Why Marketing Managers Need a ‘Shiny and New Filter’ for ALL Tech Tool Purchases

23 June 2017

Why Marketing Managers Need a ‘Shiny and New Filter’ for ALL Tech Tool Purchases

How many times in the last month have you read a post from an influencer, or received a mail about a new marketing tool, that’s bound to solve a whole heap of your marketing worries? … Lost track? I don’t blame you. I stopped counting at 20.

Marketers, by their very nature, are expected to be curious, inquisitive, and ahead of the curve, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that we have our ear firmly to the ground when it comes to what’s hot. Whether you are a marketing manager for a small startup, or a global multinational brand, please don’t let your penchant for ‘shiny and new’ get in the way of the bigger picture. We’ll come on to why later. First, let’s take a look at the digital marketing landscape to give this discussion some context.

The growth of the marketing technology space over the last seven years is something of a mind boggle. In 2011 there were 150 tools of relevance, and this May, the author of the marketing technology landscape, Scott Brinker, published an infographic featuring 5000 marketing tools across 50 categories, including: video marketing, personalisation, collaboration and agile and lean management.

Useful stuff, but how does the adoption of marketing tech tools translate at ground level?

The report Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity , by the Winterberry Group, I think sheds some light. They found that, on average, marketers use 12 different tools, where some are using up to 31 to manage data and campaigns. And, these numbers are just for the task of data management; bring in content management, social and relationship building, and we could easily be looking at 50 tools per company.

What I would like to clarify at this point is that I’m not an anti marketing tools activist, more a campaigner for a bit of common sense when it comes to prioritising. Marketers need to apply a filter when they are within 50 metres of something shiny and new when it comes to tech.

Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, Avinash Kaushik, blogged about the same issue. He says that what we really need is to pause and consider two concepts: “1. Is this material? 2. What’s the opportunity cost?” By asking these simple questions you might just save yourself investing in something that could turn out to be an unwanted and costly distraction, or as Avinash puts it: “Stop yourself getting tricked into chasing small rabbits down small holes at the cost of capturing elephants with the same effort.”

Bottom line - chase dreams, not distractions! Use marketing best practice, and you’ll choose the right tools to help you gain a strategic advantage over your competitors, whilst at the same time contributing to business success.