Wouldn’t it be amazing to get the return on an investment immediately? Yet, that’s valid for a few things in life.
Exercising, for instance, is a great way to boost your energy, mood, and mental clarity. But for a sustainable impact on health, you need to do it regularly and for an extended period of time. Learning a new skill may result in an immediate sense of accomplishment and make you feel good about yourself. But, for those skills to turn into long-term benefits for your personal growth or career advancement, you need to invest in them for a prolonged duration.
The same goes for any investment in the business. In today's fast-paced world, we want everything to happen instantaneously. We want to see immediate results, especially when it comes to investments. Let’s take marketing technologies (as I am a part of MarTech company). Investment in marketing technologies can have long-term benefits that can boost your business, but it's not something that you can expect to see immediate returns on.
However, marketing technologies are not like vending machines where you insert a coin, et voila! You have the results you are promised. Like most things in life, MarTech investments take time, effort, and patience. But, the results can be worth the wait.
The MarTech stacks of companies are growing larger. Gartner's research has revealed that “Technology currently accounts for the largest proportion of marketing budgets (26.2%), compared to media (24.8%), in-house labor (24.5%) and agencies (23.7%).” Yet, the research also shows that marketers are utilizing only 58% of their current technology capabilities. So, while an assessment based on ROI might make sense in light of this last piece of data, the companies should also be realistic when making assumptions and setting expectations. Because, though it is also about the nature of the product, it’s highly likely that you won’t be seeing a huge impact right after you adopt a specific technology.
However, the results can be game-changing. For example, if you invest in SEO optimization, it may take several months to see an improvement in your search engine rankings. But, once you start ranking higher, you'll start to see an increase in organic traffic to your website, which can lead to more leads and sales.
Succeeding in the MarTech game
In the success of marketing technologies, a patient and strategic approach is a must. You have to give the technology you are using some time to produce results, while also continuously measuring and analyzing performance to make improvements. But there are also some other things you should consider.
Here’s my list:
1. Invest in the right technology:
It's important to do your research and invest in the marketing technology that is the best fit for your company's needs and goals. Don't just go for the latest or trendiest tool, but rather choose one that aligns with your company's overall strategy.
2. Set clear goals:
Before investing in marketing technologies, you should establish clear goals that align with their overall business objectives. These goals should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the technology being implemented.
3. Develop a strong strategy:
It's important to have a clear plan on how to use the marketing technology to achieve your goals. This includes defining the target audience, developing content, and creating campaigns that leverage the technology's capabilities. Having a strategy ensures that you use the technology effectively, which can lead to long-term benefits and a positive ROI.
4. Develop a long-term plan:
You should have a long-term plan for how they will implement and utilize the marketing technology you have invested in. This includes training staff, integrating the technology with other systems, and developing ongoing campaigns that utilize the technology.
5. Upskill your people or get the right ones:
While some technologies come fully automated, in general, without the staff to effectively implement and utilize the marketing technology that you have invested in, some others require people to handle it. It's important to have the right people with the necessary skills to utilize this new technology effectively. This could involve upskilling existing staff, hiring new employees with the required skills, or outsourcing to a third-party vendor who specializes in the technology.
6. Get user feedback:
This is crucial especially if you adopted the technology you are using for a user-facing initiative. By asking your users how they feel about the experience you are offering them using this technology, you can identify areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the user experience. This feedback can also provide valuable insights into how well the technology is meeting your users’ needs and expectations, which can help you refine your marketing strategy and make more informed business decisions.
It's important to remember that while technology can provide a powerful tool for driving growth, it is only one piece of the puzzle, and success ultimately depends on the strategic planning and execution behind it.