Good morning, what’s your process for buying martech tools?

Last week, Real Story Group Founder Tony Byrne pulled back the curtain on his team’s routine for purchasing marketing technology during his Discover MarTech keynote. Tony takes a human-centered approach — implementing user stories and design thinking. He laid out the following five steps based on his process: 

Step One: Empathize. Create diverse user stories that capture a range of use-cases for the  technology and filter those through the lens of various personas that use the tech. “The key thing here is to describe, rather than prescribe,” says Tony.

Step Two: Define. This is where you put together your RFP and vendor shortlist — but not the old fashioned way. Don’t write out a long list of requirements, instead base it on the user stories you defined in step one. 

Step Three: Ideate. This phase involves narrowing down your list of potential vendors after reviewing the proposals that you’ve requested. Once you have dug a little deeper into each of the vendors you first identified, you can now narrow down your shortlist and invite those vendors to demo their product. 

Step Four: Prototype. Step four is when you and your team are able to get your hands on the product and give it a test drive. Be sure to let the vendors know in advance that this will be part of your evaluation process because it will likely come with costs. 

Step Five: Test. Byrnes said testing is optional, but necessary if you want to know how the platform truly fits into your life-cycle.

Byrne’s five-step process couldn’t be more timely: In our survey of nearly 400 marketers, 83% had replaced a piece of their martech stack during the past year — with half looking to replace third-party platforms with new tech that better meets their needs. Byrne’s approach gives martech teams a new way to consider their evaluation process. 

We have more for you below, including a new integration from Sprinklr and a new Shopify app. 

Amy Gesenhues, 
Senior Editor

MarTech Minute

TikTok goes legit and Shopify rolls out a consumer app

SPRINKLE IN SOME TIKTOK. Customer experience management platform Sprinklr announced it is adding a TikTok integration, allowing advertisers to create and manage TikTok ads within its suite of social media advertising solutions. According to the company, it is the first API partner to support in-feed TikTok ads. 

Why we care: While TikTok is currently facing some serious security concerns (U.S. lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would enforce TikTok to alert consumers about security risks associated with the app before downloading), the site is continuing to hold its place as the shiny, new toy among social media advertisers. But the site’s ad platform is still in its infancy. By hooking up with Sprinklr, TikTok is giving the ad side of its business some legitimacy — as well as giving social media ad managers a solid platform not only to try out and run TikTok campaigns, but easily compare their results alongside the other social campaigns they manage via Sprinklr.  

SHOP TIL YOU DROP. Shopify has released “Shop” — a consumer shopping app that will allow shoppers to browse and order products, as well as track their packages. (The app is an update of Shopify’s former app Arrive that provided order tracking information, according to TechCrunch.) The app offers product recommendations based on the user’s preferences and purchase history and  includes a local shopping feature for consumers to find and purchase products from local stores. 

Why we care: The big news here is that Shopify is giving local mom-and-pop shops expanded e-commerce capabilities. This consumer shopping app — that comes complete with a local shopping feature — gives SMBs that lack the time and resources to build their own native app an avenue to connect with online shoppers. And it comes with all the bells and whistles of your standard e-commerce app: product recommendations, online ordering, purchase tracking and more. 


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Can AI Do A Good Job Writing Marketing Copy? – Forbes

How to withstand ad fraud in the CTV environment – Marketing Dive

Red Hat: Shift to Kubernetes and microservices is happening faster than expected – VentureBeat

Improving Customer Insights and Targeting through Data Integration – Street Fight

For Publishers, First-Party Data Is A Product Question – AdExchanger

Implementing Dark Mode In React Apps Using styled-components – Smashing Magazine

‘Cash flow is king’: Advertisers are making agencies wait longer for payments – Digiday

What Does HubSpot’s New CMS Say About Its Martech Future? – CMS Wire