Have you heard of Track Days? You take your own car down to a race-track and for an hour or so you get to pretend you’re Mario Andretti. Assuming you don’t blow a head gasket or throw a tire, you get to drive your BMW M3 the way it was meant to be driven. But the best thing about track days, in my opinion, are the lessons. For a small cost you get to work with an actual race car driver. They sit with you as you drive and actually teach you how to get the most out of the car you have. After a couple of lessons a friend of mine, who was considering trading in his four-year-old Mazdaspeed3 for something faster, found out he already had a fantastic track day car on his hands. He just needed to learn to drive it to its’ potential.
Many CMO’s are finding the same sort of thing applies when it comes to marketing technology. They went out a few years ago and bought the best marketing automation software they could find—invested a fair amount of their annual budget in it—but aren’t quite sure they are getting the most out it. There’s still a bit of disorganization in the marketing department, collaboration isn’t quite what it should be, campaigns aren’t quite up to par—and there’s this nagging suspicion that the software isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
This is about the time when an RFP goes out to find new software—and that’s always an expensive, time consuming, (and often futile) proposition. The fact is, many times you already have a great piece of software that’s being underutilized. More often than not what you really need is some expert advice on how to get the most out of it. For a fraction of the cost of ripping out your current software and putting in something else, you can recycle and revitalize your marketing technology environment. And it’s easier than you might think—here are a few steps to get your started:
- Find the right experts: look for a team with direct knowledge and expertise in the software you already have. If you can find folks who have actually worked for the vendor, so much the better—they often have deep product knowledge and best practices to work from.
- Do an assessment: have the experts take a long, hard look at your entire marketing environment. The greatest insights come when your entire marketing ecosystem is evaluated. Remember, it’s “People, Process, Technology”—in that order.
- Engage: for any re-launch to be successful it’s got to have executive support and user engagement. Get involved and stay involved throughout the entire process—the best experts involve the users in every step.
Back in 2012, Gartner analyst Laura McLellan predicted that by 2017 CMO’s will spend more on technology than CIO’s. We’re about half-way there which makes now a great time to start thinking about getting more from your marketing. Drive up your user adoption, extend the lifetime value of your investment, and get the credit you deserve for putting in place a winning marketing technology strategy. Chances are you’ve already got the right car—you just need to drive it better. With the right experts and a little work you can drive your marketing a whole lot faster.
Are you thinking about re-launching your EMM system? Let us know what you think. And as always stay #TopRight!