How to Maximize the Impact of New Marketing Tools
July 2, 2019 | Elizabeth Rivelli
B2B marketers rely heavily on marketing technologies to help streamline their daily workflows, improve productivity, and simplify complex tasks. For many of them, a comprehensive martech stack is a must-have in order to stay organized and optimize their performance. And today, there is no shortage of martech tools on the market—both free and paid. In fact, research from Chief Martec determined that there are 6,829 marketing technology solutions from 6,242 unique vendors. Talk about overwhelming.
Why Marketers are Facing Martech Burnout
Having access to nearly 7,000 solutions can present both opportunities and challenges for marketers today. On one hand, having options allows you to build a stack that is hyper-relevant to your specific business needs—and you can add or remove tools as your priorities change.
Unfortunately, the promise of martech is not fulfilled in a marketer’s day-to-day reality. In fact, data shows that marketers are struggling to navigate the crowded waters of the martech landscape today. HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound report found that 26 percent of marketers said their top challenge is identifying the right technologies to meet their business needs. The complexity of building a comprehensive martech stack without guaranteed ROI can quickly lead to martech burnout, if you’re not certain about which tools you really need.
When talking about martech burnout, it’s also important to note that more tools does not translate into better business results. When the average organization uses over 90 different martech tools, as some research suggests, there’s an opportunity to consolidate and streamline your stack. Marketers need to know how to optimize the use of their existing tools, augment their stack with new software, and most importantly, maximize their martech budget.
How to Make the Most of New Martech Tools
In many organizations, martech budgets are at an all-time high. Research from Gartner found that, on average, marketing technology now accounts for almost one-third of most marketing budgets. As a result, marketers have more freedom to expand their tech stack, and bring new tools into the mix. But before adding a new martech solution to your stack, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Follow these tips to make the most of your new tools.
1. Set KPIs to Measure Success
Before you begin using a new martech solution, sit down with your team and create goals that will indicate success or failure. If you adopt a tool that promises to optimize your social media presence, set a goal of attaining 100 new followers in the first month to see if the product is effective for you. Make sure you understand what you’re trying to accomplish by using the new solution—either reduce the effort needed to achieve a certain output, or maximize the use of limited resources. Measuring the success of your martech tools helps prove the ROI of the product to your leadership team, and helps you benchmark success moving forward. Check in every month to see how the product is working, where you can improve, and if it’s helping you reach your ultimate business goals.
2. Stay Informed on New Features
Most vendors communicate with their customers through newsletters, email updates, webinars, and in many instances, a combination of all three. To stay updated on new product features, make sure your team is signed up for those product updates, and read them thoroughly. Martech software gets upgraded all the time to meet the new and changing needs of their customers, and to keep up with competitors. Staying in the loop about new features ensures that you’re taking advantage of all that the product has to offer, and getting the most out of your investment. If there’s a feature you want to learn more about, don’t hesitate to reach out to the vendor’s customer support team. They can make sure you’re using the product effectively, so you can see the biggest return.
3. Make Sure Your Tools Are Connected
We know that many B2B marketers implement dozens of martech tools into their daily and weekly workflows, not to mention the solutions reserved for monthly analytics tracking, or quarterly reports. To make the most of your entire martech stack from end-to-end, make sure your tools are connected wherever possible. Many martech vendors have native integrations or APIs with other popular tools, and marketers should take advantage. So before making a purchase, determine if a new martech tool can integrate with your existing systems. If a solution doesn’t play well with others, it could cost you a lot of wasted time. Connecting the tools in your marketing stack can greatly eliminate wasted resources needed to organize all your tools individually. It’s also a great way to streamline processes across teams that use different tools to track their work and performance.
4. Communicate with Key Stakeholders
Data shows that martech budgets are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to convince leadership that you need the budget for a new tool. That’s why communication with key stakeholders in your department is important. One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make when using a new tool is waiting until things go wrong before they give a status update. To show real value, set expectations, identify potential risks, and share updates regularly. Don’t wait until a quarterly review or budget renewal to discuss what’s going well—or what’s not—with the product. Good communication also increases the likelihood that you’ll receive budget for another martech tool down the line.
5. Make Training a Priority
Many martech vendors tout an easy-to-use UX and UI as a selling point, but using the product is rarely as easy as they claim. That’s why going through a formal training process is important. Onboarding helps accelerate the time to value so you can start using the product instead of trying to figure out how to use it. Before you start using a new martech tool, set up a training call with the vendor’s customer success team. Having an expert walk you through the product will be much more effective than attempting to navigate the platform on your own. Additionally, make sure that all team members who might potentially work with the product also receive training. If someone on your team leaves the organization, you’ll still have an internal champion that can ensure your team is using the tool effectively.
Adding a new tool to your martech stack is exciting—it’s a fresh start with new opportunities for growth and improvement. But when all is said and done, it’s important to have a sound process in place before, during, and even after using the new solution. As marketers combat martech fatigue, it’s easy to overlook the little things that can lead to big challenges in the future. To get the most mileage out of your new martech tools, follow the steps outlined above. In return, you’ll improve your productivity, prove the ROI of your marketing efforts, and demonstrate your value to leadership.
Looking for a new tool to improve your lead generation and lead qualification strategy? See why SnapApp should be the newest addition to your martech stack.