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    3 considerations before leaving your martech vendor

    3 considerations before leaving your martech vendor

    Have you sensed that your martech solution or vendor is losing interest? Or do you have concerns that recent updates might indicate a change in strategy that could threaten your own interests?

    Marketers understand that not all of their relationships are perfect. Team members might talk the talk but not walk the walk. Affiliates may overpromise but underdeliver. Instead of propping you on a warm pillow of comfort, your support folks could be blowing smoke up your — well, you get the picture. 

    If you find yourself in that frame of mind, here are three things to consider before pulling the plug.

    1. Have you outgrown your current solution?

    No matter what is happening in the larger industry you operate in, your company might be going gangbusters. However, your vendor could begin tailoring their solutions to a smaller market. Or their solution might deliver only one service, like email, sales contacts or social media posting and metrics, which is holding back your organization’s efficiency. It’s also possible that your business might need to move to more robust, enterprise-sized solutions that can provide more in one place. 

    Survey the organizations and partners you collaborate with to determine how the tool works for them. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of your tool against a list of competitive ones. If you find more enticing benefits that will help you bridge current gaps while helping you move toward your longer-term goals, it’s time to say goodbye. 

    Dig deeper: A 5-step guide to retiring martech tools without disrupting operations

    2. Has your vendor changed their product or marketing strategy?

    After your company invests in marketing technology, you might think your research into such solutions is over. But think again on that one and not just because of FOMO. 

    As a marketer, you know that just subscribing to your provider’s blog or email newsletter will not keep you fully updated on changes to your provider’s product or solution roadmap. Also, subscribe to product updates and maintenance releases and huddle often with everyone engaged in day-to-day development. The issues they have, when considered together, will give you hints about the direction your provider might take. 

    Whether you decide to become a company stalker is up to you, but if you look carefully, your vendor could be:

    • Going up-market to seek bigger deals with bigger companies. Prices might rise in the future to rid themselves of the customers they consider less valuable — like you. 
    • Going deeper and wider to provide more capabilities. While this is a great growth strategy for them, it could also result in higher costs to you down the road, especially if those capabilities would not be much of a value-add.
    • Locking down their tools to make their solutions more valuable is especially problematic with products built on open-source software or promising open standards. Your vendor may decide to lock down proprietary or home-grown methods when you wish to rely on open ones so your apps and data will remain interoperable no matter how your industry changes.  

    The consequences of hiding metadata, ontologies, application code or business processes could mean your assets or procedures are not easily transferable to other platforms. What if you decide to drop the vendor? Will you lose vital metadata, for example, and need to invest enormous amounts of manhours rebuilding it from scratch to keep your assets findable? 

    Just keeping an eye on changes to terms and conditions will not protect you from rising labor and capital costs related to your vendor’s IP. Once you determine what is most important about the work you do in your martech tool, make sure you have created a governance document that your IT department has signed. Refer to it before you suggest something that increases your workload, no matter what you decide.

    Dig deeper: 5 reasons why the martech landscape will reach its peak in 2024

    3. Have you done your research?

    While it is advisable to research martech enterprise solutions for your current needs, such as that found in reports like Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and Forrester’s Wave, there are many other sources of reviews of these and other software worth taking a good look at, such as TrustRadius, Capterra and Get App. See the MartechMap (registration required) to get an eye on the entire landscape of available solutions. But to be honest, paying attention to what’s available to help you do your job right now is only half of your job.

    Today we’re dealing with an onslaught of new tools in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. But riding the rocky waves of new tech is nothing new. If you want to remain valuable to your employer and gain essential new skills, you must stay aware of new and upcoming solutions to problems you can deploy now and tomorrow. Determining the best way to do this is not something I can really advise you about — it’s a skill that you build on your own in the way that works for you. 

    Some people can consume a deluge of newsletters, whitepapers and videos every working day, rapidly sort the wheat from the chaff, absorb them and add them to some kind of working file (in their head or a tool) that helps them stay abreast of new technologies. Others learn to trust a group of trusted sources over time. Your way will undoubtedly differ from either of these suggestions, but make sure you have one — because your organization must be in the power position, even if your vendor isn’t into you. 

    Dig deeper: 4 steps to take before hitting go on your new martech platform 

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    The post 3 considerations before leaving your martech vendor appeared first on MarTech.

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