Next from the ‘What’s stopping you’ series where we have been breaking down the barriers marketers face that are preventing them from working smarter, more efficiently and overall, successfully comes from RedEye’s Head of Product Mark McGrath.
Mark will help us tackle the subject ‘what’s stopping you from using the right marketing technology’ looking at common blockers that marketers face when choosing a new platform, knowing and trusting what is best, ensuring a quick ROI and in the best circumstances, succeeding expectations.
Mark has been working in martech for over 15 years, with around 10 of those spent here at RedEye.
While working with us here he has lived two lives, his first few years working client-side in customer success and the past 6 years in product so he is the perfect guy to give us insight on how to ensure you are using the right and best systems for your marketing requirements.
Mark, choosing the right marketing technology can feel overwhelming, how can a marketer know what is the best platform for their needs?
The way to tackle this question when evaluating a new platform is to work backwards from your requirements, rather than plumbing something in and then figuring out how to drive value from it.
Developing a clear understanding of your needs and wants should be the foundation of this process.
A way to make sure you are choosing the right platform is to write down the requirements split by what you want to achieve, vs what you need it to do
Marketers should consider questions like:
- Does the platform’s UI feel intuitive and is it quick to learn?
- Will the platform help me to hit my KPI’s?
- What are new ways I can expand my marketing output using this software?
- How do I report on the results of my campaigns?
- How easy is it to create personalisation at scale?
Then also look at how their customers will benefit:
- Can it send communications personalised to their shopping preferences?
- Can it send communications at the right time for them?
- Are there a few different ways of communicating to reach the customer at different points of their shopping experience?
Looking at it from these two points of view will help form the basis of your platform review and inform your decision-making criteria, ensuring it is going to benefit your customers most of all but also those who will be using the software day in day out.
Finally, one of my top tips is to look for a platform that is continuously improving and launching new features, overall developing their product because if they are at the forefront of their game, it will support you to do the same.
Budgets are stretched currently for many marketing departments; how can a marketer get the right tool that fits within their budget?
Reduced budgets have meant the software market has shifted massively in recent years. This puts the onus on the marketing platform to deliver ROI quicker than ever and be able to demonstrate a return from near enough day one.
A good platform will thrive on that challenge but even so, the importance of getting buy-in and committing resources at the early stages can’t be overstated. Most platforms will provide extensive onboarding support and user enablement to help optimise Time-To-Value (TTV).
ROI is a great metric because it’s hard to misinterpret. Everyone will have different budget constraints when it comes to their investment, but the return needs to outweigh it.
There are plenty of non-financial returns to consider beyond the bottom line, but that’s often the deal breaker.
It really comes down to figuring out the problem you’re trying to solve and what you are trying to achieve then choosing the right platform for the job, if it’s the right tech, the ROI will follow easily.
Keep in mind that many marketing platforms will meet more than one requirement. Consider finding one that enables you to downsize your martech stack as that’s likely to reduce both cost and complexity.
Channels are a great example, it used to be that separate suppliers were needed for Email, SMS, Push, Social, Direct Mail and everything in between.
These days software partners like RedEye can bring everything under one roof to help deliver truly omnichannel marketing from one single, familiar interface.
Whether that investment is money, time, or any other metric, it’s all about delivering the most customer-centric approach possible.
Orchestrating omnichannel touchpoints from a single place is the most practical way to do this. Not only that, but it might help you punch above your weight when reviewing the output of your marketing vs. the budget you’ve invested.
How can I trust the technology to perform as I need it to?
Obviously while researching for a new platform you will have lots of chances to ask questions with tech providers.
Ask everything, leave no stone unturned and make sure you are confident with not just the tech capabilities but also the people who will be helping you on-board and use the system going forwards, after all this is an extension of your marketing team and you need to be not just happy but excited to get creating together.
Crowd-sourced feedback is one of the most valuable sources of information, and there’s always a chance that people in your network can provide first-hand feedback to you.
Start a conversation on LinkedIn or have a look through public forums and review sites such as G2 – this is a great way to figure out the best parts of a new tech platform and how you can quickly leverage them to help hit your targets.
These days, the reality is that most tech is dependable. Downtime and technical issues will rarely affect performance, so the differentiator can often be the people behind the tech and additional services they offer and support in times of urgency.
We’re really proud of our product here at RedEye, but when it comes to ROI and optimising performance, we firmly believe that our people make the biggest difference.
Once transferred to a new marketing platform, how fast can ROI be shown so I can demonstrate that the right choice has been made?
If you have a solid understanding of your cost and profit per sale, then you’ll be able to start calculating ROI very quickly.
Make a note of all the key metrics with your incumbent – total sales, revenue, conversion rates, license cost per month etc.
Try to go as far back as possible, ideally a few years’ worth of data. This will help establish where you are against previous years and generally how your performance is trending.
Use these same metrics and run the analysis again a few weeks later to see where you stand.
Conversion rate % is a great metric to use as it’s absolute – your marketing platform directly influences your ability to convert a customer, so think about all the factors that contribute to it and which of them help to vindicate or challenge your choice.
There’s a lot more we can factor into this calculation too, if we really want to delve into the data to help validate our choice of platform.
Time is one of the best success indicators – let’s say moving platforms and consolidating channels reduces time spent managing marketing efforts by 1 hour per day. That adds up very quickly and enables people to shift their focus to other tasks.
You might also want to consider Social Return on Investment (SROI), which considers the broader non-financial impacts of your decision using social and environmental metrics.
For instance, you might choose a tech partner that is committed to a net negative carbon footprint, even though their data storage costs are marginally higher because of that.
This decision could have an immediate cost that may negatively impact traditional ROI – however, the net benefit to society and the environment could lead to a positive SROI.
Thank you, Mark, some really great insights
And you are right, a lot of the time you can find very similar tech suppliers, so finding one that supports you in other ways is the cherry on the cake, not just getting you the results you need but supporting you with ongoing strategy and ideas, on top of the day to day.
Check out all of the content from our ‘What’s stopping you’ series, which includes tips for hitting your targets and segmenting your database, plus more on the way in the form of creating better campaigns and analysing results effectively.
If you have any topics you would like us to cover please email us and we would love to tackle the issue together.
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