In these times of hyper-competition with fewer new customers to win, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are increasingly looking to customer-centricity, or wrestling to integrate channels and trying to offer more consistent customer experiences. There is a dizzying array of technologies available that promise to transform marketing, sales and service capabilities. At Flock we have written about technology before, but this time we look at how to effect marketing transformation in your organisation through the successful implementation of marketing technologies.
‘Technology is simply a tool’ is a phrase often heard in the debate around the marketing technology table. Marketers use this as a way of stressing the importance of ‘marketing’ over the ‘technology’. The Chief Technology Officers/Chief Information Officers will use this term to suggest that it is simply technology like any other. The reality is that technology alone will not result in better marketing. Simply implementing the latest and greatest marketing automation solution will not suddenly improve your marketing. If you do not place your customers at the heart of your strategy the best tools in the world will not save you from the fate shared by up to 70% of marketing technology implementations that go wrong. The ‘marketing’ when applied to marketing technology is the most important factor between success and failure, where success can truly transform your entire marketing ecosystem.
Pitfall number 1 – Mind the marketing strategy gap!
Implementing new technology may work to temporarily provide you with marginal performance uplift. Sadly, the lack of clear alignment to customer needs and your customer journey – missing links to your core business objectives – will invariably result in the implementation of compromised solutions. You can avoid this pitfall by ensuring that your marketing strategy recognises the unique attributes of your customer journey and that you have mapped the needs of your customer at each stage of that journey. This will help you identify the role that technology can play to enhance and support your customer at each stage of their journey.
Pitfall number 2 – Avoid the technology trap
Closely linked with the marketing strategy gap, the technology trap is frequently the most cited reason for why marketing technology implementations go wrong. CMOs continue to fall into this trap by assuming:
- Technology vendors understand your business and customers and that you ‘really do need’ every single module and platform add-on
- The technology will work seamlessly with your existing platforms and processes without the need for bespoke integration and/or changes to your processes and in-house capability
- Your team will jump at the chance to start working with a complex set of new tools
Successful implementations start and end with simple processes, which make your customers’ lives easier and your team’s lives even easier.
Pitfall number 3 – The ‘Heath Robinson’ effect
It is a fundamental failure to design your marketing processes around all the technology modules that you bought from that slick technology vendor. Clear, simple and relevant will always be better than the overly complex. By far the best approach is to focus on very specific aspects of process improvement that matter most to your customers and that will drive incremental conversions, sales, life-time value, etc. If you allow technology to dictate the complexity of your marketing processes it could cost you dearly in terms of:
- Delays in getting your activity in-market
- Increased customer churn
- Lost sales opportunities
Keeping things simple and focused on your customer is crucial to success.
Pitfall number 4 – Ignore your customers at your peril
The most important aspect to any marketing technology implementation is your customer. Customers are the lifeblood of any brand. Take time to listen to them, solicit their views and opinions on what they like/dislike, what they need, what they buy/do not buy. Customer insights are key to landing successful marketing technology implementations.
Pitfall number 5 – The people piece
“Hire for attitude, train for skill”
Resistance to change and limited adoption by intended end-users still remains the main reason for why marketing technology implementations fail to realize any discernible ROI. Technology alone will never deliver the performance gains that companies look for from their investments – people do! Marketing technology implementation programs need to go hand-in-hand with capability enhancements through bespoke training and development.
Flock works with its clients to deliver ‘sticky’ and self-sustaining solutions through the development of marketing capability frameworks and toolkits that embed new knowledge and skills into existing marketing teams.
Failure to avoid these pitfalls tends to result in marketing technology implementations that suffer loss of capital through cost and project scope creep. This leads to loss of revenue and/or opportunity costs when customers and your people do not adapt to or adopt the new technology and processes.
If you would like to understand what marketing technology will help you in your marketing transformation journey, but also ensure successful implementation and adoption of the technology; Flock can help. Contact us here.
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