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Maximizing the value of your existing MarTech investments

By Kat Saks and Ravi Thakar
A team works together to develop a business strategy. Learn how to empower your teams to manage shifting consumer expectations through MarTech investments.

Throughout the pandemic, organizations grappled with fundamental shifts in consumer behavior. Consumer expectations for effective, personalized, omnichannel digital experiences rose rapidly. Sales, service, marketing, data, and technology teams grappled with new, complex challenges in responding to these shifts, such as:

  • The rapid rate of change in consumer expectations for digital engagement outpacing the organization’s rate of change
  • Imperatives for real-time, personalized, omnichannel communications without the proper internal team structures, processes and talent to efficiently enable the strategy
  • Disparate data sources preventing a comprehensive view of the customer
  • Siloed data processes and technologies hampering the ability to glean quick insights to gauge success

Organizations invested in a diverse range of technologies to help solve for these pain points, including advanced marketing technology (MarTech) such as marketing automation, ecommerce, and customer data solutions, to name just a few.

Despite these significant investments in marketing technology solutions, utilization has recently decreased. In 2020, organizations reported leveraging 58% of their available MarTech capabilities. In 2022, this percentage shrank to 42%. Though continued forward-looking technology investments are necessary for driving competitive advantage, as this recent data suggests, organizations have an opportunity to take fuller advantage of their existing capabilities.

Taking a step back to assess existing MarTech capabilities and areas for optimization within the existing tech stack can support organizations in a multitude of ways, including:

  1. Ensuring the technology is used to its fullest potential and delivers its greatest potential return on investment
  2. Pinpointing redundant capabilities as well as critical gaps, enabling cost savings and more strategic future investments
  3. Reducing needless complexity associated with overlapping or redundant systems, freeing teams to focus on higher value activities
  4. Identifying areas where more thorough training or modified processes can better enable teams to unlock a technology’s potential

Technology does not exist in a silo and does not solve, in and of itself, the root challenges today’s organizations encounter. When assessing the value and performance of existing technologies, a holistic approach helps ensure a full understanding of both today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. By assessing through a lens inclusive of people, process, data, and technology, organizations can examine and optimize their existing marketing technology investments to unearth new areas of value and performance.

 
Define your objective

As you evaluate the performance and value of your existing technologies, start by reflecting on your objective. More than ever, success necessitates a collaborative approach across impacted domains. Sales, service, marketing, commerce, technology, and data must work seamlessly together to drive business outcomes. To collaborate successfully, key business domain leaders must align on a shared, mutually beneficial business objective. Clarify a measurable goal that your technology investments are seeking to enable. Quantifiable objectives such as revenue growth, decreased operational expenses, or increased digital engagement and conversion rates, as a few examples, can help cross-functional leaders agree upon a shared key performance indicator by which they can individually measure their team’s contributions and success.

 
Analyze marketing technologies holistically

With a shared objective as the North Star, consider how the organization’s people, process, data, and technology capabilities are working toward the desired outcome:

  1. What capabilities are the highest priority to achieve the business goal?
  2. Which technologies support those capabilities? Do multiple technologies support single capabilities?
  3. How is existing technology leveraged today?
  4. How does data flow through the technology ecosystem?
  5. Who is the team that brings customer-facing solutions to life through the technology?
  6. How does the team make the most of the technology they have access to through process, role clarity, and training?
  7. Where do inefficiencies or holes exist in today’s process? Has process sufficiently evolved alongside the technology investments?
 
Chart your path forward

Answers to these questions will reveal a wide range of gaps and areas of opportunity. Start by considering what gaps and opportunities can be addressed today. Quick tactical wins can demonstrate value rapidly and are often pivotal for generating support for larger changes.

Slalom’s team of strategists and technologists work hand-in-hand to support our clients in uncovering opportunities within their existing technology stacks. Before investing in the next new technology solution, take a quick step back to determine how your existing technologies can be wielded to achieve your goals.

 

This blog post was originally published here.





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