I’ve been around the block a few times with marketing technology. Here are three things I’ve realized and always advise prospects & clients on when they are selecting any type of platform, big or small.
1 – FOCUS ON WHAT YOU OR THE ORGANIZATION NEED IT FOR.
Whatever you are looking for, whether it be automation, just e-mail, CRM, etc. the vast majority of these types of platforms have all sorts of features, which also determine their price.
What do you need it to do for you? You should be able to boil that down to 2 or 3 sentences and if you can’t, you need to revisit your why.
Once you have it figured out, get a demo or client reference of someone doing exactly what you’ve outlined. If the platform can’t provide that, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it does mean it will probably cost $10,000 – $100,000 (or more) of customization and additional resources.
I’ve seen many times where a deal was sold and what needs to be done can’t be…and many times an upgraded version was sold as a way to pull the wool over the customer’s eyes. Don’t make this mistake.
2 – DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE SALES PERSON. THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.
Most of these technology companies have an up or out culture. That means you hit your numbers and get rewarded for it, or you don’t and you get fired. Either way that’s not good for you, because these sales people don’t care about cultivating a relationship with you. They care about getting paid and then they are on to their next target.
This may seem obvious, but I promise you it won’t be. You’ve likely read some blogs on basic psychology and manipulation and gaslighting and so on. The point is these people are really good at what they do. They will make you feel special. They will promise you the world. They have all the right things to say… and then that deal closes and they are gone. If things go wrong during the implementation (or just at some point) it certainly will not be their fault and my guess is you won’t be able to get ahold of them. It’s also not uncommon to get assigned multiple AEs or have them switch on a regular basis (frustrating).
Just remember how a normal relationship progresses. If someone offers you something and consistently backs it up and does all the things they say they will do, trust will naturally develop. Until that does, be leery in this space.
3 – REVIEW ITS EASE OF USE…AND GET MULTIPLE OPINIONS.
Most of these platforms are now pretty easy to use. Drag and drop interfaces for everything from e-mail to landing pages to drip programs, etc (referring to Marketing Automation). Do you think it’s easy to use? Does your team think it’s easy to use? Does someone in IT think it’s easy to use?
I’ve seen many cases where one person assumed because they liked it that everyone would. Flash forward a few months and the costs of training or bringing in additional resources becomes another headache to deal with, which will inevitably bottleneck other marketing initiatives.
This can also be fun and in my experience people enjoy being involved in decision making.
Looking for more info? Drop a line to James@pellizziandcompany.com. I’m looking for 20 minute ZOOM (or better yet) coffee dates to discuss marketing.
Thanks for reading.