Are you considering a new marketing technology (MarTech) implementation? In this post and video, you’ll learn about six ways that you can avoid some of the most common implementation problems with some proactive advanced planning upfront.
1) Plan Your High-Level Strategy for Your Marketing Technology
So first up, the first big way to prevent common MarTech implementation problems is to plan your high-level strategy.
The reality is, nobody implements MarTech just for the sake of buying software and implementing marketing technology.
You're being called on to solve significant business problems, and it's super important before you do that to get clarity around what those business problems are and prioritize those.
One of the most effective ways that you can do that is to set SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound.
So, for example, you want to have a certain amount of growth in your marketing qualified leads by X date. Or there's a certain amount of inbound generated opportunities that you want to happen by X date.
It's got to be something again, that's specific; that you can measure, that's attainable relative to the previous history of what you've done in the past.
That's relevant to your company's big picture goals, and that has a deadline.
So you have something to work towards.
2) Build Your Implementation Team with the Right Internal and External Experts
Second, make sure that you build your implementation team with the right internal and external subject matter experts.
Depending on the size of your company, you may need to use a mixture of internal talent and external talent.
But it's essential for everyone that's working on your MarTech team to make sure that they're committed to learning best practices and continuing to improve.
In many cases, the company that you're purchasing -- that you're licensing the marketing technology software from will have some great resources, either for free as part of your subscription or that you can buy relatively inexpensively, relative to the overall purchase price, the investment price.
I highly recommend that everyone working on your marketing technology gets aligned by making sure that they have that common framework, that common training.
Along the same lines, make sure that any external experts you're leaning on also have that same training baseline.
Suppose the MarTech company you're getting software from has a certification program, and there are one or more certifications that vary in different levels of the MarTech stack. In that case, that can also be a great way to help make sure that everyone's on the same page.
3) Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams (Smarketing)
So the third way to prevent some common MarTech implementation mistakes is to fix your alignment between your sales and marketing teams -- what's sometimes called smarketing -- the portmanteau or combination of those two words together.
Historically, sales and marketing teams haven't always got along so well. Sales teams sometimes picture their marketers sitting and playing with the color chart all day long, figuring out what trade show swag to buy, and putting out a nice touchy, feely social media post.
And conversely, sometimes marketing feels that the sales team are overpaid spoiled brats, and they're lazy.
And all of these are awful negative stereotypes that you need to overcome if you're going to have a successful marketing technology implementation.
Make sure you get together and talk through these issues.
Make sure the teams get to know each other, that there is a service level agreement, an SLA in place, basically what I often call the wedding vows between sales and marketing teams.
Marketing promises to do this, and in return, sales promises to do that.
And make sure that there's a good feedback loop between those two teams.
Without alignment, it's tough to judge how well your marketing technology investment is going to pay off because as you hand off leads from marketing to sales and ultimately from sales to services, all of these friction points need to be eliminated if you're going to get good value from your MarTech investment.
4) Create Buyer Personas for Your Most Important Client Segments
Fourth, make sure that you create buyer personas for your most important client segments.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal client based on actual research and some select, educated speculation.
Buyer personas are essential to everything you're going to do in your MarTech stack when it comes to segmentation and personalization.
So don't make the mistake of going into a significant MarTech investment without making sure that you have buyer personas in place. Or refreshing them if need be.
Make sure that you document
- How they make decisions
- How your company can help
All of the things stitch together into the demographics and psychographics synthesized for an effective buyer persona.
5) Make Sure Your Marketing Technology Includes Analytics
You need to be able to measure what's working and what's not because very often, you'll come up with ten different strategies, blog titles, or emails headlines.
And there's an excellent chance that you say, “You know what, Joshua? I think number seven and number nine are the winners.”
I say, “No, no, no, no, no, no. You got it all wrong. I'm certain it's going to be one and two.”
But there's a good chance we both picked wrong. And it's number five that ended up winning.
You never know that if you don't measure it. So it's super critical to make sure that your MarTech stack has tracking URLs, reporting including custom reports, and analytics.
Also, be sure to create custom lists based on segments and custom properties to feed into the reports.
Analytics needs to be a big part of that.
6) Stay Agile and Be Willing to Change When Needed
And the sixth and final way to prevent common marketing technology implementation problems is to stay agile and change when needed.
Typically, when you're investing in marketing technology, you're thinking with a multi-year perspective.
And there's an excellent chance that your business will go through some minor changes and significant changes during that time.
It's entirely possible that your company may be acquired or merged with another company in a multi-year time horizon and have significant implications on what you do with your marketing technology stack.
You may have new offices, new products, new teams, or new lines of business.
All of this stuff comes up.
Be well organized and use a good naming convention.
But it's also really critical that you pay attention to the changes that are going on in your business and adapt to what you're doing with your MarTech stack to keep it relevant, provide a great customer experience -- with the right internal service and workflows.
These are six ways that you can prevent some of the most common marketing technology implementation problems.
What have you struggled with most in your marketing technology implementation? Let me know in the comments section.