5 Tips for Buying Marketing Technology
That means demoing a lot of technologies, but also keeping abreast of independent research and articles, and knowing what's going on in the industry.
In fact, after product demos, the next most valuable methods of preparing for a technology purchase according to the report are, "Independent technology news, articles and comparisons; product testing reports; and peer and online recommendations."
“Be sure you’re willing to put in the time and effort to perform the due diligence required," said one of the respondents, "and never believe the vendor.”
4. Formalize Your Process, It Pays Off in the Long Run
One thing the report finds is that marketers are often using informal processes both to assess their needs before the purchase and evaluate success afterward.
Frankly, that's the technology buying equivalent of not tracking the ROI of your campaigns.
If technology is essential to your success as a marketer, then you should establish processes that treat it that way. You wouldn't set your budget informally, so why buy your tech informally?
One respondent quoted in the report recommended this:
Strategically create short- and long-term goals for any new technology investment in an ‘evergreen’ mindset. Most companies have a ‘right now’ business sense, so they focus more on what can be done with the technology today, without thinking about how the technology can be used in the future as the business goals and needs grow and change.
5. Expect More From Your Vendors
While you shouldn't count on vendors to provide the knowledge you need to make smart decisions, you should have a plan for how you're going to make sure they work for you throughout that process. That includes your entire customer lifecycle of choosing, installing and using their products.
The report finds that half of marketers meet with the vendor once or twice, and another 21 percent never meet with them in person at all. Most marketers rely on email and the phone for their communications with the vendor, but the above numbers show that 79 percent do meet with the vendor at least once.
One respondent laid out their philosophy toward managing vendors like this:
The strategy that works best for our company is constant communication throughout the entire process. We request an informal meeting and then a formal meeting with the potential sales and executive team; in addition to email correspondence and/or an email chat room with the vendor for weekly updates. Then we would like weekly reporting and status updates on how the technology is performing. This can be in the form of a weekly email or meeting for the first couple of weeks after implementation, or throughout the various cycles of the project, depending on the technology purchased or the project the technology is being used for.
Have you put that level of planning into how you manage your own vendor relationships? If not, you should start.
Those are five lessons from "The Marketing Tech Buying Process." There is a ot more critical information in the full report, though. Click here to download it now.