Preparing to adopt new marketing technology

If you recognize the need for new tools to drive efficiency, it’s essential you understand all the costs associated with adopting new technology. It’s very expensive if you don’t understand the true costs after you add the technology.  In this article, we are offering our expertise and experience relying on technologies to run our business.

Top considerations in adopting new marketing technologies to your stack

Do you dedicate internal resources or outsource services to experts? Both scenarios require research, but one requires understanding if your team has the core competencies and expertise needed to manage the new technology. Or, if you don’t have the talent, are you going to hire directly for this role? If you determine outsourcing is the best option, it’s imperative you find a trustworthy, reliable, and performance-driven vendor.   

It can take months of analysis, and you should never be in hurry – it’s no stone unturned when it comes to increasing both time and materials to your bottom line. Here are some ideas on how to approach the technology and steps needed to taking on new tech tools.

Set the stage for analysis

  1. We suggest these four documents to research and manage this process:
    1. Benefits and risks associated with adopting a new technology – Document with two columns
    2. Features comparison between the different vendors / agencies – Spreadsheet
    3. Vendor Analysis – Spreadsheet
    4. Financial Impacts Analysis – Spreadsheet

Evaluation for each process and document

  1. Benefits and Risks – It’s time to play good cop / bad cop – make sure you have someone who can play devil’s advocate. If that’s you, find someone to join you who is not risk-averse. It’s time to weigh the upside and downside of adding new technology. A simple document with ‘Upside’ on the left, and ‘Downside’ on the right for a comparison is helpful. Ask your team or trusted advisors to review the list, add to the list, and invite feedback.
  2. Features Comparison – Now you can identify all the features available for that technology, and decide which ones you need, including the cost structure and how features are tiered.
  3. Financial Impacts Analysis – What will it cost you to run the technology, including the team or individual to run the technology? How does that compare to outsourcing the service to an agency?
    1. Internal management – How many users are required, and what is the cost per user?
    2. Do you have the current resources to manage the technology or will you have to hire directly to fill this role? 
    3. Evaluate the cost differences between a vendor running the technology, or your company managing it in-house.
    4. Decide how you will measure success and the return on marketing spend. 
      1. How many sales will it take to not only pay for the technology, but how will it bolster the bottom line?
      2. How quickly will you be able to realize the financial gain?
  4. Identify the benefits and risks for both internal vs. external management.

Internal vs. External Management

  1. Internal Management:
    1. Ask yourself – Do you have talent with the expertise required to manage it professionally and with precision? Finding an agency that is deep in technology, who can run this for you is another option; and one that may be more cost efficient and effective in the long run. 
    2. Determine the time and effort needed daily to manage the software. The costs can add up and your company may need to add staff in order to handle these services effectively. The worst thing you can do is put a non-marketing person in charge of marketing activities and decisions. Every marketing decision must come from a global strategy and good tactics. . 
  2. Analyze the features and benefits side-by-side with top rated services and decide which features you need. While you may gain one attractive feature on one platform, there may be trade-offs for other features in another. Many companies do comparison which, but these are paid services, so be a little wary of taking their narrative about the technology at face value. You may need a closer look. Not all good companies sign up for this type of service, so keep this in mind when conducting search. 

Other considerations

  1. Will you have to connect the new technology to existing technology? This could reduce administrative costs in the long-run, but it will likely have higher up-front costs for setup. Find out if there are annual fees for the API as well. 
  2. Is customer support a real service? Understand how you will receive support – chat, email, phone, etc.. Read reviews ab0ut service. It matters, as it takes, on average, six months to fully adopt and learn a new technology.
  3. On average, it takes new users nearly six months to become comfortable with new technology, within a new environment and then make it a habit. We have tested this within our own organization, working with technicians who live in technology. Learning a new program takes time and consistency, training, and nurturing. And sometimes, you discover there are programs nobody likes. That’s a hard obstacle to overcome. 
  4. Perform as much research as possible, then when sign up for a trial. The user experience and dashboards will differ from product to product. What’s intuitive, what’s not? Get a full demo – spend an hour with the sales rep. 
  5. Find out if there are automated message that will train your people or offer ongoing reminders on how to use features.

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