One way or another your success in selecting your martech partners will define your career opportunity.

Selecting new martech to integrate into your stack is a high stakes proposition. An incorrect decision creates financial risk for your organisation, can damage existing systems and capabilities and even lead to increased staff turnover as top talent exits due to lack of opportunity. Conversely, continually selecting the right solutions and correctly integrating them will showcase how you underwrite the success of an entire marketing organisation.

As we move into the 20’s marketing leaders are evaluating a wider variety of martech solutions from more providers and more frequently than ever before. According to Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Technology Survey martech leaders are increasingly selecting marketing solutions using a “best-of-breed” approach, where they source the “best” solution irrespective of the vendor. This is in contrast to an integrated suite, where the organization relies primarily on a single vendor for multiple interconnected capabilities to satisfy marketing’s needs. In addition, nearly 94 per cent of respondents in the same survey stated that their martech roadmap did not extend beyond 24 months:

How Far Into the Future Martech Roadmaps Extend:

To be successful in a world where martech leaders are tasked with delivering superlative outcomes with declining budgets, in shorter timelines and with less wastage than ever before they need to kill the traditional RFP. RFP processes based on checklists of features and functions burn up time, consume valuable resources and rarely help martech leaders or buyers clearly understand and differentiate vendor strengths and fit.

The Credibility Gap

In a normal RFP you will ask a vendor if they have a certain feature and, if required, request a short explanation. These answers are then scored to decide which vendors proceed to the next stage. The sales team at every vendor wants your business and wants to get to the next stage. Unfortunately this often means they will say yes to every question, or pretty close, because with enough time and money their organisation can deliver every feature you have requested. They are not incorrect, but there is a gap between the credibility of their opaque answers and your requirements because you are asking the wrong question. With enough time and money they could build you the perfect solution, but time and money are the two things you have precious little of. The question you need to understand, and you must ask is “For my internal and external audiences show me how you support me today, get me to tomorrow and make me more capable along the way”.

Moving Forward

As we move forward into a new year let’s work together to understand your internal and external audiences and get you meaningful insights from potential martech providers. Let’s not stake careers on an RFP process that was developed in the last millennia but rather move with speed and agility to get you the insights you need to be successful. Let’s use better ways to interact with technology and service providers to the benefit of all, especially the recipients of our marketing.

*This article is reprinted from the Gartner Blog Network with permission. 

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