This post is by Julian Barrans, Business Director, Asia for TrinityP3. Julian has worked as a business, marketing and branding professional for over 30 years, with more than half of that time in the APAC region, working both client-side and agency side.
At first, it seems like such a simple question, but the more you delve into what’s possible and the ramifications involved, I think you’ll agree, that it’s far more complicated if you want to get it right! Not just for optimising your marketing approach, but for the organisation as a whole.
A lot of ‘one-stop shop’ solutions may suggest you can just ‘plug and play’, but in reality, the only thing that’s straightforward is the purchase itself. The real work starts after that and maybe the realisation that you just shelled out a lot of money for something that’s not actually right for your needs! Had you really taken the time, listed or audited all needs/possibilities and sought expert advice before taking the leap?
Personally, I had a far worse experience. The decision to ‘install’ a marketing/brand management system was taken by the GM and Finance Head, (I was in charge of marketing). It was a nice thought, but looking at what the system did, I suspected it was a lot more about the finance team being able to force marketing to input all activity spends, expected outcomes, approvals, as well as projected ROI so that an extra level of financial control could be exerted on a project by project or activity by activity basis. Would have been nice to have been consulted!
A huge amount of effort was put in by my team to populate the system, with a lot of fields having to be added manually as it hadn’t been thought through very well and the information was needed to help non-marketers make sense of the content. Not surprisingly, financial data linked automatically. So a lot of double handling of other data from sales (other than grocery-retail), R&D quality control, consumer research, Ad/Media agency budgets, for example.
The whole team felt they had become data entry clerks and marketing was under attack. Though the reports and tables produced by the system were very attractively presented, beyond a lot of work it didn’t add much value in reality.
It was a failure and died a slow death over a year or so later. The sad part was so did any idea of investing in the right kind of Martech that would serve the organisation as a whole, and not just a system with a one-sided agenda.
To this end, TrinityP3 has worked with a financial services business in Australia that’s wanted to invest in Martech solutions the right way.
They asked us to help them carry out an audit of their current structure, capabilities and process to identify the challenges of transforming to a new customer journey way of working. This is not just within their marketing team, but linking with other divisions in the organisation that work with marketing and the consumer. Then let’s not forget their agencies and their involvement in contributing to the rich data we’re looking to better leverage.
So, let’s look at some key consideration areas that will influence marketing and the organisation’s thinking around the right Martech strategy and delivering it.
1. Do you have a view of the future mapped out? Not just where you’ve been and are today
- Future consumers and customers, especially around the ‘new normal’. Shifts in consumer behaviour have been marked in many categories…where are they going? How are preferences changing?
- Changing competitive landscape. How are business models evolving or pivoting like the shift in emphasis to e-commerce in many categories?
- Macro changes or shifts in approach, such as Government and public sector influences on regulations around the likes of data protection, privacy, etc. Also, industry developments in data automation/machine learning/AI, etc.
- Organisational operations and capabilities developments re – ways of working and supply chains.
2. Do you understand your marketing funnel, where your data is and how to use customer data platforms (CDP) to optimise engagement?
- Most organisations’ data is siloed and it’s critical to tackle this issue and build organisational alignment to create a unified 360 view of customers so you can best manage the funnel. Do you actually know where all data silos are for that matter and can you realistically get access?
- Are your customers at the heart of your data model? Is CRM central to your Martech approach and not a legacy function linked purely to customer complaints/quality control?
- Do you have metrics in place for your CDP success/ROI around the likes of up-selling, retention, or whatever your selected KPI’s are? Do you have time built in as benefits may take a while to emerge? In this digital world everyone expects results instantly, so expectations need to be managed.
3. Is your organisation prepared to become resilient enough to be ‘always on’?
- For your organisation, do they believe that change is the ‘new normal’, or is it still trying to think through this challenge? Basically, all organisations need to focus on building resilience within, by integrating people, technology and processes from entry-level in the organisation and up!
- Organisations need to develop an agile approach, or agile methodology, in order to be able to pivot when required and not get stuck in a groove that takes it in the wrong ‘original’ direction. To be clear, this should not be about being a ‘knee jerk’ reaction, but one based on a Martech Strategy that’s delivering the insights needed that allows the resilient, ‘always on’ (as relevant for your category), an organisation to make the right correction in the marketplace.
- The challenge with agile approaches is that it has to be easily interpreted and applied across different functions (and their needs), so both the marketing team and product engineers, for example, can work effectively together. This raises the question of team skills to be able to do this too.
- Is the organisation balancing new Martech tools and legacy platforms? This links to my comment above, about ensuring CRM is kept at the heart of your thinking so when adding new tools, they truly add benefits and do not detract from the core focus and insights coming from legacy platforms where the insights are valuable to the organisation and particularly marketing. This means your approach needs to omnichannel internally, as well as externally, of course.
What next then?
There’s a lot of work to be done auditing and mapping out the answers and thinking through the ramifications from these answers.
Maybe you’re glad you didn’t just jump to buy an ‘off the shelve’ Martech solution?
Or maybe you now know enough about what you need to say ‘well actually we can buy the XYZ Martech solution’! Or yes, and I need this and this and this too!
The point is, hopefully, you’ve done your audit, developed your spec of what you need and searched the market for tools/solutions that deliver that spec.
TrinityP3 are here to help you in any of the above by the way. Just one of the many things we do.
Whether you are just developing your technology strategy or reviewing your legacy technology stack to optimise performance, we can assist. Learn more here