Martech enablement series: Part 2 — The race team analogy

In the second installment of a nine-part series, contributor Peter Ladka discusses how to create a "race team," develop a strategy, build and maintain the race car (your martech stack) and run the races (execute your strategy).

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Welcome to Part 2 of: “A Nine-Part Practical Guide to Martech Enablement.” This guide is focused on outlining a process to building a data- and technology-driven marketing organization within your company.

In Part 1 of this guide, I outlined the process of taking full advantage of marketing technology. This is called “martech enablement.”

To reiterate, I define “martech enablement” as:

[blockquote] 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. [/blockquote]

Additionally, in Part 1, I shared how executing martech is analogous to driving a car — but as I noted, just driving isn’t satisfactory for your marketing organization. You must be prepared to race — and race continually — to provide your company with the competitive advantage necessary to win.

In this post, we’ll lay out a road map of what you can expect in this guide by introducing you to the “Race Team Analogy” and showing you its parallels within your marketing organization.

Bringing martech enablement to your organization

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To successfully compete and win in the marketplace, your marketing organization must be prepared to race. Your organization must operate like a “Race Team,” possessing all the components and operations of a successful race team. “Race Team” is not just a synonym for the people in an organization, but it encompasses all the components of the race organization. The Race Team has four main areas for us to observe:

  • The team members
  • The race strategy
  • The car and technology
  • Race day and series execution

Similarly, in your marketing organization, you have your team, your marketing strategy, your martech stack and the execution of your marketing initiatives. This analogy will serve as the basis for the rest of this guide and assist in creating a successful martech-enabled organization.

The team members: Creating the team

As we go through the Race Team analogy, one part of the team is the actual people within the Race Team organization. The team is broken down into three primary areas of responsibility:

  • The Executive Team — Responsible for the sponsorship, high-level team strategy development and overall management of the team.
  • The Drive Team — Provides on-the-ground strategic input and executes on the specific race day strategies. This team isn’t just made up of the driver, but also consists of many other supporting staff.
  • The Crew — Constructs the car and supporting technology according to the team’s strategic objectives. They also provide race-day support and data to assist the drive team in executing the race strategy.

I’m sure you’re already seeing the parallels with your marketing organization. In Part 3 of this guide, we’ll be digging deep into the team structure and the individual members. We’ll examine the roles and responsibilities of the Race Team and how this corresponds to your marketing organization.

In Part 4 of this guide, we’ll examine approaches to building this team through the use of internal staffing and external partners to provide all the critical roles necessary to succeed.

The team’s strategy: Define the strategy

All three groups above must work in harmony to develop a strategy, as they each own components that are critical to the team’s success. A race team must win races to win the race series. In each race, what place a team finishes in will contribute points to the race series objectives, which are tallied to produce a total score for the race series.

It’s easy to think that the team’s goal is to win enough races to collect enough points to win the race series; however, it’s more nuanced than that. Winning a race is simply defined by being the first to cross the finish line, but there are many details involved in being able to achieve this high-level goal.

For your marketing organization, your race series objectives might be to become the market leader or increase marketing-attributed revenue by X percent in the coming year. These high-level objectives must be supported by measurable goals such as ROMI (return on marketing investment) or data-driven KPIs. These are the details that your marketing organization will use to determine if you’re winning the race series and meeting your high-level objectives.

In drawing the parallel of the race analogy to your marketing organization, the races equate to channels such as advertising, social and online marketing. Each of these will contribute to your goals (ROMI, KPIs and so on) to help you win the race series.

In Part 5 of the guide, we’ll dive into the process of creating your race series objectives and outline race (channel) strategies to contribute to those goals. We’ll examine how these analogies apply to your marketing organization’s objectives, goals and marketing channels to put together a winning strategy.

The car and technology: Identify, implement and integrate the tools

It’s pretty evident that one of the biggest pieces of technology for the race team is the car that will be used during the race, but there is so much more. Data collection and analysis systems, communications, video, performance tuning, project management systems, even driver clothing and safety systems, just to name a few.

The technological capabilities a race team needs to compete are vast and ever growing. Teams are always looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage through technology.

So, too, it is with your marketing organization. Your martech stack isn’t just made up of your CRM (customer relationship management), CMS (content management system) and marketing automation tools, but also a plethora of unique technologies, implemented and integrated into the overall tech stack to provide you with a growing competitive advantage.

In Parts 6 and 7 of this guide, we’ll delve into identifying, implementing and integrating technology to provide you with the tools needed to gain the insights and actions (remember Part 1) necessary for you to win races, and ultimately, the race series.

Running the races, winning the series: Execute the strategy

It’s race day now. Team members are ready to go, each of them with their responsibilities defined. The strategy for the current race will be executed, and the drive team will collect insights from the crew and technology to take action to win the race and contribute to winning the race series.

Within your marketing organization, team members have responsibilities driven by strategic goals. During the execution of campaigns and initiatives, you gather insights from your tech team and martech stack to enable you to take actions. Each channel contributes to your overarching goals to help you achieve your marketing objectives. This is how you win each race and collectively win the race series.

In Part 8 of this guide, we’ll investigate running the race. We’ll look at the roles and responsibilities of the team during execution and how they work together to win each race and the race series. In Part 9, we’ll look at the strategy of post-race reflection to create an environment of continued growth and improvement within your marketing organization.

All of the areas discussed above and the seven remaining parts of this guide will serve as a road map for martech enablement, a process that will help your marketing organization mature and transform to achieve the digital transformation you’ve been reading about.

Intro to Part 3: The team members

In Part 3 of the “Martech Enablement Series: A Nine-Part Practical Guide to Martech Enablement,” we will begin taking a detailed look at creating the team. We will discover more about the parallel between the race team and the martech team and how to model your team for success in the martech enablement race.

I look forward to continuing to share the concept of martech enablement with you in Part 3 of this guide.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Peter Ladka
Peter Ladka has emerged as one of the foremost thought leaders in the area of Martech and Digital Transformation. With over 25 years of experience in Martech, Peter has helped countless marketing executives and leaders understand how to align their Martech stack to deliver rich, customer-centric experiences that connect their brand with their customers, and their customers with their brand. With expertise in Customer Journey & Experience, Lifecycle Marketing, Technology Modernization, and Marketing Platforms, Peter has a unique blend of business, marketing, and technology experience that helps marketing leaders see the path to transformation. Peter is also the CEO of Sherpera Consulting.

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