Or how you, a marketing director, can end up in a marketing technology jungle.
The marketing profession is constantly changing. This is the third article in a series about Marketing Technology, MarTech, in short. What is it? What does it mean? In the previous post we looked at what a MarTech stack is and what it can do for a marketing department.
The answer to that was that every marketing team uses a range of digital solutions to a greater or lesser extent. For example, e-mail, social media management tools and a content management system. We also looked at marketing technology stacks. The great advantage of a stack starts with viewing a set of tools as an ecosystem, instead of loose sand, making them work together better and making them work well together.
It is a question that every marketing manager of a medium-sized team will be familiar with: “May I use your company credit card so that I can take out a subscription to this super-duper marketing tool. It only costs $ 30 per year and with this I can do my work much more efficiently. And I can also instantly create the report that you asked for.”
There are few arguments against SAAS marketing tools
In general, there are little objections to deploy Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) marketing tools. The apps on your smartphone are easy to use and now also entering the world of business software. SaaS tools often do a small task very well and intuitively. It almost seems too tempting not to use one. Just like your smartphone apps.
This is also the explanation for the success of SaaS tools. No wonder the number on the market is exploding. Scott Brinker (chiefmartec.com) has been working on an inventory of all digital marketing tools that have been used in the United States for a number of years. In 2011, there were little over a hundred tools and by the end of 2017 the counter stopped at 5207 and there are even a few more that are beloved in Europe, but not on his list.
With thousands of tools on the market and different departments in a company with dozens of employees, the danger of a proliferation of tools seems to be lurking. You could assume that in such a proliferation situation there would be no efficiencies and little benefits, and that all kinds of limitations and extra risks would arise. Yet the opposite seems to be true.
SaaS marketing tools often have already predefined integrations with other relevant tools. Because they tackle a very specific task, their makers ensure that they connect with other tools in the same ecosystem.
In addition, the costs are often limited, the tools can grow with the business and because they are Cloud applications, you are no longer depending on the IT department. For companies in which it is not a big problem to entrust data to an external service provider, there seem to be only upsides to allow employees to subscribe to a SaaS marketing tool. CMO and marketing directors can focus once again on leading and inspiring their team, instead of introducing governance measures such as a companywide agreement on the use of an enterprise marketing solution, mandatory tools or data protection requirements. “The cloud is here to stay.”
The illusion of control and overview through one marketing software platform
If you ask a marketing manager why they want to implement a marketing platform, the answer is often: “I want to know if my team is doing the right things”. Unfortunately, after thousands of implementations and decades of deceptions, those managers may still have no control and overview. What is going wrong?
Companies that work with enterprise marketing platforms often have to deal with integration problems. Before you know, you will end up in an IT integration project with the need for external programmers creating APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), while you really want to focus on, for instance, the next lead generation campaign. Another problem with enterprise platforms are the continuous acquisitions. Companies merge, are bought by large market parties or may go out of business. For example, MarketingPilot turned into Microsoft Dynamics, Unica merged into IBM and Neolane became a part of the Adobe suite. It is the recipe for marketers ’problems, because the promised “seamless fully-fledged integration” will never happen, but the commotion will keep you away from your real strategic marketing activities.
Control and overview with one integrated marketing ecosystem
If you, as a CMO or marketing director, have no idea what tools are available in your company, what these tools do exactly and if you do not have an exit strategy, then the door to a small disaster in the data arena is wide open. Good management is having a grip, knowing what is going on and being able to make timely adjustments. When it comes to managing the MarTech in your department, that is exactly the case.
But how do you do it; keeping a grip on the MarTech tools, if you do not work with them on a daily basis?
Keeping a grip and making adjustments do not serve any function without concrete and clear goals. It is like sailing a ship. Without destination it is useless to adjust the course of a ship. You must have a destination or a goal to reach it.
Having a grip and making the optimal choices about which MarTech tools you will be using will only start if you have established and described the strategic marketing goals in an objective and concrete way and for the medium term. MarTech stack is not an end in itself, but a tool for change. For achieving results and success it is a requirement that all members in the team are aware of the marketing goals of the company. It is all about connecting strategy and execution. Then the choices which tools to deploy follows more or less automatically.
An integrated MarTech stack. Where to begin?
The Boardview app is one of those 5000+ MarTech tools. It enables a CMO, marketing director or a leader of a marketing team to connect the strategy with the goals of individual employees. Not only top down from boardroom to floor, but also bottom up from the scrum board to the strategy.
Working with Boardview results in that every member of the marketing team is aware what their contribution is to the bigger picture. That in itself is of great value and a real motivator, but there is more. In fact, the Boardview app gives you a new-style marketing plan, agile and continuously adaptable as new challenges arise. As a manager, you can use it to focus on creating value. By linking Boardview to Trello, Asana or Basecamp or even all three, you can easily and quickly roll out the strategy in the form of task lists for your team members. And then we are back at the beginning of this article. You want to know if your team is working on the right things. By connecting strategy to the tools in use, you finally get control and an overview of what is happening in your business.
Do you want to learn more about Boardview? Have a look at boardview.io or fill the form below to send me a message and start working with Boardview today.