How do I find the right MarTech supplier? Quick guide in ten steps
The right MarTech supplier: Only recently, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the failure of IT projects and the connection with new investments. Now, Jarrod Gingras, Managing Director of Real Story Group and an analyst working on digital workplace and marketing technology, has compiled “10 steps to make better technology decisions“.
In his paper, he argues that one of the reasons why more than half of the technology projects fail to meet their goals or do so inadequately is because of the early stages of the initiative. “Choosing the right MarTech supplier and technology for your digital initiatives is one of the most important decisions you can make in these early stages,” he writes. Here is his recommendation.
Ten steps to the right martech supplier:
- Putting together the right team
Technology decisions should not be made by a single person or department. It should be made by an interdisciplinary team with commercial and technical stakeholders.
- Define success or goals
“We need to replace our marketing automation platform” is not a goal. Instead, companies should formulate what they want to achieve from a business perspective. For example, do they want to empower more people internally to send messages to speed up their processes and expand their reach? Different goals lead to different providers.
- Development of interactive requirements
Most requirements for technical selection are ailing because they represent long checklists. Companies should avoid this and instead tell digital stories that suit them. For example, they can use standard methods of user-centric design, with a focus on use cases, stories or top tasks.
- Putting together the right shortlist of vendor options
In order not to evaluate unsuitable tools, companies should not focus so much on detailed views. Instead, they should find possible solutions for their most important applications.
- Draft tender
Tenders should not consist of a long checklist of requirements and vague demands on the providers, but must be humane. It would be helpful to get rid of buzzwords and share the stories described under 3. – in other words: ask more about the “how” and less about the “what”!
- Seeing is important
This means not giving too much weight to written answers to tenders, but relying on presentations to start differentiating between competing offers. The concrete advice: “Do not make the usual mistake of letting salespeople demonstrate their products in an unstructured way! Set up a close demo process in which competing vendors show how their systems work in your scenarios!”.
- Remember that action is better
Companies should always plan a bake-off between at least two finalists where team members can test the systems.
- Get rid of formulas
Mathematical formulas used by team members to evaluate competing bids and use weighting percentages to make decisions almost never represent the team’s actual judgments in practice. It is better to speak openly with each other during the follow-up meetings. The members should give reasons for their decisions and then reach an agreement on which bidders will advance to the next round.
- Negotiate early and often
Most customers do not begin negotiations on fees and conditions until they have decided on a provider. This approach disempowers them in several ways. Firstly, because they have lost a lot of negotiating power and secondly, because time has advanced and they want to start working. Instead, Jarrod Gingras recommends starting negotiations when the first responses to the tender are received. Companies should insist on comprehensive price proposals and draft agreements in advance, reducing excess fees, rejecting weak service level agreements, questioning unfriendly conditions – in short, making price and conditions part of the decision-making process.
- Start pilot project quickly
As soon as possible, a pilot test should take place in a live environment, for example in a department or country. The project had to be simple, but still reflect expectations. Then, before a rollout, it is important to take into account the insights gained.
If you are planning new investments in your technology, consider these tips when choosing your solution! Also do not forget the strategy that should be superior to the technology! After all, new technology without strategy is like fishing in the dark. Or as Shiva Mossehini advised at the MarTech Conference in Boston: Companies should not let themselves be driven by technology, but should strive for a “customer obsessed culture” – in other words, customer orientation. Only then will they be successful. Do you have any questions? Then please contact us! Neutral consulting always pays off before a software decision.
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Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.