This post is by Kylie Ridler-Dutton, Marketing Management Consultant at TrinityP3. Kylie is a discipline neutral specialist with consulting and implementation experience spanning across retail, alcohol, utilities and telecommunications.
The technology transformation era has caused businesses to sit up and take note that in order to sustain your brand for future growth and profit you need to invest in the latest technology to keep up with….what exactly?
This question, and often panic, has led to businesses investing in multiple technology solutions and internal marketing departments facing restructure to manage the investment, which ultimately leads to more (poor) investment.
Sometimes businesses get it right investing in technology and sometimes it can lead to dormant software and marketing divisions not really achieving results. Which leads to the big question that often cannot be answered, or in most cases is not even being asked ‘What has the ROI been on that investment?’
Technology and Resources Audit
Recent client engagement has seen TrinityP3 initiate the evaluation of a company’s technology resources and internal team structures. Our first question is always;
Do you have an integrated marketing-technology strategy?
Our evaluation process:
- A technology audit – what is there currently under licence, what is actively being utilised and how is it utilised throughout the business?
- Review of technology resources and who accesses them.
- How does it link back to the strategy and therefore the marketing plan. The plans should both consider internal evaluation and acquisition of technology.
Technology and the potential ROI in business
Often, we uncover that the technology is the right fit for the client’s business except it is not being used to its full potential.
In one recent example, we discovered the business’s marketing department were unaware they had the licence for a CRM product. The communication between a) Procurement purchasing the software, to b) the CTO not being involved in the process, led to the marketing department not understanding the benefits of the software.
This led to a lengthy acquisition project involving costly resources that could have been avoided had the implementation of the CRM product been implemented and communicated with clear process across the entire business
A business needs to develop the strategy and set the budgets first, then the technology should follow. Many businesses start out on a tender process before they even know what they are looking for, this can then lead to signing up and committing to costs that they don’t need.
It is also difficult for a supplier to respond to a tender with a fair and realistic pricing structure without any detailed scope of work. So, of course they are going to cover all bases and charge accordingly.
Internal Structure and Technology
We often find companies are working in departmental silos. Over and over we see companies not working to a strategy and being wrapped up in day to day tasks, leading to a lack of achieving results. There is a common theme that ‘Digital’ is the area within a business that deals with the technology.
Digital should not be a silo, it should transcend into everything as one part of the whole.
Technology should be the nucleus that drives insights into learnings to drive the evolution of the strategy. This should be a shared focus throughout the business and the integrated marketing plan. It should be the responsibility of anyone who touches the strategy and planning of the business. Intrinsically linked to the ROI.
Investing in Technology
It starts with the ROI, what ultimately will drive results and how will it be measured? This comes back to the strategy that needs to set out the KPIs that should be linked to the marketing plan. This can then be broken into actionable insights that should lead to the communication plan. A communication plan should not be developed until the business and technology plan is finalised.
In this ’real time’ technological world the insights should be regular and allow company departments, or inter department ‘cluster groups’, to take those insights and shape the next campaign to be delivered.
With the surge of social platforms we also see a need for technology to integrate the real-time conversations with consumers being used to also shape the insights being used to form campaign actions.
Most technology CRM systems will be updated, or should be reviewed, to ensure the capabilities are there to integrate into the insights, driven from social media and therefore into the overall strategy.
Keeping up with the Joneses
I’ll have what she’s having? Nope, the trend to think you need what the next company has with the latest software can be a poor investment. Look back and audit which technology is within the company already and how it is being utilised.
The conversation should start with the strategy and how the technology fits into this strategy. How big can the investment be based on that strategy? This should then allow the return to be optimised along the way without over-investing up front.
Where to next?
Know what you have, have only what you need and have everybody contribute to its strategic alignment.
Or if that sounds like a lot of work, TrinityP3 can tailor an audit to evaluate your current and future state.
The next time the question is raised ‘What is the ROI on our technology’ there should be a clear answer and shared understanding of the role technology plays within the business.
Are you struggling with the complexity that digital and data offer to business? Let TrinityP3 make sense of the new digital ecosystem for you