Marketing technology is about scale.
Marketers tend to forget this because “scale” isn’t as sexy as Account Based Marketing or funnel reporting. ABM and funnel reporting are not new concepts, and they aren’t new tools.
What is new is the ability to scale up such data collection, reporting, and analysis now that all interactions can be recorded…at scale.
What is new is the ability to rapidly iterate storylines to more segments…at scale.
What is new is the ability to enrich leads and update data mistakes…at scale…without a programmer.
What is new is the ability to predict next best actions…at scale.
When I speak about marketing campaign operations with my team, the question is “How do we scale this rapidly to support more growth?” And if we don’t see the scaling, we re-think the structure of the campaign and even the entire campaign premise to enable scale, or empower a marketer to do more.
If you are considering a martech vendor of any type, I want you to really consider how the vendor empowers you to scale rapidly. One way to avoid “shiny object syndrome” is to ask scaling questions. Another way, is to know what you want. Scaling questions can be internal or external:
- Can I build templates of assets or workflows?
- Can I easily map data fields between systems?
- Do you have an API?
- How much time does this save me from doing X?
- Can I automate that?
- Does this point solution apply to more than one use case? Would I use it a lot?
- Is there another platform that can do something similar and does more?
- Are we already doing this, but a different way?
- Are we running enough of Y to need to pay cash to scale this?
I’m not going to call out any vendors on this. I do see a few interesting point solutions out there that expose certain kinds of data in an automated way, yet do not save so much time that they are worth purchasing because that information could be had with a few smart lists.
Some of the data middleware tools fall into this “is it worth it?” category, especially when the data architecture hasn’t been well planned. What’s the point of a data router if it doesn’t have data flow controls or mapping tools?
Ultimately, look for problems to solve and how to solve them before going shopping.