Acknowledge your dependence on Martech and build a better business case
We’ve come to believe that software solves most problems. Helpful in many cases, but not if business needs are not considered first.
“Thank you for doing this.”
Five simple words that mean many things. It’s always nice to be appreciated for your work, but what made this particular occasion so memorable was what happened next.
“When the company implemented the current system a few years ago, they never spoke to us. You asked us first what we needed.”
Technology for technology’s sake rarely works
Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories all too often over the years. It is the result of a technology-first approach that seeks to solve a specific problem. Technology for technology’s sake rarely works. We tend to end up with a band-aid solution, using technology to solve visible problems without understanding the underlying disease. Substituting another technology is like ripping off one band-aid and applying a new one. Nothing really changes.
The world of content management is undergoing rapid technological change across all aspects of marketing, customer experience, documentation, and the digital supply chain. Moving to the cloud, remote workers, collaboration tools, analytics tools, machine learning, metaverse evolution. There are a lot of new technologies that we have to think about. How do they work with the tools we have? How will these changes impact our customers, our business, and perhaps the most overlooked employee?
Of course, most of us love technology. There are smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, tablets, wireless this and wireless that. Because technology is such an everyday part of our lives, we tend not to think much about it until something isn’t working the way we want it to. Such a dedication to technology can cause occasional frustration at home, but it can have serious repercussions in a business environment.
Related Article: 5 Insights on the 9,932 Marketing Technology Landscape
Another Approach: Technology Last
When it comes to business-critical technology, such as the marketing tech stack, you need to take a different approach. We have to step back and first admit that we tend to start with what we believe to be the solution to most problems: jumping straight to software. Over the years, we’ve come to believe that software solves most problems, but the reality is that software implemented just for software’s sake can lead to problems, especially if you choose the wrong tools. It can cause as many problems as it helps solve.
Avoiding tool traps is easy. The first step is to admit that we are software addicts. Admit that addiction, like many addictions, can lead to decisions that have negative consequences. Don’t start talking about software solutions until you understand the real challenges. What problems are you trying to solve? Why are they problems? What are these issues costing your organization, and what would you like to do to eliminate them? Talk to people who can help develop answers to those questions.
Related article: Why is marketing technology often discarded or replaced?
business needs trump engineering, IT
Business needs must come before engineering and IT needs. First, define the business problem, then consider how engineering and IT solutions can be applied to solve those problems. As you consider your business needs, you should also consider what you are doing with your existing tools and technologies. Often, you find yourself doing things a certain way due to the constraints of existing technology.
This is where talking to people can help. Find out what people need to do their jobs, what their goals are, and what their challenges are. Understand their purpose and how they fit into your overall business strategy before you can think about technology.
I would like to summarize this approach as people, culture, process and solutions first and technology last.
As you think about technology, also have an overall strategy for those solutions. Get a complete picture of the system architecture, understand how different software solutions interact, how data flows between them, and what the user experience will be like across the digital supply chain understand what Stop thinking about individual software solutions and think about the journey you need to take as a business.
If you can admit your addiction and get out of it, you can move from “I need to install WizGadget 3.0” to “I need to get information into the customer’s hands faster.” “
And if you can do that, you might even hear a few “thank you”s along the way.