Your marketing strategy is your roadmap; it paints a picture of the experience you want to deliver to your customers and lays out the steps necessary to achieve that. But you can’t accomplish your strategy without the tools required to do so.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can break free from martech debt and design processes that empower you to fulfill your marketing strategy and deliver personalized experiences that are conversational and dynamic in real-time and at scale.
Common Technological Roadblocks That Prevent Marketing Maturity
We find that many marketers often:
Struggle to articulate strategy and convert it into business use cases. Finding new ways to optimize your martech platform and processes can be incredibly difficult without a well-defined strategy. Optimization is going to look different for every business since they all have unique goals. Your strategy will influence how to set up your internal processes and tech. So, it’s critical to understand your strategy inside and out, and then pair that with the technology and processes you need to achieve it. If you are looking for tips on how to better flesh out your marketing strategy, read our article on How to Craft a Successful Customer Experience-Focused Marketing Strategy.
Lack quality data and governance. When left to their own devices, teams will create their own methods for data entry and maintenance. This can leave your organization with duplicate and erroneous data. When building out or auditing your existing data architecture, it is critical to document why your data is laid out the way it is within your martech suite.
Have a lack of understanding in existing capabilities and technological gaps. According to a 2020 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the typical employee stays at one job for just over four years. And if you aren’t documenting your processes or tech architecture, you risk starting over whenever key stakeholders and users leave the company.
Don’t have the resources or budget to devote to system optimization. Budgets have been considerably tight this year for many marketers due to the fear of a recession. It’s understandable that your team may not have the budget or time to devote to further process and tech optimization initiatives. It’s okay to start small by focusing on implementing use cases that deliver the largest value with the least time investment.
While many marketers have access to a large number of tools and functionality, they find themselves caught with a large amount of tech debt, which makes it hard to scale operations. If you find yourself working with a complex, undocumented martech stack, you’re not alone. According to a Gartner survey, marketers report only using 42% of the breadth of capabilities available in their martech stack.
How to Develop Your MarTech Platform Alongside New Use Cases
1. Develop Your Data Collection and Activation Strategy Around Specific Use Cases
Organizing all your customer data within a customer data platform (CDP) enables you to build comprehensive profiles for all your segments. But if your team have limited resources, it’s not the most realistic to expect either yourself or them to have the time to implement new technologies and processes that are required to maintain customer profiles. If you find yourself in this situation, establishing these profiles can be a long-term goal to work towards in the future.
You don’t need to implement an extensive tech and data initiative to begin improving the customer experience today. After, all personalization is a journey, not a destination.
To figure out what data you need to establish a new use case, follow these best practices:
Develop a use case document with key partners. When building out a new use case, it’s critical to document what the use case is, how it will work, and the effect it will have on your overall customer experience. Try to tie that use case to a specific KPI, so you can measure its performance overtime. By documenting your use cases as you develop them, you can ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
Determine the data you need to develop it. For example, lets say your team is trying to develop an email campaign that provides a personalized offer for someone’s birthday. You may need data such as recipients’ birthday dates and web activity. If you don’t have this data on hand, begin to discuss with key stakeholders how you can start collecting this data as well as documenting how it should be entered into your martech to maintain consistency.
A/B test the personalization use case with a smaller group. Before rolling out the new use case, it’s best practice to A/B test it with a smaller group internally. This way, you can see how others respond and make adjustments before the mass roll out.
2. Optimize Outside of Silos
In our experience, digital transformations have taken place in silos of the business for many companies. Typically one group contracts an expert and has them develop specific use cases for their specific department.
There are a couple of problems with developing use cases in silos:
Other groups could benefit from the new functionality, but have no idea that it’s even avaliable
The new use case could affect existing global automations and impact other teams, creating further headaches down the line
When improving your current tech stack, it’s critical to not only analyze how those decisions affect the customer experience, but also affect other teams further down the sales funnel. This way, you can increase buy-in with core stakeholders and ensure consistency throughout the entire customer experience.
3. Document as You Develop New Use Cases
The greatest mistake many organizations make is that they do not document as they develop new use cases and offerings, leading to a loss of knowledge when key team members leave later down the line. For this reason, you should develop a use case document for every new one you develop.
A use case document explains how the interaction between your users and your martech stack works together, so you can help others visualize why it was implemented, how it works, and how it should be used.
It is best practice to include the following information when developing a use case document:
Overview: Your overview should include information such as the use case name, the key users who will be interacting with the use case, any preconditions that must be met for the use case to be applicable, and links to any helpful documentation and/or tutorials.
Flowchart: The flowchart should visualize the list of steps any use case should follow when initiated. This could include information such as any data recalls, triggers, and actions taken.
Triggers/Preconditions: These should speak to any information that is needed for any use case to run. This way, if anyone runs into any errors, they can work backwards to understand why the use case isn’t working.
FAQs: If you notice that users are still struggling with certain errors, it’s helpful to include a frequently asked question section that they can quickly refer to in order to figure out why the use case is not working.
4. Continue to Test and Iterate
No martech stack is perfect; as your business grows, there will always be new challenges that must be addressed with new use cases. Be open and willing to experiment with your strategy and use cases. You don’t know what will resonate with your customer base until you try it. So, continue to test new things and iterate as you scale your business.
Looking for more tips on how to increase the ROI on your martech investment? Read our guide on how to maximize the value of your martech stack for more tips!