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    How to align processes to drive martech utilization

    How to align processes to drive martech utilization

    When Gartner surveyed CMOs in 2023 about the state of their marketing technology stack, most admitted to using only one-third of their martech stack. This percentage has been decreasing in the past few years, even though the purchase of new marketing technology platforms has increased in the same period. 

    CMOs also admit this is a big problem and seemingly without easy solutions. The survey highlights four main obstacles to boosting marketing technology usage: 

    • The complexity of the current martech landscape.
    • Insufficient customer groundwork to amplify technology’s business value.
    • Rigid internal governance processes.
    • Challenges in recruiting marketing talent to drive adoption.

    The primary cause of these obstacles is the mismatch between marketing technology and processes. This misalignment leads to martech underutilization but also contributes to the increasing complexity and diversity of martech options.

    Given all that, let’s look at why marketers can significantly reduce these obstacles and boost martech utilization by aligning marketing technology with marketing processes.

    Aligning martech with marketing processes 

    Platforms are likely to be underused when marketing technology isn’t integrated with marketing processes. Even worse, the martech stack may continue to expand despite declining overall usage. This can happen because some business stakeholders believe that technology alone can solve marketing issues, regardless of how well it aligns with current and future processes. However, in reality, this approach often falls short.

    Martech should be aligned with marketing processes from the beginning. This will allow teams to see the pain points that technology can alleviate and understand how it can help improve processes themselves. Without such alignment, even thorough training will be of limited benefit, as users of the martech platform will not perceive a compelling reason to utilize it initially.

    Ensuring martech is aligned with marketing processes and avoiding overlap between different platforms can result in cost savings, time efficiency and increased productivity for marketing teams. Consider aspects like customer activation and conversion optimization, which could all benefit from such alignment.

    Dig deeper: Aligning martech with your business strategy: Your blueprint for success

    Auditing your martech platforms and processes

    As a next step, I recommend creating a “Marketing Processes and Technology Landscape Analysis” spreadsheet. 

    Here are the columns: 

    • Marketing platform. List each one of the marketing platforms you have (you can also use this approach for platforms you are considering). 
    • Purpose. Identify the purpose of each platform (e.g., email communication, customer database, SMS communication, etc). 
    • Platform owner/responsible team. Who owns the platform (i.e., maintains it, interfaces with the vendor, provides training options, helps set up, etc.)? Who uses it on a day-to-day basis?
    • Customer journey/buying funnel phase. How does the martech platform match the customer journey or buying funnel? Is it used for top, middle or bottom-of-funnel activities? 

    Keep it simple. The process is iterative, so don’t dwell on perfection. Expect to revisit and refine multiple times. This document isn’t final; it’s meant to spark productive discussions among the various teams working with martech.

    After this spreadsheet is done, go line by line with your marketing managers and check the following: 

    • Is there an overlap among the different marketing platforms? 
    • If yes, can platforms be consolidated from a marketing process standpoint? 
    • How can any of these platforms help with pain points in marketing processes? 

    For example, if two platforms can accomplish the same from a marketing perspective (sending email, for instance), there is an opportunity to remove one of them and save money and time. On the other hand, one of these platforms may also remove a pain point or automate an operational task (such as a platform that sends email and connects to the analytics platform so all email campaign data can flow automatically from one platform to the other). 

    Even if this process may seem to overload marketers with yet another task, these exercises are greatly helpful. They can help improve marketing processes, which can streamline processes and save marketers’ time. 

    Dig deeper: The sticky problem of martech integration

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    The post How to align processes to drive martech utilization appeared first on MarTech.

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