose focus. Successful marketers understand that martech solutions affect how you think about marketing and customer strategy execution. However, they also understand that smart, brand-centric strategies drive solution selection — not the other way around.