MarTech Survival Guide: 6 Ways to Increase Your Chance for Success

  • martech, marketing technology

Scott Brinker of estimates there are nearly 4000 technologies in the martech space.

figure 2 IDC market taxonomy

IDC has created a higher level view that breaks these technologies into main areas: interaction, content, management and administration, and data and analytics; and notes that CMOs’ influence has moved beyond traditional spending areas into more parts of the business. Modern marketers are more involved, and often lead the implementation of, marketing technology deployments, yet they may not have experience leading technology deployments. There are key enablers and barriers to any technology deployment, which can mean the difference between a successful and not-as-successful martech implementation. There are six common pitfalls to avoid which will help improve your success rate.

There are several important considerations to help any marketing technology implementation be more successful. Before the first user gets login access to the system, as you plan the rollout and adoption of a new marketing technology, spend time thinking about and solving potential challenges to avoid these potential pitfalls. Here are most common pitfalls I’ve seen tend to trip up martech implementations:

  • People and process first, then technology. The People-Process-Technology model has been around for more than 30 years, yet it still applies into today’s modern marketing organization. It’s important for any company to identify team and process improvements before adopting any marketing technology. Too often, I see companies adopt a new technology, only to find out in hindsight it was really their process that needed improvement, or it came as a surprise when they had to increase their team to operate the new technology that was brought into the organization. While all of these are natural discoveries, it’s better to plan for them before a technology decision is made, to prevent slowdowns and setbacks when “rip and replace” decisions are made down the road.
  • Strive for reduction, not addition. Be careful not to ask your team to change their process too much unless it is severely broken, or absent. Any new tool you bring in should help reduce team members’ workload, not add to their already-full plate.
  • Know the user payoff. Successful adoptions are fueled by payoffs. When users can see an upfront investment for them will result in a payoff down the road, they are more likely to adopt. Payoffs can come in a variety of forms such as reduced workload, easier content reuse, better accessibility to current content, better oversight, instant reporting tools, or a reduction in tools.
  • Keep it simple. Adopt easy-to-use tools that don’t require a long-term central administrator. Martech systems should be simple to use once the initial data migration and setup has been completed. This is especially important when working with teams of varying levels of technical expertise. Even though the most technical people on your team may tolerate a complicated interface, there is no reason to put the rest of your team through a steep training curve.
  • Do just enough analysis, not analysis paralysis. Be careful to avoid adding unnecessary steps in the process. The best technology should enable users, not disable them with burdensome training or ramp-up time. The best tools enable users to be better at their job, simply using the tool to do their job.
  • Buyers have different motivations and roles than users. Map your own organization’s buying cycle. An executive may buy the tool to gain increased reporting and visibility, while the user who is being asked to use the tool everyday may see it as extra work which is simply fueling management reporting. The decision maker buying the tool will likely have different motivations and job functions than the person using the tool; understanding this will help you speed up adoption throughout the entire team.

Pay attention to these key areas and watch your next martech implementation success rate improve.


Peg Miller is Co-Founder of the B2B Marketing Academy, and consults with high growth companies on their marketing, content and product strategies to achieve revenue results.