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Four questions every CMO should consider about MarTech

By Giles Shorthouse on 31st October 2016

You can’t dispute it, the marketing technology sector is booming. This month’s Technology For Marketing and Festival of Marketing events provided ample evidence of that. There’s plenty of tech to think about; from email marketing software, to marketing automation platforms, data providers, webinar technology, social listening tools, ABM platforms, and so on. And that, as you know, is only the half of it! The impact of martech is clear. According to Marketing Land, 50% of CMOs (who have a defined tech strategy) are able to achieve more targeted, relevant and efficient customer engagements. There’s no doubt that marketing tech saves time and money and helps drive better results. But – and it’s a big but – if done badly you end up spamming targets, delivering irrelevant messages and doing more damage than good. So, you can’t afford to get seduced by the technology dream.

Know your overall marketing strategy

As Bluewolf’s CMO, Corinne Sklar (@csklar), put it: “No technology will fix a CMO’s problems unless they first get their marketing strategy and structure in order, skill up their teams appropriately, and become stewards of data.” And as our very own Director of Sales & Marketing, Pete Hendrick, puts it: “The first rule of martech strategy is ‘know your overall marketing strategy’. The second rule of martech strategy is ‘know your overall marketing strategy’”. Before you go all out on martech, ask yourself four questions:

  1. Which of your problems does the tech actually solve?
  2. Will it make your job easier?
  3. Do you have time and experience to get the most out of it?
  4. Will it improve your value to the board?

And finally, here’s some obvious but often overlooked advice:

  • Pick the best tech and then evaluate, test and repeat – don’t just invest and ignore!
  • Don’t be blinded by a deal – get the tech that works to deliver on your strategy
  • Consider the long game – plan your martech roadmap so you don’t waste time.
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