Deploying MarTech and working with AdTech firms is a requirement to stay competitive, particularly for retailers and brands. Most companies use multiple solutions and often plump for the big players whose scale and service matches their business size. Much of the tech from the main incumbents came into being to add speed to an efficiency to existing processes like email marketing and list management. They’ve often stayed big simply by updating their products incrementally to be even faster and even more efficient. Things are changing fast with some amazing “micro services” and innovative uses of APIs hitting the market every month. Over-arching marketing cloud platforms are beginning to be chains not keys.
Everyone knows that MarTech isn’t just about making your traditional approach more efficient. It’s your prism to view and influence customers so making the right choices of marketing software and services has serious long-term implications for online success.
It’s entirely possible that a fair proportion of the time most large brands and retailers are actually seeing innovation through the prism of those large MarTech companies and their ad agencies (new this – improved that!), but how about all those smaller businesses that are genuinely breaking the marketing and insight mould? After all, your competitors may well be looking at them.
As Brad Jakeman of Pepsico said “If you’re a marketer in any business, you must now be focused on how you disrupt yourself before someone else disrupts you, or you’re not doing your job”. It’s a bit trite but he probably knows some stuff.
OK, so far so good, but who has the time to sit through 20 demos a month to see what should be considered? For an overview of the 6,829 MarTech solutions you likely need to be aware of (April 18) see this https://chiefmartec.com/2018/04/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2018/ Do procurement have the resources to analyse the benefits of tech that doesn’t fit perceived existing requirements? Can you break internal attachment to existing services and suppliers? If so, you’re lucky. A recent WiPro survey of CMOs notes that one-third of marketing executives believe that less than half of their team has the necessary expertise to deploy MarTech effectively, and over half (51 percent) of respondents noted the lack of MarTech competency of the wider team was a barrier to success.
So….you probably need to do some things differently. What we at greyhairworks! have observed through chatting to some of the main players in brand and retail in the UK and US is that the challenges are often threefold:
- Allowing fast reaction and deployment to be part of the overall (flexible) marketing strategy without tiresome and inefficient RFIs and so on.
- Finding solutions that genuinely change the game (Everyone says theirs does!)
- Knowing that those solutions can scale and be deployable in your business
The first could be an organisational challenge that, though bloody hard, can be overcome with internal mindset retooling across procurement, agencies and marketers. The second and third are best addressed by finding a way to cover a lot ground efficiently by tapping the knowledge of people who are in this game via disciplines, geography and experience.
So, really, it’s going to be all about knowing the right people, which, as old people are well aware, has always been the case!