"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by David Rewalt, digital marketing director at SalientMG.
No matter what set of tools marketers use today, chances are they will not be using the same mix a few years from now. If they are doing things right, they won’t be using the same things six months from now.
Many marketers have anxiety around the question of whether they are fully embracing and executing in digital and mobile, and if they don’t, they should. Is their tool kit creating advantages in speed, performance and measurement? Do they have the right mix of technologies to actually achieve and surpass KPI goals?
I would guess that most teams have a mix of legacy systems and newer platforms that sort of work together but not always. This is exactly why marketers should make challenging their technology stack a regular priority.
Chefs strive to constantly improve their recipes and elevate dishes to new levels by choosing and preparing the ingredients in new and innovative ways. The marketer has the opportunity to play with their mix of technology to elevate their campaigns and performance.
A good approach is to create a schedule around challenging their stack and not be afraid to replace key ingredients when they discover something better. With the rate new advertising and marketing solutions are emerging and evolving, it creates a perfect laboratory for the marketing team to constantly evaluate and experiment. Something that currently takes three days of planning and execution will be disrupted by something new that does it in only three clicks. With the competition in ad and marketing tech at an all-time high, marketers should be benefiting. By constantly challenging every platform, vendor, agency and solution in their arsenals, marketers can drive their current partners to step up or move out of the way.
By partitioning a portion of their budget toward testing new channels and pitting them against the incumbents, they can optimize their marketing as a whole. Technology is developing to make today’s technical sport of marketing easier. For example, adopting tag management can increase speed to market, reduce IT involvement and improve reporting accuracy. Marketers should use to their advantage the efficiencies being created by technology to gain hours back in the day. They can use that time to push more campaigns out and better measure and report performance to prove marketing is a smart investment, rather than a cost center.
Just Walk Away
Every size company can benefit from this approach, even large companies where it is hard to simply change technologies because time, costs and training all carry big investments in the current solutions. For example, a marketing automation suite that syncs with multiple data sources and integrates with several third-party apps would make it difficult to test drive something else.
However, smart marketing leadership should constantly evaluate and ask, “What’s next?” That may mean pushing current partners to keep up. They should not be afraid to pull the plug when it is not working, no matter the size of the investment. Attempting to fix something that is broken may cost more in the long run, especially when there are so many options for solving marketers’ biggest challenges. Marketers can’t afford to sit back and remain complacent about their current technology if they want to remain competitive.
Technology doesn’t age well, and new technology will always do more with less compared to previous versions. Imagine still sending text messages by tapping three times to get the right letter. Marketing tech is no different. New platforms are built from the ground up using more modern methods vs. trying to heap new features onto older legacy code.
There is no better time to take advantage of the amazing LUMAscape of options to constantly reinvent marketing and optimize performance. The first step is acknowledging that legacy systems do not always deserve the benefit of the doubt.