How Marketing Operations Chooses Wisely Between Bright, Shiny Objects

This month we make a right turn on the journey and finally discuss marketing operations and technology. This is the 15th blog in the Revenue Marketing journey series, and we finally get to a discussion on technology. Hopefully that tells you something about how important people, process, data and content are, in that they all preceded this post.

If you are further along in your journey and comfortable with the technology hubs you have in place, then perhaps you are considering analytics, ABM technology or some inbound technologies. The first step is to apply the three criteria listed above. What decisions will be better informed? Will it be a time saver or will it enable you to accomplish something new? What will the impact be on revenue? How immediate will the impact be? How much customization will be required and training? Once you answer these questions, you will have a good idea what types of technologies you want to add to your stack, but you won’t necessarily know which vendor to choose.

Develop Use Cases to Tease Out Specific Technology Requirements

The most reliable way to arrive at the optimum choice of technology for your organization is to map out the top five to 10 uses cases. This is best done as a one- or two-day exercise, coordinated by marketing operations, with all the stakeholders in the room — which may include marketing, sales and IT. The process is as follows:

  1. Agree on a list of the top five to 10 use cases.
  2. Take each use case in turn, document the process before any new technology is applied.
  3. Document the expected use case process after some undefined technology is applied. That’s right, assume the best case and all vendors can solve the problem. What does the result look like?
  4. Document the time and resource savings, and the benefit achieved.
  5. Repeat steps two to four until all use cases are covered.

Next apply these use cases to your top two or three technologies that you have short-listed — perhaps because of price or reputation — and compare how well they can execute on your use cases. Usually this leads to a clear winner. This process is very good for demonstrating to management the logic behind choosing a particular vendor, without bias. It also sets you up for implementation because you can share the use cases with the vendor or implementation partners.

Summary

In modest sized firms, martech will be 22 percent of your marketing budget this year. If you get to add some new capabilities, don’t go after the new shiny object (AI, ABM, CDM) just because it is hip.

  1. Apply the three benefit criteria to all classes of technology and see which ones produce the greatest return.
  2. Develop use cases that document the before and after with the technology.
  3. Don’t underestimate training and implementation costs.

Next month, we will continue the Revenue Marketing journey conversation and focus on choosing the right metrics for the journey.

Please feel free to share your experiences with choosing marketing technology and other insights on the above topics in the comments section below or email me at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com.

If you haven’t deployed MAP yet and are interested in learning about use cases, attend this webinar on December 7, 2017, to hear 3 marketing leaders explain the use cases that influenced their technology decisions.

Author: Kevin Joyce

Kevin Joyce is VP of strategy services for The Pedowitz Group. He's a marketing executive with 34 years of experience in high tech, in positions in engineering, marketing, and sales. In the past 16 years Mr. Joyce has worked with many companies on their revenue marketing and demand generation strategies. With a unique combination of marketing skills and sales experience he helps bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

Mr. Joyce has successfully launched numerous products and services as a Director of Product Marketing at Sequent, as a Director of Sales at IBM, as Vice President of Marketing at Unicru, and as CEO at Rubicon Marketing Group. He has been VP of Marketing Strategy with the Pedowitz Group for more than six years. He holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland and a MBA from the University of Portland. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn or email him at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com. Download TPG’s new white paper: "TPG ONE: A New Approach to the Customer Journey."

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