Choosing the Right Marketing Tech


Sensational headlines make it seem that the journey for marketing executives is full of landmines.  The reality is that choosing the right marketing technology really isn’t so complicated.  Taking a step back and creating a commonsense framework to address new martech investment is something any marketing department should be able to do pretty easily.

In an earlier post, we explored how Marketers are increasingly under pressure to deliver upon the traditional creative or qualitative nature of the domain while being able to adapt to a rapidly changing marketing technology landscape that is more and more data driven and quantitative.

I joked that building a good MarTech stack isn't rocket science (even though a lot of that tech was literally built by rocket scientists). There is a ton of great information out there - I’m a pretty big fan of the work being done at for instance, and recommend checking that out to stay current.

Separating What is Sizzle, What is Steak

The challenge however is the absolute volume of material out there - and particularly tech companies spouting hyperbolic statements to justify developing the latest, shiny new tech that is going to change the world.  (I think this partly from VC pressure that everyone better produce ‘hockey stick’ growth, and the subsequent shake out like we are seeing in the adtech industry, but that’s probably a rant for another day!)

In particular, we’ve seen a lot of buzz around fraud in digital advertising lately, where research suggest that 20-40% of ad spend is lost to fraud, with billions of dollars wasted each year.  Not coincidentally, these alarming reports are often authored by companies selling their ad verification solutions.  
I don’t want to suggest that something like ad fraud isn’t a serious issue that needs to be addressed - it most certainly is - but I’d want to illustrate how challenging it is for Marketers to effectively prioritize their marketing technology investment when they are inundated constantly with research suggesting that their strategies aren’t as effective as they could be, and consequently, there is a good chance they’ll be canned for it.


Measure Likely Impact, Not Lofty Promises

There are certainly good resources out there that identify a simple process to pick the right marketing technologies. Slalom, a ‘purpose driven consulting firm’, has a good article about ‘adapting and becoming more technically savvy, using data and analytics to capture (your) customers’ preferences and create more personalized communication’, and ultimately, choosing the right tech.

They argue not to be seduced by the shiny object and being stuck with a bunch of ‘discrete tech that failed to deliver on the lofty promises’, but to effectively plan around three activities - Explore, Establish, and Enable.  

(Because it seems as an industry we seem incapable of producing a framework that doesn't include  a list and bonus points for any type of alliteration in the title - I am pretty sure I will be given an honourary PhD for designing a framework that includes 7 steps to marketing success that all start with the letter ‘G’).  

Use Some Common Sense

Really, though, employing any common sense process that ranks your internal technical, business and budgetary requirements against the vendors’ solutions probably will do the trick.  Marketo produced a webinar on Finding the Right Marketing Solution which articulates this process pretty well.

With all the sensational headlines it seems scary out there, but it really isn’t so complicated.  Taking a step back and creating a commonsense framework to address new marketing tech investment is something any marketing department should be able to do pretty easily.