Martech enablement series: Part 8 — Executing martech enablement
In Part 8 of a nine-part series, contributor Peter Ladka discusses how your team can put its learning and experiences to work in moving your marketing organization toward digital transformation and maturity.
Welcome to Part 8 of: “A Nine Part Practical Guide to Martech Enablement.” This is a progressive guide, with each part building on the prior sections and focused on outlining a process to build a data-driven, technology-driven marketing organization within your company. Below is a list of the previous articles for your reference:
- Part 1: What is martech enablement?
- Part 2: The race team analogy
- Part 3: The team members
- Part 4: Building the team
- Part 5: The team strategy
- Part 6: Building the car
- Part 7: Insights, intelligence and integration
In these previous parts, we looked at how your martech team is parallel to an automobile race team. We spent time investigating how a race team constructs their crew and then builds a strategy for winning their individual races and the overall series. We also looked at how they build the car and supporting technology to win their races. All the while, I drew a comparison showing how your marketing organization can use this successful approach to build a martech team, identifying this process as “martech enablement.”
In this part, it’s where the “rubber meets the road!” It’s where the art and science of marketing converge, working together in harmony to win races and series. Up to this point, we’ve been largely talking about strategic work to set up the framework necessary to create and support a successful martech team. Strategy done, it’s time to execute and see results. On your mark…
Martech enablement is nimble
I can understand how, after seven parts and the thousands upon thousands of words contained within this guide, you could easily surmise that martech enablement is a traditional Discovery-> Design-> Execution type process, regardless of how many times I’ve said otherwise.
I want to reiterate, if you haven’t already garnered it from earlier parts of this guide, that martech enablement — both in strategic development and execution — is an intuitive and logical process that enables a marketing organization to realize incremental, meaningful and strategic outcomes in martech that together lead to digital maturity and transformation.
You shouldn’t spend more than four to six weeks getting through the initial construction of the team, strategy and technology assessment to get going with execution. Quickly getting wins and insights should be your foremost objective. Martech enablement is a prime mover that should quickly kick your organization’s resources into motion.
As an organization begins the martech enablement process, execution iterations (sprints) run four weeks in duration, in my experience; this shortens to two weeks as you become more experienced. Think in terms of a race driver starting to race at lower speeds on less demanding courses at first and graduating to more complex, competitive races with higher speeds as he or she learns and progresses. Martech enablement is about quick, agile wins.
Racing series and individual races
As I described in Part 5 of this guide, a racing “series” is a collection of races where a team can earn points during each race which aggregate to determine if you win the series. The parallel of the race series in martech enablement is a four- or two-week execution iteration or agile marketing sprint. Within each series, you’ll run many races. Races are parallel to marketing campaigns.
During your team strategy development that I discussed in Part 5, I outlined how the series and race goals are developed. During those exercises, you should have developed an initial list of goals. These goals will be an ever-evolving list that’s refined and re-prioritized as you iterate during the martech process.
It’s good to begin each series with a review of the team objectives that were established and discussed in Part 5. This will ensure that your series planning will be aligned with your team’s main purpose. From there, select goals according to priority and what can be achieved during the series’s (sprint’s) duration.
Review roles and responsibilities for each goal according to the RACI matrix developed during Part 4, “Building a team.” The team members who have RACI responsibilities around each goal should collaborate on these objectives for the duration of the sprint. These teams will be responsible for developing the tactical plan for reaching the goal and identifying the KPIs you will use to measure the goal’s success.
A note regarding planning cadence: The dependency that the drive team (the art of martech) has on the crew (the science of martech) requires careful planning. It takes time to develop some of the technology, data collection and intelligence systems needed to support particular goals — sometimes that’s more than can be accomplished within a sprint’s duration.
As a result, careful prioritization of goals will provide the crew with an understanding of technology that needs to be developed to support future goals. It’s not uncommon for a marketing organization to experience a cadence of the crew developing technology during one sprint that will support the goals of the drive team for the next one.
Racing, daily execution
Each day, the team should review the progress of each goal. How is the race going? Are we executing our plan? Do we need to adjust based on data our intelligence systems are providing to the team? Is anything impeding our progress?
Each team member should be sharing what they accomplished the previous day, what they will be doing today, and what’s standing in their way to achieving each goal they’re involved with. Remember, martech enablement is a rapidly iterating process that demands the team’s attention. Team participation is a leading indicator of how successful a martech enablement effort will be.
Teams that commit to this do well with martech enablement; they begin to see the value of the effort toward increased maturity and digital transformation. Those that don’t generally wonder why they aren’t progressing.
At the end of each series, it’s important to formally review what was successfully achieved. Sit the entire team down and review each goal based on KPIs and effectiveness. Identify the primary reasons for the level of success achieved (or not achieved).
As time goes on, these review opportunities should include not only series goal results, but also a review of how the team is performing at reaching its overall objectives. This should lead to continued adjustment in approach and prioritization and shorter, more manageable cycles of effort.
Race another day
These efforts all coalesce in knowledge, learning and experiences so you can improve when you return to series planning again at the start of your next execution period. To some, this iterative approach may seem familiar, as it has some similarity with other agile approaches used across other disciplines such as software development.
My experience has been that agile, iterative efforts in just about every business field are the most effective way to get the best “bang for your buck,” delivering better results, in the most compact time frame for the least money. Growing your marketing organization is no exception.
Intro to Part 9: Wrapping it all up
In Part 9 of the guide, we’ll wrap up the series by discussing what we’ve learned and how the martech enablement process can be an ongoing change agent for successfully maturing and transforming your marketing organization. It will allow you to take advantage of the current and emerging technology opportunities to deliver a better experience to your customers and increase your company’s return on investment.
I look forward to continuing to share about martech enablement with you in the last part of this guide.