From time to time, CMOs revisit their martech strategies to either better utilise the brand’s data assets or improve marketing execution to deliver ROI.

In the Which-50 and Cheetah Digital whitepaper, How marketing can avoid common technology pitfalls and drive real ROIthe authors spoke to a number of marketers who told them that data is king, and there is no strategy without it.

The biggest reason for marketers changing their martech is to get more value from their data. Marketers want to focus on the return on the investment, rather than the size of the investment.

Reducing the cost of marketing activities was the least important consideration in deciding to purchase, upgrade or replace technology.

Price is still important when trying to determine which solution to use. However, the cost of current systems does not emerge as a trigger. Instead, the lead driver is all-around capabilities (and, ideally, alignment with strategy).

A range of factors drives the final decision. The functionality of the platform is most important, but compatibility with other systems and the training provided by the vendor also feature in the top three. Marketers and the C-suite were in complete alignment on these priorities.

What would marketers want, if cost & functionality were taken care of?

When selecting a technology vendor, marketers rank cost and functionality/features as the most common factors within the technology stack. But what if they didn’t have to worry about cost and functionality? What, then, would be their priorities?

The authors asked what other considerations — beyond cost and functionality — are important in the selection of a marketing technology vendor. The top three responses were:

  • Ease of training/use (59 per cent)
  • Security of data (51 per cent)
  • Vendor reputation (50 per cent)

The issue of vendor support was a trigger for survey respondents. Many felt their provider’s level of engagement fell away considerably after purchase, or that vendors were too eager to push them into the partner channel.

When marketers were asked what drove their negative sentiments, the answers came down to promises not being kept.

One said, “Our vendor did a marvellous job of selling us a product suite that it couldn’t support.” Another replied, “Once the sale was done I got lots of well-intentioned words and no action.”

Brands also investigated how to get more value from current systems before deciding to change.

Half the marketers surveyed said they asked their vendors to provide additional training and support prior to going to market for a replacement. The C-suite in particular explored bringing in an external party — independent of the vendor — to provide help.

When it came to selling the change internally in the business case justification, the top three key factors cited were increased productivity, improved ROI, and the provision of analytics and insights.

CMOs told the authors their companies understand the capacity of marketing technology to drive top-line growth and are willing to invest in new systems to deliver that outcome.

About this author

Athina Mallis is the editor of the Digital Intelligence Unit at Which-50 of which Cheetah Digital is a corporate member. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply. 

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