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MarTech Conference: 10 myths martech vendors tell
The Real Story Group's Theresa Regli reveals the top martech myths and the corresponding realities. Columnist Derek Edmond recaps her presentation at the MarTech Conference.
Why do vendors dislike marketing technology analyst firm Real Story Group? According to Theresa Regli, Principal Analyst & Managing Partner at the company, it’s because the analysts tell real stories and debunk false promises.
As she opened her session at the MarTech Conference this week, Regli told the audience she’s been questioning the stories we tell all her life. She talked about being educated by nuns in a Catholic school environment and questioning the stories she heard.
What did that get her? Detention. For weeks.
This experience didn’t sway her from constantly questioning situations and stories told. In her work with the Real Story Group, Regli says she’s constantly questioning the promises and premises that martech vendors make to potential customers and buyers.
In the late morning session, “10 Myths Martech Vendors Tell,” Regli outlined 10 myths martech vendors communicate to potential buyers, and explained what these buyers need to consider when they hear them.
Regli’s 10 martech myths? Here’s the list:
- The Digital Marketing “Suite”
- The Martech Space Is Highly Evolved
- This Fancy Tool Is Very Mature
- Setup Is Easy
- No Training Required
- We Can Scale
- Marketers Love This Tool!
- We Should Be Your Marketing Data Warehouse
- We Are Also A DAM (Digital Asset Management)
- We Understand Sentiment
The martech space today
When it comes to vendors indicating they offer a “Digital Marketing Suite,” Regli cautions that suites are not always “sweet.” Most “digital marketing suites” are made through acquisitions and mergers.
As a result, there is often difficulty connecting components, especially for recently acquired solutions and technologies.
The martech space is not very evolved from a buying perspective, either. According to survey data from the Real Story Group, 54 percent of respondents indicated that they are just in the starting phases; 11 percent don’t even have martech on the radar yet.
When it comes to buying behavior today, the No. 1 error that Regli sees is “overbuying.” Marketers are “buying the Ferrari when they only need a Hyundai,” or maybe even a BIKE!
Buyers need to stop buying the hype. According to the above-referenced survey, only 37 percent are leveraging the full potential of their marketing software.
Martech implementation myths
“Setup is easy.” And the SAAS (software as a service) position is that because it’s “in the cloud,” it is going to be easy. Regli shared data that indicated that only 39 percent of martech projects are completed on time. Only 55 percent are completed on budget.
There are very few historical precedents for many of the solutions that vendors are selling, making applicable case studies hard to come by.
If you can find comparable success stories, that’s great. But Regli recommends never buying vendor solutions before testing them adequately enough yourself.
When it comes to training, Regli cautions that these new technology solutions are complex applications. Training is essential. In fact, 48 percent at least somewhat disagree they have the right level of training, according to the data that Regli shared.
Particularly when looking to expand into global markets, buyers need to consider how a vendor solution will look in such an evolving environment.
Issues such as language variation, format transformations (media, copy and so on) and technology infrastructure all need to be evaluated.
Because this is such an evolving space, Regli recommends that buyers try to sit on customer advisory boards so that they may have greater say in, and awareness of, new product releases and updates.
Martech data management
It’s not a good idea to rely solely on your vendor to manage your data. Regli recommends establishing an “enterprise data foundation” that can ultimately be used by different systems and shared services.
Regli shared her recommendation for the marketing technology stack, emphasizing the independently owned enterprise data foundation.
Beyond data management, be skeptical of vendors that indicate they can also provide “digital asset management” (DAM) and “sentiment analysis.”
DAMs do plenty that your marketing automation tool cannot and require specific features and capabilities, Regli contends. Sentiment analysis is very difficult to just “leave to the machines.”
The martech state of the union
Be a skeptic and wonder if what the potential vendor is stating is a myth or reality. Buyers are becoming more effective at putting strategies in place, but the tools themselves are evolving, as well as the skills to manage them.
Fortunately for the potential buyers, they aren’t alone in their concerns about finding the right tools, skills and personnel. Buyers must continue to question the promises and stories that vendors in the martech space communicate.
Check out the full set of slides for Regli’s presentation here:
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech Today. Staff authors are listed here.