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Factors to consider when choosing your marketing technology

Niklas Nikolaidis, Senior Consultant, Curamando

Do you know what a CDP is? Not to worry; not many others do. Working within digital marketing nowadays means having to stay on the ball in an industry with year-on-year double-digit growth rates.

As a result of this rapid development, digital measurability has increased, and understanding the interaction between different martech platforms, in order to see whether the technological jigsaw will work as a whole or if any of the pieces need to be replaced, has become crucial.

But where do you start, and which aspects are important to consider before you sign that marketing technology agreement? Below are some points worth reflecting on during the process.

Do we have a big enough marketing or IT budget to be able to spend more than 20% on technology solely dedicated to media campaigns?

Why do you want to work with programmatic advertising? What do you want to achieve? Using programmatic channels means higher demands on the rest of your organization to deliver customer data to be used as input for marketing campaigns. If you do not, you miss out on most of the potential of datadriven practices. And the “programmatic Grail” will turn into nothing more than a costly promise of a marginally wider reach than Google AdWords or Facebook, which is not necessarily what you need.

Better targeting accuracy, higher precision, and more robust follow-up are on the other hand critical for all organizations, regardless of whether your marketing department consists of one person or a two hundred strong team.

Programmatic processes and channels cost money, so think your use cases and goals through carefully before starting this journey.

Why is this particular technology right for our organization?

The central platform for customer acquisition is often a Demand Side Platform (DSP), which allows you to buy advertising where your customers and leads are. Start by asking the broader questions, and try to position the DSP with your organization or department. Do you see them working with you in 1 year’s time? In 3 years’ time?

Do they have customers similar to you, who have achieved success through the DSP? Are there customer success managers who understand how you can leverage data assets into your marketing, and who go beyond focusing on merely ‘media buying’ to take a holistic view from an omnichannel perspective? Do they have people that understand your organization if you need someone to visit you to explain the opportunities face-to-face? The same logic can be applied to any other platforms you are considering purchasing or owning in-house.

Does GDPR mean we have to own the agreements to all the marketing platforms we use?

No, we cannot blame everything on GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), enforced on May 25th. In fact, there are two phenomena that are converging right now:

  1. Marketers’ search for transparency to understand the true costs and returns behind digital investments.
  2. GDPR, the purpose of which is to ‘clean up’ among third-party technology collecting data about consumers, and to force us, marketers, to reflect on whether we really need to collect all the conceivable data ‘big data’ can provide?

Start by mapping all your tools and establish which ones are used for managing personal data. Then make sure to draw up an agreement between you and the partner (‘data processor’) who assists you with your digital marketing, and you will find that there is still life after GDPR.

Evaluate the partner ecosystem for the specific martech platform

Remember to widen the scope for your organization to potentially wanting to work with other martech solutions in the coming years. If you broaden your scope, it is important to consider the ease of integration with your chosen adtech and martech set-up (DSP, ad server, DMP, creative management platform, CRM, etc.). Larger platforms usually have the advantage of larger ecosystems of integrated partners. If the connection already is in place, you will be able to quickly move your data between platforms instead of your IT department or martech supplier having to build a connection from scratch, which can be costly and resource-heavy.

Identify your tech partner’s roadmap to understand future possibilities and scenarios

Do you want to widen your marketing strategy through adding more channels, or do you want to use a more narrow focus on e.g. increased native advertising? Certain platforms will suit you better, depending on your needs and investments. Make sure your martech partner provides a presentation and description of their roadmap, so you can establish where they will be in 1-2 years and if they are aligned with yours. Then you will know if your specific marketing needs are covered in 6 months’ time, or not at all.

When it comes to martech relationships, simplicity, openness, and clarity are 3 excellent guiding principles – owning the relationship will always beat any agreement owned by a partner.

PS: A CDP is a Customer Data Platform which allows you to communicate with your own customers across different digital channels.

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