Marketing tech was the dominant topic in D-A-CH companies in 2019, as the comprehensive Marketing Tech Monitor 2019 study confirms. It comes to the sobering realization that many of these companies are still largely helpless in the face of the profound changes as a result of digital transformation, leaving the playing field mainly to agencies. It’s about time to change that. In our article, you will get a compact overview of the principles that need to be considered for a meaningful marketing tech strategy, step by step.
Hyperindividualized, consistent and present across all relevant channels, marketing in the age of digital transformation can only be successful in close collaboration with IT, sales and customer service. The “Marketing Tech Monitor 2019” study was created by the President of the German Marketing Association, Ralf Strauß, as well as Kerstin Clessienne, head of the Digital CMO Community, and it claims that most companies in German-speaking countries are still rather at a loss when it comes to these developments. Even companies that have already dealt with the subject of marketing tech, rely mostly on external expertise from agencies and exclusive full-stack systems such as Google’s.
Then again, a majority of companies would like to be more independent and transparent. In order to take back control over marketing tech in the future, meet partners on an equal footing or to be able to put together an individual tech stack, they need a holistic marketing tech strategy. Here is our compact guide to the most important steps.
Digital Audit: The power of knowing your status quo
Any sound marketing tech strategy starts with an in-depth analysis of the status quo. As trivial as it may sound – this absolutely essential step is neglected in a surprising number of companies. The following areas deserve special attention when doing a digital audit:
- Business model and its various sub-activities
- Structure and needs of customers
- Internal marketing processes, incl. collaborating with external partners
In addition, it is worthwhile to benchmark. Which tech stacks do competitors use? What are the developments in the market and in technology? In most cases, a comprehensive analysis of the current situation gives the first indications of where to start with your marketing tech strategy.
Planning: Prioritizing with 3 Ps
After determining where you stand, it’s time to ask: what are the strategic goals, the options for designing the customer experience and supporting it through Marketing Tech? What best practices already exist in the industry? Marketing tech is a wide field and potentially very costly. Set priorities and focus on being as effective and resource efficient as possible. Dedicate yourself to three main topics:
- What digital platforms should be introduced, improved or sunsetted?
- What operational processes ensure the strategy will be implemented?
- What people could bring the necessary skills to the company?
Team: catching up with the agencies
When it comes to implementing a marketing tech strategy, the biggest challenge for almost all companies is the lack of relevant competencies in their own team. According to the Marketing Tech Monitor, staff with experience in data analysis, marketing technology, and so-called audience managers focusing content on the audience are highly sought after.
All skills that are still scarce in the labor market. The result: the high dependence of companies on external partners. Their expertise and the effectiveness of their given strategies are difficult to verify. The goal is, therefore, to be on an equal footing with agencies, while in the long term the skills are built up within a team in order to be able to act at least partially independently in the future. The questions you should ask yourself:
- How do we find and attract suitable talent in the labor market?
- How can we train in-house team members with basic experience? Which external consultants and specialists are available to us?
- Where can we leverage automation with team-based capabilities to build and deepen marketing tech skills? *
Processes: Marketing tech needs change management
Successful digitalization of your marketing also means digitization and change of processes. Marketing resource management systems such as MARMIND® thus require collaboration across departments, and the tearing down of data and information silos that have often existed for years. In addition to technology, this requires consistent change management, which begins within the company’s leadership. Your marketing tech strategy should take these necessary process changes, their communication and implementation steps, into consideration.
Marketing Tech Strategy: MARMIND® Top Tips
Analysis is everything – a well rounded strategy builds on a solid review of the status quo
Building team skills step by step – with a precarious talent market, fall back on external coaches and trainers
Keep change management in mind from the start – Technology can only be successful if it is supported by leadership as well as communicated and accepted by the team
Read more about the Marketing Tech Monitor 2019 Study
Read more about Marketing Resource Management with MARMIND®
* According to Gartner, the increasing use of AI will enable up to 40% of specialized mobile/social media roles to be taken over by marketing generalists over the next few years: https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/articles/gartner-top-5-marketing-predictions-for-2018