March 14, 2024

How to Use Your Marketing Automation Tech Wisely

How can companies leverage the best of marketing automation technology while avoiding being bogged down by feature overload? Consider these expert recommendations!
Strategies & Tactics
Marketing Technology

Did you know that there are over 9,300 marketing technology tools available today? 

How can companies leverage the best of marketing automation technology while avoiding being bogged down by feature overload? Dan Radu, Founder & President of Macro, shared his insights in the How To Choose the Right Marketing Technology episode of the World Innovators podcast, hosted by Donna Peterson.

3 General Recommendations to Remember

It’s always difficult to find the right balance between using marketing automation to save time and avoiding becoming overly reliant on technology. Here are what Dan recommends:

1. Balance Automation & Human Touch

While automation saves time and improves execution, it shouldn't replace human interaction entirely.

2. Align Technology with Resources

Ensure your team has the expertise to manage your chosen MarTech stack or that it has the proper training.

Sometimes, when companies are forced to resort to layoffs, they lose a lot of precious information and experience. This is where an agency like Macro can help them keep business continuity. 

3. Beware of the Marketing Hype Promising "One-stop-shop" Solutions

In other words, don't get locked into expensive platforms that exceed your needs. Many marketing technology vendors are selling overall digital transformation projects, so their customers are pushed to buy all their products.

Business owners and managers should try to buy different solutions from different vendors to build upon what they have as opposed to switching entirely. 

Measuring MarTech ROI

It’s not always easy to measure the ROI on your MarTech stack (just like anything marketing-related!). But with these tips, you can get a better sense of what’s worth pursuing:

  • Isolating the impact of marketing technology on sales and revenue can be challenging, because it's hard to bring all the touchpoints in marketing and sales together, to collect and connect all data and tie them into one closed business.
  • Look beyond lead generation and consider operational improvements like efficiency gains. 
  • Focus on metrics like campaign execution time frames and team enablement. 
  • Building a "seat at the revenue table" requires demonstrating the value of marketing efforts, including branding, which can be difficult to quantify. All these are different touchpoints andt data that doesn't always go into the ROI calculation. Marketers can do that slowly, a little bit more and more, better than before.

MarTech Utilization

Are you getting your money's worth? Sometimes, the issue is not the tool itself, but how efficiently you are applying it within your team:

  • Companies often underutilize their MarTech stack due to a lack of planning and adoption strategies. As Dan has seen,  many clients have the issue where they have too much marketing technology, thinking they needed it to get better leads and to get more sales. However, what ends up happening instead is that these clients do not utilize all their tools properly. 
  • "Tech debt" can accumulate when you don't properly onboard and manage your tools and these situations can significantly increase costs.
  • Beware of long-term contracts that lock you into unused platforms.
  • Regularly audit your MarTech stack to identify underutilized tools. Many companies spend a lot of time in daily operations and troubleshooting as opposed to taking advantage of gains from what the technology enables you to do.

Avoiding Common MarTech Pitfalls

  • Lack of planning: Develop a roadmap for MarTech implementation, including rollout plans and adoption strategies. Too many marketing leaders don't have a roadmap in place.
    • For example, something that will capture rollout for different solutions in their marketing technology stack.
    •  Also, they are unable to manage the internal resources properly, they don’t understand what kind of expertise, what type of technical expertise could be too much or too little, or when an external partner would be needed.
    • Moreover, even when working with an agency partner, they sometimes evaluate incorrectly who is really the right fit and who's handling what.

  • Data shortcomings: Ensure good quality data to fuel your marketing efforts, because bad data will always lead to bad conclusions and subsequently to bad business results.

  • Shiny object syndrome: Don't be seduced by flashy features without understanding a tool's functionalities and limitations. Choosing shiny new technology without understanding how it works, or if there any limitation, or how well will play with your existing stack, or how well it enables your business processes, or the business owner is one of the most devastating or providential business decisions one could make.

  • Vendor hype: Critically evaluate vendor messaging and avoid assumptions about a tool's capabilities. It’s ironic that quite a lot of marketing leaders and business owners are simply not able to deconstruct the fluff in the messages of the vendors and they fall victim to the magic solution syndrome, failing to properly plan purchasing decisions. More clearly, people make decisions emotionally and then they just try to justify them rationally backwards.

  • Bad onboarding: Onboarding bad data or tools could be a recipe for wasted resources. This has always been a lucrative process, but successful leaders abide by the 5 Cs: compliance, clarification, confidence, connection and culture.

The Rise of AI: Your MarTech Co-pilot

AI presents exciting possibilities for marketing automation and content creation. This is still in its infancy, but sometimes it can work.

Different vendors offer AI solutions for various use cases

For instance, you can easily generate images of a product. So, if you sell tents, you can create an image of the tent in winter or in summer for all sorts of events and that speeds up the process of creation, production and then posting them across different publishing platforms. 

As AI becomes more ubiquitous, buyers will leverage it for research and evaluation, requiring a shift in marketing strategies. However, even if, for some people, only getting the right information is important, it would be wise to maintain a human connection to your clients or prospects.

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on your marketing goals before choosing MarTech solutions.
  • Prioritize good data management for effective marketing efforts.
  • Resist the urge to chase after every "shiny object" in MarTech. The halo effect is real!
  • Leverage AI strategically to enhance your marketing capabilities. No one cares if companies are using automation tools or people. If it’s not appropriate for them, they’ll simply move on.
  • Remember, marketing is constantly evolving - so stay adaptable!

Why Macro?

Macro is a natural extension of your B2B global marketing team. As an agency with team members and resources located around the world, we know exactly what your challenges are and how to tackle them.

Global marketing teams that work with us see the following benefits

✅ Agile resources to operationalize GTM strategy

✅ Faster execution of projects with flexibility

✅ More value from your marketing tech investments

✅ Better engagement and more qualified leads 

Don’t just take our word for it — check out the case studies of clients who have benefitted from our services.

One More Tip!

Consider partnering with a B2B marketing agency specializing in your industry that understands the market. At Macro, our expertise can help you navigate the MarTech landscape and implement solutions that accelerate your growth. 

Business continuity, the acceleration of projects, and the continuity of the lead flow.  That's where companies are often very short-sighted when they let go of marketing departments. You constantly have to keep your messaging out there if you want to grow.

Talk to Macro today, and we’ll help you get your marketing plan going!