You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Technology Challenges?

Chandni asks, “What are the technology challenges that marketers face today?”

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Christopher Penn 0:29

Johnny asks, what are the technology challenges that marketers face today? There’s so many.

But here’s the secret.

They’re not technology challenges, above and beyond a certain point.

So some of the Tech Tech challenges that marketers face, the biggest one is actually data, the cleanliness and correctness and completeness of your data.

If your data is not complete, clean and correct, then all the fancy new marketing to as technology tools will not work with it.

It’s it’s like having bad ingredients, right? If you have the best oven in the world, and you have the best recipes, you got a super talented chef, and you bought sand instead of flour.

You’re not making cake, or bread or anything edible, right? No, it doesn’t matter how good everything else is that the ingredients are bad, you’re out of luck.

And so when it comes to technology challenges for marketers, more often than not, it is those ingredients that are the problem and not the technology themselves.

If we think about the different ways to address technology, let’s use the framework that my company Trust Insights uses called a five p framework, purpose, people process platform performance.

Anytime you’re evaluating a technology, you’re talking about the platform, one of the five pieces.

The first question you got to ask is what is the purpose? What are you trying to do? What is the end state you’re trying to reach? If you are trying to do say, lead scoring, and you’ve got a bunch technology that has nothing to do with lead management, then you’ll have a technology challenge, you have a purpose problem, you have a complete misalignment of your technology with the intended outcome.

So you got to be clear on your purpose first.

Second, is your people.

This is where most of the problems that plague marketers actually exist, it is not in the technology because technology is agnostic.

Yes, different products have different features here and there.

But it always comes down to the people.

Do your people have the right skills? And more important? Do your people have the right aptitudes? And within aptitude is attitude.

If you have people who are firmly fixed and whose response to anything new is always well, this is the way we’ve always done it, you’re doomed.

Right, you are doomed update your LinkedIn profile, because your company’s going out of business sooner or later.

If that’s the attitude that people have within your organization, you are in a lot of trouble.

And again, this is not a technology challenge.

But it impacts technology, because those same people will be the decision makers to say no, we don’t need to evaluate new technology for our CRM.

No, we don’t need to lead.

You know better lead scoring.

No, we don’t need to be looking at artificial intelligence.

Those people are the roadblocks to your progress.

The ones who say this is the way we’ve always done it, and we’re not going to make any changes.

You want people who have an attitude of curiosity, of perseverance, of openness, of eagerness passion about the work they’re doing.

It doesn’t have to be obviously, you know, all consuming you want people will like working 18 hour days, but they should like what they do.

Your next area is process, what processes do you have in place to leverage your technology? Are you still having the intern copy paste eight hours a day? To get data ready for your technology platform? If you do, you’ve got a process problem.

And it could be solved in some cases by technology.

But it’s really a process problem.

Then you get to the platform itself, the technologies what technologies are using and are they the right fit for the problem you’re trying to solve? This is particularly troublesome in data science.

When are we talking about data engineering and data storage? How is your data being stored what formats what engines are being used to store that data? It is.

It is not a technology problem.

It is a sometimes sometimes a vendor selection problem, but is almost always a requirements problem.

You didn’t document what you needed to get the work done that you needed to have done and so you bought some technology that then does not fit the purpose? Same as buying a car, right? You wanted the sports car, because it looks cool.

But you needed the station wagon to haul crap around.

You can’t fit more like more than a hat in the trunk of a sports car.

Right? What you really needed, right? It probably was a pickup truck.

Christopher Penn 5:19

And that’s a failure of requirements.

There’s nothing wrong with the technology, right? The sports car is designed to be a sports car, the pickup is designed to be a pickup, what went wrong was the requirements gathering and said, I need to to look cool, okay.

But I also need to haul, you know, half a ton of stone around every now and again, you’re not doing that in a sports car.

And finally, horses measurement.

Performance, is the technology the people in the processes you have doing what you intended, are you achieving your purpose? And again, this is something that marketers don’t measure well, and as a result, they don’t necessarily deliver very well on you got to do that.

Right? You’ve got to be able to dig in and say, yes, we’ve met our goals, no, we’ve not met our goals, we are 60% of the way to our goals, and so on and so forth.

So be very careful is my my watch would here be very, very careful with what you deem a technology problem because a lot of the cases it’s not a technology problem.

Even though every tech vendor would like to convinced you that it is so that you buy their stuff.

It 90 ish percent of the time is going to be a people problem or process problem.

If you fix that.

You may find that the technology you have can be coerced into doing what you want.

Or at worst, you have a good solid business case for why you need to change technologies once you fully understand the scope of the problem you’re trying to address.

So really good question.


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