Martech enablement series : Part 1 — What is ‘martech enablement?’
In his first piece in a nine-part series, contributor Peter Ladka defines what martech enablement is and discusses how an organization should approach the process to gain a competitive advantage.
Welcome to Part 1 of this series: “A Nine-Part Practical Guide to Martech Enablement.” This series will outline a process to building a data-driven, technology-supported marketing organization within your company. Much is being written about martech, digital transformation and digital maturity, but there’s scant guidance on how to actually go about this journey. This series is about the process of martech enablement.
Defining martech enablement
I define martech enablement as follows:
The process of bringing marketing and technology together to create the team, define the strategy, identify, implement and integrate the tools, and execute the strategy that enables an organization to engage most effectively with their customer. Ultimately, it’s getting the right information at the right time into the hands of marketers so they can effectively engage their customers to build brand, market products and services and assist the sales organization.
Transform and mature, huh?
As I said earlier, a lot is being said about “digital transformation” and “digital maturity.” These two phrases are putting tremendous pressure on CMOs to evolve their departments to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace. I hear this from CMOs every day. There are several common themes to these conversations:
- A desire or need to gain an advantage over competitors through martech, as well as concerns about delaying martech adoption.
- Upper management wanting quantification of marketing spend or ROMI (return on marketing investment), which is propelled by the shift of martech budget from IT to the marketing org’s budget.
- Growing customer expectation regarding digital interaction with your brand.
I have five children. Parenting is a huge part of my life. I can tell you through lots of trial and error that telling your kids to “GROW UP!” doesn’t actually make them grow up. Everyday guidance, interactions, careful learning, listening, nurturing and sharing are what create better results. Incremental, methodical growth that happens through these experiences causes children to gain wisdom and eventually reach maturity. Do you see where I’m going with this?
The industry is yelling at marketing organizations to “TRANSFORM and MATURE.” This is like yelling at my children to “MATURE” and expecting them to actually mature magically at that moment. Silly.
Transforming and maturing are a result of a process of change that happens over time. Transformation and maturity (both nouns) are a destination, not a process.
What is needed is an incremental process that transforms and matures the marketing organization. Martech enablement is the process of change that matures and transforms your marketing organization resulting in “digital transformation” and “digital maturity.”
A practical approach
As we embark on this journey, the interesting parallel between personal transformation and maturity and their digital counterparts continues. We ultimately identify a person’s maturity based on what they do and how they think, as demonstrated by their insights into the world and their actions based on those insights.
So, too, is the measure of a company’s maturity and transformation judged — by their insights and actions.
Like any journey, this starts with a plan. Knowing where you are and where you want to go is the first critical insight.
Driving without a plan will certainly take you somewhere, but that somewhere isn’t likely going to be where you’d hope to end up. Identifying where you are and where you want to go are your first critical insights.
After the journey begins, insights come constantly from many areas; your view out the windshield will provide you with the feedback you immediately need to steer. Though understanding the immediate insights provided by watching the road is important, this isn’t the only place you receive insights from. Your dashboard, navigation system, passengers and a whole host of other information can provide you insights about your journey along the way.
Now comes time to take action based on the initial and continued insights. The actions that marketing organizations take leveraging martech can be broken down into two basic types: direction and speed