Building a successful marketing technology stack is not just about buying the most expensive shiny new object money can buy. It is about having the forethought to create a vision of how you will drive value out of the solution and working with the right team to assure that the end solution will allow you to realize that value. Here are a few things marketers should consider in any marketing technology implementation. Whether you are building a marketing database or implementing a DMP, these tips will help you plan for success.
Staff the right resources
In any marketing technology implementation there are two critical roles. The first is the business driver. This person understands the priorities of the business and is able to speak to the prioritized use cases for that solution. He or she is also able to quickly gain consensus on key project decisions. The second key role is the analyst. Don’t let the name mislead you. This person does not need to be an analyst by trade. I have seen various resources play this role; from project managers to marketing directors. The key to this role is asking the right questions on how the system and the data connect and pushing for comprehensive answers to those questions to deliver the desired solution.
Start with the basicsMarketing technology implementations are notoriously delivered late and/or over budget. The main reason for this is the lack of clear objectives that govern the project. Take a marketing database implementation for example. Before the project starts, the stakeholders should be aligned on a manageable number of key use cases that will deliver the most value for the business in the short term. In the absence of this clarity, the end solution ends up attempting to satisfy every need for everyone in the organization. Start with the basics, begin to drive value, and then add on to the solution.
Plan for the next phase now
In addition to the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, your marketing technology also necessarily evolves with your business. Whether through simple ad hoc change management or larger, longer term release cycles, marketers need to expect and plan for change. Setting this expectation up front will make budgeting easier and will also inform details in the ongoing run portion of your agreement with vendors.
Select the right vendor
It is critical that you understand what kind of vendor you are working with. For example, there are pure technology vendors. They have best–in-class platforms, but the platform implementation may or may not come with a team that will help guide you through the project with your end use cases and business objectives in mind. Most marketing staffs do not contain resources with expertise in implementing today’s marketing technology stack. Because of this, it is important to work with a trusted partner to help you build for success. A good partner will have experience working with various best–in-class marketing technology solutions. This experience allows your partner to help your team ask the right questions, consider all avenues, and assure that your priority use cases will be satisfied on day one.
Check out MerkleONE for a look at how we help our clients navigate the complex marketing technology ecosystem to drive insights and orchestrate customer experiences that deliver performance.