So you’re ready to upgrade your marketing technology stack? It’s a big undertaking, but one that can be endlessly fruitful, especially if you choose technologies that integrate seamlessly.
No matter the onus behind your adventure into a modern martech stack—new resources, scalability, data management, inefficiencies—one thing rings true: you’re making a change for the betterment of your team and business overall.
The first step is acknowledging the need. Now you get the fun task of researching the thousands of available martech tools!
Once you’ve established the core needs of your business, you can begin conversations with some of your top choices.
We recently sat down with Arnbjørn Marklund, Senior Customer Journey Manager at Kahoot!, and Mike Rhodes, Founding Director at ConsultMyApp, to discuss the process of creating an integrated martech stack and the five truths Kahoot! learned along the way.
When evaluating technologies for your martech stack, these are five truths you have to address to ensure success.
The 5 Truths for Martech Stack Success
Truth #1: You need a thorough RFP process
The Request For Proposal (RFP) process is integral to building a martech stack that is seamless, integrated and successful in the near- and long-term.
When kicking off the RFP process, make sure you go in armed with the right questions. Tailor these questions to your use case too. Which channels are you evaluating for use? What other tools do you have in place that you use regularly and would like to integrate with the new ones?
The game-based learning platform Kahoot!, for example, saw massive growth in their app so when evaluating martech platforms, cross-channel capabilities were high on the list of priorities. Further, the ability to integrate with the mobile-specific platforms in place became a deciding factor.
The key to the RFP process is recognizing that you have needs now, but these are fluid and will change as you scale. Can the vendor you’re evaluating meet your needs now and grow with you? It’s better to know this answer before diving into a relationship.
Truth #2: Make user stories or business cases part of your RFP
Everyone loves a good story. A story provides context. It adds stakes to actions. In your RFP process, contextualizing your needs in the form of user stories or business cases helps pressure test the compatibility with your goals.
In doing so, you’re voicing the “why” behind the features and capabilities you’re seeking from your martech stack.
When telling the story, you are analyzing if the tool in question would actually work as you’d expect. “Yeah we can do that!” is not enough in this situation. Ask the vendor to walk you through how they would achieve that. Not only are you testing the platform’s capabilities, but also the potential partnership you’d have with the vendor—an underrated, oft-overlooked aspect of martech stack success.
Truth #3: Get the integration right
You’ve selected the right technology for your business. Now the implementation and integration process begins. The migration to a new martech stack can be daunting, but not if you prepare yourself and your teams beforehand.
The integration, in particular, requires cross-functional communication and collaboration internally and externally. Kahoot! scheduled weekly meetings to set goals and align internal resources across the engineering and marketing organizations to make sure everyone was on the same page.
ConsultMyApp, experts in mobile marketing, recommends a phased approach, rather than a “big bang” where you hit a proverbial on-switch and all of the systems light up in unison. Take your time and focus on the process, getting each step right. Few things are more frustrating than having to go back 3-5 steps in the process to fix something that is hindering progress.
Get everyone up to speed. Align goals internally and externally. Don’t rush the integration.
Truth #4: Work on quick wins
To paraphrase the old adage, don’t focus on the result, focus on the journey. Upgrading your martech stack has an end goal in mind. You are undoubtedly working towards a level of efficiency that your previous stack could only dream of.
That’s awesome! It’s important to work towards that, but also don’t forget the small wins in the process that propel you forward. A good way to look at this is this: by looking at new martech options, you should first look at the basics. Can the new platforms do the basics well in a way that makes them seem…well…basic?
A quick win for Kahoot! was getting email campaigns right. They wanted to drive feature awareness and convert free users to paying customers. When vetting new martech, something straightforward like an email campaign helped identify which vendors prioritized ease-of-use.
Much like Truth #3, here you also want to take a phased approach. Quick wins do wonders in demonstrating ROI and value.
Truth #5: Get to know your customer success contacts
Truth 5A could really be “you are not alone” in the martech stack upgrade process. The selection of new technologies does not end once the implementation is complete. There is no handing over of the keys and saying “it’s yours now.”
You’re embarking on a new partnership by selecting new martech platforms. Get to know your customer success (CS) contacts. Make sure you are able to collaborate effectively and that these support branches understand your business case inside and out.
It’s also a great way to differentiate vendors. Is your CS manager local to your time zone? Is the vendor a large or small organization? The answer could be helpful in understanding the level of support available to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask these types of questions to make sure you will be taken care of. With 100% certainty, you will encounter something post-integration that you didn’t think of during the RFP process. It happens. Will your vendor be there to support you?
Finding the Devil in the Details
In the interest of truth, upgrading your martech stack will probably be somewhat stressful. The considerations for your business are vast and the available tools are numerous.
But it’s all about your mindset and preparedness. Focus on the five truths above and you will already be well on your way to finding the right tools for you.
Learn more about these five truths by watching our webinar with Kahoot! and ConsultMyApp, and if you want to learn more about migrating to Iterable, schedule a demo! We’d be happy to discuss the details of upgrading your martech stack.