Best practices for making martech purchases in the next fiscal year
IT is regaining its voice in martech purchase decisions, survey finds.
Less than a week away from the start of the new fiscal year for many businesses on July 1, IT and marketing departments have already started their annual tug-of-war over martech purchasing platforms, tools and vendors.
What are the best practices when buying martech for the 2021 fiscal year? It may be easier than you think.
“Do not worry about executive titles and roles within the IT or marketing department,” said Jake Athey, vice president of marketing and customer experience at Widen, a digital asset management firm. “Make sure whoever has the purchasing power and final approval is close to the content and customer experience, which is the most central intelligence needed for purchasing platforms for digital expansion.”
The survey says…
Athey’s opinion is based on Widen’s recently released annual martech purchasing survey of small (500 or less employees) and enterprise (more than 500 employees) companies.
For the first time in the survey’s six year-history, IT departments have more control in purchasing than marketing departments. The survey’s 144 respondents were made up of a dozen different industries, from manufacturing to travel and tourism. Two-thirds of respondents were from ‘enterprise’-level companies.
“According to our survey, IT is now leading purchasing decisions and the margin is about a 10% difference,” said Athey.
The shift is due to IT departments being more embedded with corporate strategy and not working in an isolated silo as they tended to do until relatively recently. The greater availability of data and analytics have also made IT departments more essential in resource planning.
“Purchasing changes in recent years have favored more IT influence because they know more about modern architecture, cloud native applications and microservices,” said Tony Byrne, founder of the technology analyst firm Real Story Group and author of the book, “The Right Way to Select Technology.”
Byrne suggests building a strong interdepartmental team for martech purchasing decisions that focuses on human-centered usability and results instead of solely relying on features.
“No matter who is leading the purchasing process, getting real user experiences from your company should be required,” said Byrne. “Never listen to a vendor use case and let that stand alone in your decision-making process.”
New vendors in the space
As fiscal 2021 begins next week, many new vendors will be positioning their services right along with incumbent vendors in a vastly changed world since a year ago.
“We are finding that new vendors are focused on high volume personalization for B2C audiences and specialized and targeted drip campaigns for B2B audiences,” said Byrne. “That specialization is bringing results and giving opportunities to this new generation of vendors.”
As fiscal 2021 purchasing is reviewed, given the current instability across all markets, Byrne said it is a good time to step back and analyze all martech purchasing, not just vendor contracts that may expire on June 30.
“No matter who is making the purchasing decisions, ask if the company really needs a super-sophisticated web content management platform,” said Byrne. “The trend is already set, you are going to see more IT people in marketing and more marketing people understanding IT, so you might as well make it for the best.”