Use structured evaluation criteria to assess marketing technology choices.
The VP of marketing at a midsize digital commerce company was frustrated with the company’s in-house personalization engine. Some viewed it as valuable intellectual property, but given acute competitive pressure and looming revenue goals, the engine was too time-consuming and costly to maintain and needed to be replaced with a better external solution. The VP’s ultimate goal was to reduce costs, free internal resources and maintain a consistent customer experience.
She needed a structured way to assess the various criteria and ensure the solution met larger business needs beyond just features and functionality, due to her organization’s size and complexity. “The growing focus on technology within the marketing organization puts a premium on having a systematic process for evaluating and selecting potential vendor partners,” said Noah Elkin, research director, Gartner for Marketers.
Marketing leaders are now on the front line of selecting technology providers given their responsibilities for critical customer-facing, revenue-generating systems and applications. According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2016-2017, technology consumes 27% of the marketing expense budget and plays a key role in helping marketing leaders orchestrate their increased responsibilities.
Use a structured approach in complex evaluation and selection scenarios where multiple stakeholders across the organization are involved.
Start with why
Use the “five whys” to understand the goals, scope and risks of your project. Ask, and answer, questions such as “Why do we need a new system?” and “Why will a new system or platform solve our problem?” The answers will anchor the evaluation process in the most important needs, timelines and risks associated with acquiring new marketing technology.