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    How marketers can help boost martech utilization

    In 2023, martech utilization was only at 33% per Gartner — a steep decline from 42% in 2022 and 58% in 2020. The underutilization of martech has unintended consequences. For example, it may lead to future budget reductions based on past platform usage. Insufficient usage of martech may also hinder the improvement of marketing processes. 

    There are different reasons why martech is underutilized. In some cases, CMOs and other leaders may want to pursue new technologies as this landscape evolves quickly. Many martech users may not benefit from using a given platform. Users may also not be properly trained to use the martech platforms and may not receive the necessary support to learn how to better use them in their day-to-day work. 

    Ultimately, martech platforms must address two types of marketing problems: customer-facing communication issues (e.g., personalizing emails or SMS) and internal challenges (e.g., automating personalized email communication to eliminate manual efforts).

    Marketers are in a strategic position to help increase the use of martech tools as they are deeply involved in how marketing processes work, what type of outputs are required and how this could affect customer-facing communication. Here are some steps that can help you optimize martech utilization. 

    1. Treat your marketing processes like any new customer-facing campaign or channel

    Choose your use cases wisely. They should accurately reflect existing marketing processes. Begin with a small but representative proof of concept project. Often, marketers focus on consumer-facing activities for experimentation but overlook their internal processes. 

    Start by picking one process, like segmenting paid media campaigns or personalizing email campaigns. Check for overlap among your martech platforms and explore how these platforms can enhance current marketing processes. Can platforms automate paid media segmentation? Can they streamline team organization for these processes?

    This is a crucial step that should set the tone for the following steps. Looking at your available tools from both a customer-facing and a marketing process standpoint will unlock many opportunities to increase martech utilization. This step is often overlooked or delegated to teams outside marketing, who may not be as knowledgeable about existing marketing processes and how they could be improved. 

    Dig deeper: How to unlock the power of your marketing technology

    2. Take a comprehensive look at how martech platforms fit into your current marketing processes

    Which platforms are most useful for your processes? Can they be linked to make sharing data easier and improve marketing? Are marketing teams prepared to use this data to enhance their work within these platforms?

    Once you have a holistic view of your martech stack and how it can help optimize processes, it is time to match these processes and the features offered in the stack. If automation of customer-facing communication can help improve marketing processes, which martech platform offers it? Can it cover all channels of customer communication? Or does the company need more than one platform to cover all channels?

    By mapping processes and existing features, you can highlight overlap among various platforms (and help your organization save money by removing such overlaps). 

    3. Define what ‘improved martech stack utilization’ means for your company

    It’s not just about how much of the platform you’re using but how it helps enhance your current processes to achieve your business goals. Looking at platform usage without context from marketing processes may lead to misleading conclusions. Martech platforms define their usage level using different metrics and benchmarks. 

    For example, suppose a company is actively increasing its customer data acquisition efforts. In that case, it is beneficial not to use the database platform to its fullest, as it will grow over a specific time period. However, this same platform utilization should be evaluated as a function of decreasing the time for customer data ingestion and activation.

    Dig deeper: 3 tips to maximize your martech stack’s value

    4. Check the metrics for how well you’re using your martech tools to improve marketing processes

    Can your marketing process get faster, achieve the same results with fewer resources or even increase output when needed? These are some examples of marketing process metrics that can be used to better define martech utilization. Turn these improvements into specific metrics and KPIs to track regularly.

    5. Provide training and support for the chosen marketing processes and platforms

    This step is crucial for successfully implementing and maintaining martech improvements. Users should have access to self-service training, support tools, and peers for assistance. This fosters a community where employees can ask questions, share ideas, and continuously learn. 

    Note that the focus of the steps listed above is strategic in nature and not merely technical or operational. Instead of focusing on specific platforms, this approach allows you to continue to adjust your processes better to boost martech utilization while also meeting overall business goals.

    Dig deeper: How experimental marketers can drive martech utilization

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    The post How marketers can help boost martech utilization appeared first on MarTech.

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