When it comes to analytics, marketers have spent the last few years acting like kids in a candy store. The typical marketer now uses more than 100 applications in their regular routine, and yet most marketers say their technology is underperforming. It’s not that they have the wrong tools, but they’re finding it hard to get a clear view of the big picture
There is an opportunity for marketing departments to get more value from their technology investments. Below are some of the ways marketing organizations can master their technology for optimal performance.
Integrate to simplify workflows
Much of the marketing software we’ve acquired in recent years has a specialized purpose. Think social advertising optimization or SEO backlink analytics. Even if many of these tools have a narrow purpose, it doesn’t mean there aren’t dependencies between systems or opportunities to simplify project workflows.
The process of orchestrating APIs (application program interfaces) to create integrated solutions from component parts is one way marketing leaders are speeding up their operations. APIs allow one technology to “speak” to another and share data so that separate processes can be strung together. Historically, there was a choice between best-of-breed and all-in-one solutions, both of which came with tradeoffs.
APIs, on the other hand, allow you to create seamless processes with your existing solutions. Webdam customers, for example, use our API to connect their marketing assets with other applications where they’re used, such as Adobe Creative Cloud for design and Hootsuite for social media.
Work through adoption
Selecting and implementing marketing technology is only the first step. When 600 business and IT executives were surveyed recently by software consulting firm Geneca, 75% reported that their new projects are either always or usually “doomed right from the start.”
Lots of technology solutions are introduced only to falter during adoption. Users get stuck during onboarding or during initial use and just give up completely. These failures are expensive and avoidable.
Training and supporting people through the learning curve is arguably as important as picking the right technology to begin with. Don’t assume they will figure it out. People are often resistant to new ways of doing things. They’ll make excuses or put it off unless you give them reasons not to. So make sure marketing tools are getting used, and provide the training and incentives
necessary for your employees to discover their value.
Set goals and measure performance
Even with good planning and thoughtful implementation, things don’t always click. But you may not know there are hurdles in your way if you haven’t set clear goals for success or if you simply aren’t measuring performance. Even if it’s easy to identify the problem, the technology is there to solve it.. Then track outcomes and use the cold-hearted numbers to determine if it’s paying off.
Marketing technology is a fact of life today — you simply can’t keep up without it. The key to success is in getting the best out of your technology so that it doesn’t get the better of you.
– Mike Waite is the vice president of marketing at Webdam