Let’s face it, in recent years technology has changed the way marketers and retailers do business. Every day, new platforms come to market that promise to make the job easier, faster, and more effective and a lot of the features of those technologies are just plain cool. When you hear about the newest tech, it is tempting to want to dive in and try the latest and greatest for your team. However, it’s very easy to get lost in the abyss of “Shiny New Object Fever.”
According to the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, in 2011, marketers had about 150 platforms to choose from. By 2017, that number has skyrocketed to over 5,000. Can you imagine trying to choose from 5,000 items on a food menu? The choices are truly overwhelming, and sorting through the capabilities of marketing platforms can be a full-time job in and of itself.
So, how can you sift through all the noise and make smart choices when it comes to marketing tech?
Don’t Tackle Too Much at One Time
The latest and greatest marketing technologies promise to be easy to use, to solve problems, and to provide cost-effective solutions. However, even if you are able to afford every platform you dream of, you should consider factors like:
- Implementation and roll out time
- The ability to integrate a platform with your existing stack
- Staff training
- Adoption of the new platform
- Whether the platform aligns with your strategic goals
In many cases, it can take months if not years, to go from signing a vendor contract to full adoption and integration of the platform. If retailers and marketers try to take on too many new platforms at once, or in rapid-fire-succession, it may lead to bottlenecks and stagnation once they get into the nuts and bolts of integrating it into their current technology stack and training staff. That’s not to say retailers and marketers should remain complacent when it comes to technology, just that a measured approach is often the best strategy.
Sneakers Don’t Make You Jump Higher
The pair of sneakers on your feet doesn’t make you a world-class athlete. New shiny golf clubs won’t punch your ticket to the PGA tour. And new marketing technology likely won’t suddenly propel you to higher profits.
When choosing to adopt new marketing technology, it’s important to remember that technology is just a tool. It is not the actual driver of marketing success. A new platform or application can help businesses become more efficient and more effective, but it’s the team’s grasp of the fundamentals that will move the needle in the right direction. Only by having a firm grasp of what your customers want and how to deliver it can you truly grow profits. A trusted partner like Lift361 can help you better understand your customers’ wants and needs.
Stay Focused on the Customer
Technology can do amazing things, but at the end of the day, the primary focus should be on the customer. You can invest in the greatest, most cutting-edge platform on the market to help you do amazing things. But if you don’t know your customers, their expectations, their needs and their preferences, that platform won’t help you achieve results. Before investing in new marketing technology, successful retailers and marketers understand their customers first through data insights. The more you know about your shoppers, the more informed your technology choices will become.