In the world of marketing and advertising technology, the sheer number of tools available for any one purpose can be dizzying. Shiny new marketing and advertising technologies seem to crop up daily, even when a multitude of vendors catering to every channel and marketing function imaginable already exist. Because of this, one of the most difficult tasks for a marketer is figuring out how to cut through the noise to understand one technology’s actual capabilities and its pros and cons compared to competitors. While this is certainly a critical task, many organizations approach it ineffectively.
Understanding Your Landscape
When organizations perceive a gap in their marketing technology, often the tendency is to immediately turn to the ever-expansive marketplace for a shiny new solution. After all, who doesn’t like a new toy? While there are certainly many potential solutions in the marketplace, many times organizations miss the ones right under their noses.
Time and time again, technology consulting teams have encountered organizations that either:
- a) have access to most of the technology they need, but are not leveraging it correctly, or
- b) have the technology in-house, however, it is siloed off in a separate business unit
For these reasons, it’s important that marketers take a good, hard look at the technology they already have before spending money on a new solution.
Use Case-Driven Evaluation
To better leverage the existing technology that your organization already has access to, you should clearly define several use cases and assign specific objectives. These use cases can then be used to evaluate that technology’s capabilities against. Can the tool execute these use cases or not? Is the tool the issue itself or are there underlying problems, like data access, that are preventing these use cases?
Dialog Between Silos
On the flip side, it’s important to have a good purview of all the technologies your organization already owns, even if they are siloed off in a separate business unit. Your organization will ultimately find efficiencies in leveraging existing adequate toolsets because in-house experience, expertise, and possible technology integration will be more readily available (even if siloed from your business unit) than if purchasing a brand-new solution. To ensure these opportunities aren’t missed, have your marketers engage in open dialog with their counterparts in other business units, and as mentioned above, leverage a use case-driven approach to guide conversation and evaluate capabilities.
Having a clear picture of all marketing technology options available to your organization is paramount when addressing what seem to be the gaps in your ecosystem. This is especially true for the technologies that your organization already owns, as leveraging existing assets will often bring cost savings and operational efficiencies across the board. Applying use cases to evaluate tool capabilities and facilitate dialog across siloed business units will help your organization determine whether a technology gap really exists in your ecosystem.