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The 2 Biggest Mistakes Made when Selecting Marketing Technologies

The 2 Biggest Mistakes Made when Selecting Marketing Technologies

Marketers seem to fall into some pretty common traps when it comes to selecting marketing technologies to add to the arsenal.

I’ve written about the expansive market that exists in the world of marketing tech. There are thousands of tools out there (over 220 in the social media management space alone!) and it can often seem like an impossible task to select the right one for your objectives. That is due largely to the fact that companies do a great job of selling their snake oil (which it so often is) and we simply eat it up. After all, a good salesperson will make just about anything appealing. But when it comes to selecting marketing technologies, there are some mistakes that are much more common, and costly, than others.

Mistakes when selecting marketing technologies.jpg

Among those mistakes are the two cited here. Now, I am by no stretch saying that these are the only missteps a marketer might make, and I am not saying that by being cognizant of these mistakes you’ll be able to remedy the errors of choosing the wrong tool, but your awareness and avoidance of these two issues will certainly help make the process simpler, and can certainly lead to greater results.

Tools that Don’t Play Nice

Like I said, a good salesperson will make the product they’ve been ordered to sell look and sound like the perfect solution. While, on the surface, a tool might seem to solve an issue, one thing that marketers often forget is that for a product to really work, it’s going to need to do more than that. It needs to fit.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with products that are built to operate in a vacuum. In some cases, it can be even worse; a lot of products (particularly those that are part of a larger cloud) are designed (or, after an acquisition, redesigned) to work optimally with the cloud as a whole, and integrations with other technologies (or functionality that makes them much friendlier) are removed. Marketers need to look past the superficial capabilities and see how a product might work with other tools and processes that already exist.

Let’s think about this issue in the context of a business intelligence application.

Business intelligence dashboards can be very impressive. They become even more impressive as you are walked through a demo account and see the full range of capabilities that exist when the tool is used to its full potential. But what if you decide to invest in  said dashboard only to find that it does not integrate fully with your CRM, or that it integrates, but there are breakages in the structure that lead to difficulties when trying to analyze your data (mechanically). Then, your workload actually increases as opposed to lightening as a result of your new tool.

Take some time and make sure that whatever you plan to add to your toolbox works well with everything else that you are currently using.

Investments are Not One-Dimensional

Another major mistake that marketers make when it comes to selecting marketing technologies has to do with the wonderful world of economics.

When it comes to price, there is a broad spectrum into which these tools fall. There is everything from a set of free applications to the kind of products that only the Fortune 100s of the world can afford. But we’re not talking about a financial investment in this case – we’re talking about investments of your time. Marketers need to think about the human capital investment that needs to be made in order to capitalize on the use of a product.

Technologies, while impressive, are not foolproof or completely automated yet. There are still several hours of training and implementation that need to be considered. There are even products out there that might require a new, fully-trained staff member using it on a full-time basis in order to reap all the benefits the product offers. We tend to forget about those costs. When we dive into a piece of technology without recognizing the time it will take to learn everything there is to know and leverage its applications to the fullest, our investment into the license turns into a sunk cost. That sunk cost is then increased significantly when we consider the man-hours that went into using the tool (with no results).

You’ll want to do your due diligence (generally by referring to reviews and write-ups that are not influenced by the tech company itself) to see if you can afford to invest the time it will take to master a product. And don’t be fooled by the marketing message that every product is designed to be used to the fullest in just a few minutes; even the technologies that have built their reputation on simplicity and user-friendliness will take at least a small investment of time. We need to factor that into a buying decision as well.

Conclusion

Again, these are not the only issues that marketers face when it comes to selecting a new technology, but they are two of the more costly ones. If you can wrap your head around these two issues, then the chances of selecting the right product increases dramatically. If you want to know more about the process of selecting the right piece of marketing technology, I suggest downloading the new How 2 with t2 eBook. In it, we cover the steps marketers need to take in order to ensure that the investment is right and the benefits are reaped in their entirety.

How 2 with t2 Evaluate Marketing Technology

5 Industries Set to Explode in 2015

5 Industries Set to Explode in 2015

2014 set a stage for several industries that are poised for massive growth in the coming year.

Welcome back and a very happy New Year to all my readers!

Every year, there are certain trends in the world of marketing and tech that indicate to us that there are certain industries set to explode in the following year. 2014 was no different.

5 Industries Set to Explode in 2015

Last year, we saw certain aspects come to the forefront with regards to marketers’ desires in the world of tech, and as we head into 2015 there are five industries in particular that we can expect to see burst in terms of their growth rate and mainstream familiarity.

Wearables

The first one is pretty obvious. Wearables have been on the rise for a couple of years now, and with the advent of smart watches and the fact that some of the biggest players in the tech game  – namely Apple and Samsung – have made their way into the market means that there is no stopping it.

But we are still in the infancy of the wearables life.

Imagine a world where you take a shirt out of your drawer, put it on, then open an app on your skin-projected phone screen and choose its color. We’re not there yet, but this is the exciting direction in which we are headed. We only have two wrists, so the world of wearables will surely be expanding elsewhere in the coming year.

Internet of Things (for Everyone)

I have often written about my amazement at the prospect of the Internet of Things (IoT). As more companies embrace its possibilities, we can expect to see this phenomenon skyrocket in the coming year.

Towards the end of 2014, we began seeing certain companies releasing do-it-yourself-type kits that help transform every day items in your home – like a lamp – into smart items. This is a trend that started steamrolling towards the end of the year and there are no signs of this momentum slowing down.

This coming year, we can surely expect to see the rise in popularity and availability of the IoT continue.

3D Print Manufacturing

Try not to confuse this your Average Joe printing out a 3D model at home – this is more about 3D printing at the industrial level.

When the phenomenon was featured on the cover of the Economist, it was touted as being far more cost-effective for the manufacturing sector and incurs far fewer risks. That is music to the ears of operations managers in the manufacturing sector.

3d print manufacturing industries set to explode

In the first decade of the 21st century, annual growth in the 3D printing sector averaged roughly 8.8%. From today through 2017, that number is expected to double. Expect to hear a lot more from the world of 3D printing in the coming year.

Natural Language Processing

If we’ve learned one thing from the popularity of new media it is that we love our colloquialisms. If we’ve learned something else, it is that spelling, grammar and clarity are generally considered to be secondary concerns for the average user on social media.

Natural language processing (NLP) has long been an exciting field, but the complexity of the phenomenon has made it difficult to become a mainstream application. We can expect to see that start to change in 2015.

NLP is a major focus for a lot of tech companies, and more importantly, it has the power to be a major value for virtually every business that operated directly or indirectly online.

And as for the larger picture…

Deep Learning

In what is perhaps the most exciting field in the big data space, deep learning is as cool as the name suggests.

deep learning industries set to explode

Natural language processing falls into the category of deep learning. Essentially, deep learning is a form of machine learning whereby a series of complex algorithms are used in order to develop models out of non-linear actions. Things like speech recognition, neural processing and even your future smart house will be the product of deep learning advancements.

With the progress that has been made in the field and the mainstream availability that we are starting to see, we can expect 2015 to be a very big year for the field of deep learning.

Keep your eyes open.