I used to be something of an elitist when it came to marketing technology. This is a bit of a danger with marketing technologists; because we tend to have slightly better than average technical skills, we look down on tools that make some marketing tasks overly simple or unnecessary. For example, there is one particular tool that does an analysis of your analytics, sort of a meta-analysis. I think it’s kind of silly, but if you need that level of analysis and you can’t do it yourself with off the shelf tools, then use the service.

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Working in client services has changed my opinions about many of these tools, tools like Hubspot or Nimble CRM or LeadPages. In the end, only results matter. If a company can get better results using a tool that is not as technical, so be it. The company is getting results and that is all that matters. At the end of the day, if you still get great results, then who am I to argue?

Beware the vendor that tells you that you’re doing it wrong, that their solution is the most sophisticated and the most powerful solution to your problems. That might be the case, or it might make things worse. Use the tools you know how to use while never settling for what you know, always growing your knowledge. The last month of the year and the first month of the new year are when I see marketing technology vendors get super aggressive about selling in their products and services. Their goal many times is to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt. As you do your year in review analysis and year ahead planning, look at your results. If there isn’t a specific tool-related pain point causing lesser results, then fend off the siren song of a better tool.

How do you know when you do have a marketing tool or technology problem? When you can pinpoint a problem and describe it and the results-focused impact. For example, I had a problem recently with Hubspot on behalf of a client. Hubspot does not permit you to insert Google Tag Manager tracking codes at the recommended best practice point in a web page, which can degrade GTM’s capabilities. I needed GTM’s capabilities for some marketing analytics testing, and without those capabilities, I couldn’t maximize a client’s PPC program. There’s a clear problem, an impact, and a need for a solution that will improve bottom-line results. (FYI, there is a workaround to the Hubspot problem; their support team was very helpful)

Only change your marketing tools when you can pinpoint a problem and describe its impact.

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