Marketing Tech Is So Bright, You Gotta Wear Strategic Shades [Rose-Colored Glasses]

I noticed a stat not way back that stated entrepreneurs spend 30% of their work week studying, implementing, or trying to find new expertise to make content material creation and administration simpler and quicker. I can’t discover it now, so perhaps I imagined it.

But even when that isn’t true, it feels true.

My expertise with two content material groups over the past month reveals why this occurs.

One staff makes use of a complicated tech stack with a contemporary content material administration system, a digital asset administration system, and even AI-driven writing assistants. The different depends on a patchwork of shared cloud storage, HTML snippets in Excel spreadsheets, and historic collaboration methods.

The groups produce the identical quantity of content material – they’re getting the job performed. But neither staff feels just like the expertise they’ve serves them properly.

As a end result, they’re each susceptible to the dream of a tech answer.

Many content material entrepreneurs envision how a lot better their work could possibly be if solely they’d the fitting expertise. They see themselves fortunately utilizing instruments that automate processes, create insightful dashboards, or magically ship the fitting content material to the fitting folks, on the proper time, on the fitting channels and units.

They spend a lot time fascinated with get the shiniest new expertise they overlook to think about use expertise to get essentially the most from their work and their staff.

Too many marketers think about how to get the most exciting tech, not how tech can help get the most from their team, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

The downside arises when folks purchase into the guarantees of recent tech with out first asking an important questions: Do we’d like this? Why?

For instance, I not too long ago realized a few new expertise that helps automate responses to data-access requests from customers who assume a model isn’t utilizing their private information appropriately. On its floor, the answer sounds neat.

But earlier than shopping for tech like this, a wise advertising and marketing chief ought to ask: “Why is our strategy leading to so many disgruntled consumer requests? Is automated response tech the best choice to address their frustration?”

In different phrases, “Why do we need this technology?” The reply would possibly (or may not) have something to do with tech.

Cathy McKnight, who works with me at The Content Advisory, suggests a multistep course of when deciding on new expertise. (Does it shock you to be taught that writing the request for proposal doesn’t occur till step seven?)

The first steps she suggests are important, but they’re hardly ever performed. I’ll stroll you thru this crucial a part of her recommended process.


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Validate the necessity for expertise

Validating your want for brand new expertise looks like an apparent place to begin, but it surely’s not.

Fear of lacking out is powerful, and it leads entrepreneurs to hunt new tech as a result of they’ve seen new tech. The tech they depend on right now seems to be like a run-down neighborhood bar, whereas the most recent tech answer seems to be like the most well liked nightclub on the town.

Don’t fall prey to FOMO. Before making any selections, have a look at your present technique, your plans, and your potential to get the job performed right now. Ask these questions first:

Do you could have a expertise downside?

Or is there one more reason you’re not working in the easiest way?

One shopper I labored with thought of a expertise answer that might allow them to restrict who might push the large crimson publish button. But they requested this query – and determined they didn’t want a tech answer. Instead, they began telling individuals who might (and couldn’t) push the large crimson publish button.

Can you remedy the issue by adjusting the method?

This query reveals when you’ve got course of issues (or when you’ve got any processes in any respect).

Let’s say you’re on the lookout for methods to assist a staff member resolve which web site pages want updating extra effectively. First, ask how they do it right now. If they have a look at a spreadsheet delivered to them by electronic mail, obtain all that data to their laptop computer, and prioritize the adjustments primarily based on their expertise, you don’t actually have a course of.

And which means expertise shouldn’t be the primary reply to that downside.

Could (or ought to) you replace present expertise, or do you want new expertise?I can’t let you know the variety of instances I’ve seen advertising and marketing groups substitute their CMS as a result of they conflate it with their web site’s design. When advertising and marketing management desires to revamp the web site, they use it as a possibility to exchange the poorly applied CMS.

Shouldn’t you no less than see if an improve or reimplementation would suffice?

Don’t buy new marketing tech until you validate the actual need, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

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Create the enterprise necessities

If you reply these questions and land on “Yes, we need new technology,” you’re able to checklist your enterprise necessities.

I received’t cowl that course of intimately because it’s well-known: Audit and interview stakeholder teams to uncover the necessities in every of the related processes.

Ask whether or not the present processes are the easiest way. You could discover altering a course of to raised match how expertise suppliers deal with that course of is simpler than forcing tech to accommodate a non-optimal course of.

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Identify your focal wants

This third step is presumably an important a part of assessing your new expertise wants.

You would possibly assume you could have wants that no different enterprise does. (And you’re not alone – almost each advertising and marketing staff believes it’s a particular rainbow-colored unicorn.)

Spoiler alert: 90 to 95% of your enterprise necessities are frequent. And this can be a good factor.

Still, you seemingly can have a couple of processes distinctive to your enterprise. And they could be too essential to lose in a brand new expertise implementation. These are your focal wants – the necessities that differentiate the applied sciences into account.

Focal needs will help you differentiate marketing tech under consideration, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent @Canto. Click To Tweet

Tech options could (or could not) be the reply to your issues

It’s simple to be blinded by shiny new applied sciences and approaches. But bear in mind this: Your content material expertise stack received’t differentiate your technique or content material. It could make issues simpler – or it might make issues tougher.

But focusing squarely in your technique and associated wants at all times works as a pleasant pair of shades – you’ll see previous the glitter and ultimately discover the gold.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 13 Expert Tips for Choosing Tech That Makes Your Content Strategy Work

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute