Avoid the Common Pitfalls that Prevent Companies from Taking Advantage of Marketing Technology

 

The 90octane Marketing Technology (MarTech) team often gets the same question from clients and colleagues: What is the IDEAL MarTech stack for a B2B-focused business?

While the expectation is often a standard one-size-fits-all answer, our response is always specific to the audience – and only becomes definitive when we do a deep dive to understand their situation. From our experience working with everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, we’ve realized that the ideal MarTech stack for any company is the MarTech stack that actually gets used.

Here’s the thing. Sales and marketing teams are experiencing internal and external pressures to upgrade their sales and marketing technology to take advantage of market trends like marketing automation (MA), account-based marketing (ABM) and predictive analytics (PA). While such tools can deliver great value to an organization, a surprising number of companies buy these tools and never end up using them. Why? Below are three of the most common pitfalls that lead to valuable technologies laying fallow:

1) It’s hard to fly a plane without a pilot

Martech Stack 1

When MarTech vendors pitch their products, they often forget to bring up one important detail: Their tools usually require a dedicated, trained and motivated employee to run them.

With the proliferation of new marketing technology products, individuals with marketing automation and sales automation software expertise are necessary. Hiring them is rarely calculated into the marketing technology investment.

Too often, companies find themselves with expensive tools without a trained operator to run them.

While it’s true that most marketing technology products come with training (often costing a few thousand dollars), the employees who receive that training are usually responsible for a long list of additional marketing activities.

Marketing technology tools aren’t rocket science, but they do require critical thinking, a high comfort level with software systems and focused time to learn each system. Without a dedicated marketing technologist on your team, the return on investment from any marketing technology will be minimal.

2) You can’t bake a tasty cake without ingredients.

martech stack 2

 

 I love how marketing automation tools help companies scale their marketing. I love the data they collect and the insights that data provides.

But guess what?

Marketing automation tools are useless if you don’t have a steady inflow of leads and the content needed to market to those leads.

New marketing technologies require data or content. Marketing automation, for instance, requires copy and design for emails and landing pages. Predictive analytics tools can’t give you deep insights without past CRM data. Account-based marketing tools won’t work well without a list of accounts to track and engage.

These inputs are additional costs (time and money) that should be factored into the price of implementing a new marketing technology.

3) If your “kids” are already fighting, asking them to share a toy doesn’t necessarily help.

kids fighting

Many marketing technology tools are designed to make marketing and sales teams more efficient and coordinated. But they can also amplify tension between sales and marketing departments if they’re not yet aligned.

In the process of setting up a marketing automation, account-based marketing or predictive analytics tool, sales and marketing have to have many frank and uncomfortable conversations.

You’ll have to ask and answer questions like:

  • What is the perception of marketing-generated leads in the sales department?
  • What is the service level agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales for lead follow-up?
  • What baseline information is required for a lead to be considered “qualified” to move to sales?

From my experience, conversations like these either bring sales and marketing teams closer or cause discord.

If your sales and marketing teams aren’t willing or able to collaborate now, purchasing new cross-departmental marketing technologies won’t solve the problem, and unfortunately, we’ve seen internal team politics derail a number of marketing technology product adoptions.

To get results using cutting edge marketing technology, business leaders must make sure they have the right resources, team structure and mindset to utilize and optimize them.

Questions about how to do that? Contact us. 

Marketing technology tools aren’t rocket science, but they do require critical thinking, a high comfort level with software systems and focused time to learn each system. Without a dedicated marketing technologist on your team, the return on investment from any marketing technology will be minimal.


About the Author

James Omdahl

Director of Marketing Technology

James is a digital marketing veteran who loves discovering new ways to use technology to make marketing more effective, efficient and profitable.