Technology in Marketing was once considered to be futuristic and isn’t the future anymore. Investments across a well-integrated set of tools, roadmaps and best practices are required to compete for customer attention, engagement and growth. In other words, a robust MarTech stack. Investing in a MarTech Stack can make your marketing robust and agile, getting it wrong will set you back in terms of gaining more companywide buy in and of course budgets.
It’s not easy and getting it right is challenging as it involves making choices that meet your company’s todays unique needs and your financial targets of the future. Like in any investment our personal circumstances and our current understandings may affect our decisions every step of the way. If you are a CMO of a small business. getting everything right might be a big challenge given the budgetary and resource constraints.
Become a MarTech Legend.
On average a CMO’s tenure within a company lasts for a period of 4–5 years according to Forbes. Given this short time frame you cannot spend months waiting for a long and complicated implementation. The margin for error here is literally zero, either you get it right or don’t. If you do get it right, you become the legend. Here’s what you can do leave your legacy.
Step 1 — Stich the ends to map the trends
The technologies you use currently may be fragmented or piecemeal. They were never been bought with the intention of them working together. The maiden step is to ensure your marketing tools and the CRM solutions talk with one another. Getting this right used to be a dauting task, however its relatively easier today to make these connections with tools like Zapier, Blockspring, Automate.io, Microsoft Flow etc. Once stitched the loose ends will show you trends that can be capitalized with personalization and automation
Step 2 — Look out for the ROI/TCO trap.
Rewind 12–15 years in time, I used to be an IT infrastructure and security consultant. During that tenure every project that I touched or discussed ended with the famous duo “ROI & TCO”. Back then it made a lot sense if you are to “invest” a certain amount to acquire a technology, there needed to be “Return (ROI)” accompanied by certain Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).It made perfect sense to understand these metrics I believed in them too
My view has changed considerably now as this was a very myopic view than a futuristic one. The reason being most often there are project delays and failures due to unforeseen elements. Rarely one would visit ROI once the contract is signed. Not many businesses and agencies go back and carryout a post implementation ROI reassessment J.These types of metrics are not super suited in the modern cloud or the SaaS world. Rarely companies would do a ROI assessment prior to testing out a service, or a Freemium offering.
That being said ROI/TCO will not disappear any time soon. Using the above as a way out and forcing ROI to the back burner is not a good one too. To grow the business, one should transcend beyond ROI and consider expected future value as a stepping stone to possibly get bigger and better outcomes.
Step 3 — Feel the Future with Time to Value (TtV)
Here’s an awesome metric to use…. drum roll please..the magical metric is Time to Value (TtV). Time to value is the amount of time between the time of your investment and the time it takes to gain returns. If simply puts its how quickly do you realize the value of your investment.
Depending on the product or service you invest in you may see your time to value immediately or later to meet your goals. In order to keep the momentum and discover the ROI in the investment, you need to track your TtV as a key metric. Irrespective of whether it’s a free or a freemium offering. Many MarTech tools that are out there should give you a glimpse what it could offer. Here are some key TtV milestones you should expect.
§ Basic\Immediate TtV — Time Frame: From Onboarding time to 2 weeks
Basic TtV is the amount of time it takes for you to see the smallest amount of value from the stack or the tool you invested. This should show you a glimpse of what the stack or the product could do for you in the longer run.
§ Exceeded TtV -Time Frame: 2–4 weeks
This is the amount of time it takes you to experience enough value to exceed the basic expectations. This is the time you should consider moving from a trial to a paid subscription.
§ Short TtV -Time Frame: 1–3 months
This is the time where you would see your outcomes improve month over month from rolling out the stack in full swing. Your teams start seeing it as a requirement for their success and start embracing the efficiency, insights and adopt it as part of their routine workflow.
§ Long time to Value — Time Frame: 3–6 months
This is the time where you would see consistent and repeatable results. Your team delivers at a very high level. Now’s the time that you should solidify the relationship with your service providers. Bring them in and work with them to build even bigger success as they may have more exposure working across many vertical and teams. Commit yourself, get into a long-term contract with them and of course negotiate a better deal J.
STEP 4 — Show theM the future
Your CEO, the board, the investors want to see early success or failures so that you and they can change course without bleeding capex. Undoubtably investment in MarTech will help your marketing efforts increasingly turn into an efficient and effective one. Instead of wasting resources on manual analysis and gathering of siloed data, your team can focus on efforts driving greater results.If time-to-value is faster and means your customers are engaging and seeing the value in your products and services, which turn means better ROI. Your CEO and CFO will be inspired to give more budgets to accelerate results. You are on your road to becoming a legend.
Bonus STEP — Checkout Alavi.ai
www.Alavi.ai is a must have in your SMB MarTech stack. Alavi uses data science to do precision targeting. It performs predicative analytics on your customers’ behavioral data so you can quickly and easily target the right audiences to boost campaign performance. Alavi.ai has an amazingly short Time to Value, its sure take to stardom. Checkout the success stories here.