Originally Published on Forbes.com on November 22nd, 2019.
Nowadays, agency clients primarily focus on digital marketing. Because of this, agencies have had to keep up with the times, investing in digital marketing techniques that can offer new avenues for engaging with consumers.
New marketing technology has a lot of potential, but some agencies never realize the latent power of their marketing tech. A business that chooses the wrong platform in their martech adoption could cause far more problems than the digital platform would solve. To help agencies come to grips with what they should keep in mind, 12 members of Forbes Agency Council share several vital questions an agency should ask and answer when considering implementing new marketing tech.
1. What Is The Value?
When we evaluate martech we are always asking questions. Does it save money? Does it save time? How is it different from what we are doing currently? And ultimately, is it better for the client? The general rule of thumb for us is to avoid the “shiny object syndrome.” If you are going to try some new tech, make sure you have a performance benchmark to compare the results against. – Sean Allen, Twelve Three Media
2. Is It Integrated?
When exploring new martech, it is very important to ask yourself, “Can I find a comprehensive solution that will integrate online, mobile and social marketing all in one easy platform?” Also ask yourself if the platform offers support staff to provide on-demand assistance to help make your job easier. – Laura Cole, Vivial
3. Does It Align With Our Branding?
Does the platform’s initiatives align with the branding of the company? This is an important question to ask because although acquiring customers and users is important, the lifetime value of the customer or user is one of the most important data points to focus on. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
4. How Does It Change How I Work?
From small agency to enterprise client, the efficiencies and value martech generates for business are amazing. The challenge with choosing, though, is agencies and clients seek martech to execute what their business is currently doing instead of looking for systems that can change how they work. Do not fall into that trap. Ask yourself and your clients, “How does this system change how I work?” – Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH
5. Will It Help Us Meet Client Goals?
The best martech solutions will help you meet client goals, either directly (i.e. marcom platform) or indirectly (i.e. process efficiencies). The martech provider should be able to demonstrate their ability to affect your client goals, and provide the training and support to maintain success into the future — because exceeding client goals will build loyalty and agency growth into the future. – Stephanie Shreve, PowerChord
6. Do I Need A Platform Or A Feature?
Oftentimes, we look at a new platform because of their ability to present a feature that we are searching for. Meanwhile, our existing martech stack may have that feature in a platform that we are already using. I would suggest that before looking at the next shiny platform, make sure that you don’t already have the functionality in an existing purchase. – A. Lee Judge, Content Monsta
7. Do We Have The Team To Back It Up?
Always ask yourselves if your internal resources can support learning and maintaining a martech platform. Putting your (human) team in place is more important than the latest snazzy tech product. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
8. What’s The ROI?
Don’t get caught up in all the bells and whistles. Instead, focus on the core uses of the product and the ROI you will get from those features. It makes it much easier to evaluate cost (which includes price, cost to train, cost to maintain, etc.) versus benefits derived from the core features — which makes reaching the right decision much easier. – Vic Drabicky, January Digital
9. If It Was A Person, Would You Hire Them?
The best advice I received was to treat each solution as if you were hiring an employee. Before exploring new martech, write a job description and detail the expectations of the role. Evaluate the capabilities and salary against the predetermined needs of your company. Hire slow. Fire fast. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions
10. Open-Source Or Not?
Open-source martech can bring with it a large layer of hidden costs, low levels of support and ongoing issues down the road. Stick to tried-and-tested platforms that have a high level of support and strong partner channels in place. – Zamir Javer, Jumpfactor
12. Is This More Than We Need?
I have found the simplest software to be the best. If the software is simple, the company will have an easier time managing and developing that software, which means it will likely be better than competitors. Simple software is also easier to use, so members of the team are more likely to utilize it and be happy with it. – Adam Draper, Gladiator Law Marketing