In an ever-expanding digital landscape, simplicity is becoming a holy grail for agencies. The average enterprise has around 120 martech services on the books. No matter the size of your company, 120 marketing tools is excessive.
It can be a struggle for some agencies to ensure that all of their tools, platforms, and software are configured correctly and are meeting the needs of their team. Software is downloaded, plans are started, subscriptions roll over, and they are either underutilised or largely forgotten. Not only does this drain your budget, but it can lead to an incohesive strategy and a tech headache down the line.
So, how should you go about simplifying your martech stack? Join us as we take a closer look.
1. Take inventory of your existing stack
Research shows that marketing leaders utilise only 58% of their martech stack’s potential. Unfortunately, this is a familiar reality for many agencies. You might be used to jumping from platform to platform to create, manage and send your email and SMS campaigns; but this is a sure-fire way to eat into your already busy schedule.
It might seem like a long (and tedious) task, but doing an audit will help you weed out any unnecessary tools and uncover opportunities for your team to work more efficiently. It is important to define what the ROI looks like for each of your digital marketing tools. You may be wondering how do we even calculate the value of our tools in comparison to cost? Well, all it involves is asking yourself a simple list of questions:
- Why did you adopt this marketing tool in the first place?
- What did this marketing software set out to achieve?
- Does it do everything you need it to? i.e. Are you having to fill the gaps with other tools?
2. Talk to your team
It is crucial to involve your entire team in a tech audit, after all, they are the ones using these tools on a daily. Something that looks good on paper might actually be cumbersome to use, and features might not actually live up to their promises. By sending out an email survey to the entire team you will be able to quickly pinpoint areas where functionality gaps and overlaps may be present.
If some of your tools are actually making life more difficult for the team, it can lead to inefficiencies, mistakes, and frustration. Talking to the team will help you identify the root cause of any performance issues, and you’ll get a clearer idea of what the team really needs out of their stack. And remember, if you’ve found gaps in your team’s knowledge or are implementing a new solution, you will need to design a training program to ensure that everyone can use the software to its full potential.
3. Remove unnecessary or outdated tools
After taking inventory, you can now begin to sort your digital tools into set categories to help you cull the ones that aren’t delivering your business goals. This is the time to start assessing what tools and software are essential and what is simply “nice to have”.
Your audit shouldn’t be limited to the tools that you don’t need though. It’s important to assess whether your “essentials” are providing everything you require. Are there any gaps in their offerings? Do they have new features that you haven’t explored? And most importantly, can they grow with you? You’ll no doubt want to expand your agency over time, so you need technology that can continue to deliver, no matter your size or capacity.
4. Integrate and consolidate your martech stack
Once you have identified the tools essential to your agency, you should look at building a universe around them. Ideally, this universe is made up of platforms that can communicate with one another and streamline your efforts all in one. However, the reality is that solutions don’t always play nicely with each other, and integrations can be a headache for many agencies.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Exploring potential integrations will uncover the tools that are perhaps not worth your investment. Instead, look for solutions that prioritise integrations and make it easy for users to plug in other tools. They will deliver more unified insights for your clients, as well as integrated customer data for better privacy.
You should also focus on employing robust tools that kill two (or more) birds with one stone. The more stand-alone tools you have, the more room there is for error. You don’t want to waste time juggling multiple platforms to complete what could be done with one. Implementing versatile solutions will reduce your costs to deploy and manage them, lower license fees, reduce risk, and deliver faster implementation times for you and your clients.
5. Audit your stack regularly
Agency life is always evolving, with constant digital advancements and expanding service offerings. On top of that, the rapidly changing data privacy landscape is making it essential for agencies to have a privacy-first approach. That’s why your martech should never be “set and forget”. Maintaining a regular audit schedule (at least yearly) will ensure it’s still delivering on what you need.
Remember to keep calm and stack on!
Whilst time-consuming and at times frustrating, conducting a digital tech audit of all your marketing tools can be extremely advantageous for your business. It will not only save you valuable time and money in the long haul but also streamline your marketing efforts to improve your team’s overall performance.
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