Need New Marketing Tech? Make Sure You Look Under The Hood
How do you know if the technology you choose is the right fit for your company? Columnist Loretta Jones discusses what you should consider before making a decision on your marketing tools.
We don’t do much these days without the help of technology. Even the office coffee machine has some kind of software in it. Our reliance on marketing technology to manage customer relationships, organize our days and handle everything in between means we need software that is both reliable and powerful.
Identifying the right options for new marketing tools requires a careful analysis of the technology and its capabilities. However, decision-makers need to consider some points about the team and business behind applications, as well.
To make the right decision, you’ll want to look into the following four things:
1. Who’s Designing It? How Do They Do It?
The methodology a company’s software development team employs is an important piece of information. No iteration of software comes without flaws or bugs that need to be patched.
Moreover, software in the as-a-service era must evolve as rapidly as user demand and needs change. If your company needs marketing software that’s accessible on the desktop, as well as mobile apps, you need to choose a tool that values a uniform experience and is available across devices.
Providers are committed to rapid development, and improvement should be at the top of your list. Learning the background of developers and a team’s strategies can help you find the best match for your business.
2. What’s The History Of The Solution?
An exciting new software solution or feature added to an already promising tool can’t be the only thing that gets your business. Before you spend any money on technology, investigate where it comes from.
If, for example, a company’s software historically struggled to sync data from one device to another, it may not be the right fit for employees who are always on the move.
No software or other technology is without its hangups. But some have more than others.
What’s more, newer technologies that have experienced rapid development are likely to come with even more features or integrations as the product or service gains traction in the market.
As with any other decision you make for your company, the more information about a product or service you have, the more likely you are to select the best option.
3. Is The Company Committed To Customer Service?
Customer success equals company success. The organizations that care about you and the success of your business are the ones that deserve your money. And in order to be successful when using a new marketing tool, users need assistance and education. This is the only way you and your employees will get the most out of it.
Look for organizations that are committed to their customers and want them to succeed. This will be evident in the way they collect and implement changes based on customer feedback; it means they’re listening.
Also, look at the type of onboarding materials provided, like training documents, how-to videos, email communications or webinars. This will be a good indicator of whether or not the company has taken the time to listen and understand what customers need to get up and running with its service.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer service.
4. Will It Fit Into My Existing Ecosystem?
On-demand software has made flexibility and integration critical components of the enterprise. You need each piece of technology to fit in with the tools you’re already using.
Investigating the ways other companies have integrated software will give you and your team a better idea of its value.
Additionally, software plays such a significant role in the way you run your business that it’s crucial for solutions to work with other tools. A productivity suite that can’t integrate with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool means double the data entry for your team. A project management tool that can’t function with a bill payment application may result in an overlooked customer invoice or payment.
Technology is supposed to make your business run more efficiently and make your employees’ jobs easier. Losing days to downtime simply isn’t acceptable.
The best tech for your companies is, quite simply, one that gets used. If your team is avoiding the use of certain software because it makes some aspect of their day more challenging, it’s a poor investment. Before you spend any money on a marketing tool, investigate its functionality and compatibility with the tools and workflow your team already relies on.
Technology has become ubiquitous in the enterprise because it evolves as quickly as companies and customers do. When you spend money on any piece of tech, you need to realize you’re also investing in its support, maintenance and upgrades.
To be sure your new technology vendor or partner is the right fit for your company, you need to do a little digging.
Technology can’t make a company successful. However, it can make it more difficult for employees to work and slow productivity significantly. Know what you’re getting into in order to make the best technology decisions for your company.