Read five minutes and you know the pros and cons.
The marketing profession is changing constantly. This is episode 5 in a series about MarTech (short for Marketing Technology). In the previous articles we looked at: What is MarTech exactly? What can you do with it? And how can you ensure that your technology functions properly? As a marketing team, you can no longer do without MarTech. In addition to creativity and project planning, marketing now has a third component: technology. The digital tools that marketers use do not stand alone; a set of digital tools to plan and run marketing programs as effectively and efficiently as possible in different channels is called a marketing stack. In my previous post we saw that for a medium-sized marketing team of 10-30 employees, outsourcing the development and continuous improvement of your marketing stack can be a real advantage. The motto here: “Let marketers be marketers again”. But what are the real advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing?
The reasons not to do it
There is surely something to be said for not outsourcing the further development of your marketing stack.
It costs money.
I still have to meet the first marketing director who has unlimited resources. Marketing managers in smaller organizations and ditto budget often seem to believe that working for a global organization implies that budgets are abundant. The opposite is often true though, because in large companies the absolute amounts may be many times larger, but the budget per product sold or as a percentage of the turnover is often lower. Shortage of resources in relation to the targets applies to all sizes of companies, sectors, countries and times.
It’s therefore tempting that someone in your team handles the marketing stacking. The costs may then be less visible, but you will withdraw this marketer from the means to deliver result-oriented marketing activities such as campaigns. It is most likely that these campaign activities are of the greatest importance and this person cannot give priority to continuously delivering improvements to the stack.
Outsourcing still requires some management, planning and control.
Whether your marketing stack is developed internally or externally, it still requires setting priorities and making choices. No matter how good the external party is, simply shouting out the order “get me a marketing stack”, will not deliver optimal results. “Garbage in – garbage out” also applies to stacking. You know the familiar route of software implementations where one tries to implement management, planning and control in Gantt Charts. Often in vain.
- The risk of an unqualified supplier.
How many parties in the Netherlands are experienced with setting up marketing stacks? And if they are already there, how familiar are they with the thousands of digital marketing tools that are on the market? Many marketing directors may have experienced a party pitching for the delivery of digital marketing suite with a good presentation and video from the Silicon Valley headquarters, but when you pose a few simple questions about the implementation, there is a silence because the experience is simply lacking. Can this budget tool handle multiple currencies? Multi-language issues? Not just anybody can stack.
The reasons not to are actually the reasons to do it
And yet there are more arguments for outsourcing the development of your marketing stack than against.
Time and speed
Resources are scarce in every business and there is always pressure. Some marketing tasks are quickly preferred above stacking (Often, priority is given to practical marketing activities, such as generating leads…). For instance, the one that generates direct leads, that update that supposed to generate more eCommerce sales or that report for the Vice President, who decides on your promotion. It is tempting to disregard the improvement of the marketing stack for another week. The company you outsource to has no other purpose than to provide you with an optimal marketing stack. And with that, outsourcing is the solution for companies where time is scarce. And that could be kind of smart, because what if an improvement in your marketing stack in the first week of the year yields higher eCommerce sales figures in the rest of the year for 51 weeks. A matter of having a grip on strategy and execution.
Together with my partner MarTech Agency boardview.io we have done over 200 marketing technology implementations. As a result, we know a wide range of best practice cases. In addition, we have been able to fine tune the implementations for our customers over the course of time, so we know what is effective and what does not work.
We have also made an analysis of all the tools in the categories in Scott Brinker’s MarTech Landscape and we know
- What they can and cannot do
- Which tools cost less than $ 100 per year for 10 users
- The integration possibilities with other platforms, such as Zapier, Trello, Slack or Google Drive.
For us, MarTech is not a simple means or a necessary evil. It is not something we spent a Friday afternoon on, to kill time because all the other work was finished. MarTech is our passion, it is something we sincerely believe in. Not an hour a week, but day in and day out, every week again and for all our customers.
Our focus is MarTech and therefore we are able to deliver those stacks, solutions and implementations, which give employees a real hard time getting done.
An external party can, like no other, look with a fresh perspective at an existing structure. This is no different when realizing and optimizing MarTech stacks. Marketing is teamwork in every respect. Every team should evaluate after a project. What went well? What not? What do we have to lose and where do we start with a next project? Improvements that are the answers to these questions are often procedural by nature. But how can we ensure that the digital marketing tools in the organization contribute flawlessly to the solution of the problem? Sometimes that requires an objective judgment.
- At one of the companies I was involved in, a customer service tool had been implemented. The chosen solution worked well for the service manager and her team. She was very satisfied with it. However, the campaign team could not use the service contacts in their campaign tool. The two tools simply did not work together. What is the solution? A new campaign tool, another service tool, or is there another solution possible? An external party is able to provide objective advice on this issue and to ignore individual or partial-team interests.
In the next blog we look at the a startup case. They started at high speed with the creation of digital assets, an offline campaign, photo material, banners, logos, fonts, small gifts, email templates, images, and so on. The large amount resulted in a messy situation and at certain occasions consumers even faced incorrect materials. We present four MarTech stacks below € 100 for perfect management of digital assets.
If you do not want to wait until that time, please leave your details below for more information about developing a marketing stack for your company.