"Forget about the shiny new toy; think about your business strategy" - Interview with John Smibert
If you are like me you get overpowered by the amount of sales and marketing technology and tools available - and more being released every day.
So I asked our resident expert on marketing and social media technology, Adam Fraser, how to go about choosing the right marketing and sales tools for our business.
He agreed that that the subject was very disconcerting and confusing to most because of the acceleration of a wide range of tools and technology coming to market every day.
Specifically he stated "We're talking of a $30+ billion sector that in many ways didn't exist 10 years ago, so sales and marketing professionals alike are confused. It's a very deep, complex landscape, and people are all scratching their heads".
Also "the worlds of the sales and the marketing teams are converging now. What sales did 10 years ago, marketing are now doing, and vice versa, so in a more digital based economy these worlds are converging". And this is being driven by the need to manage the customer experience particularly through the buying journey and decision process.
So how do we go about making decisions on what technologies and tools we deploy? In this discussion Adam makes some very sensible recommendations on how to plan, investigate and go about making these decisions in order to achieve the most effective outcomes for the company.
I encourage you to read or view the interview below to learn about these. It's great advice for CMO's, CSO's, COO's and CEO's, along with sales and marketing management.
Adam Fraser is the founder of Echo Junction who help organisations and businesses leverage value from marketing and social media technology.
John: Delighted to have Adam Fraser with me again - welcome back, Adam!
Adam: Thanks, John!
John: Hey Adam, technology and social media, that's where your expertise is, helping organisations leverage value from that technology. But I get confused in this world, there's hundreds of thousands of tools out there that help marketing, sales, all around social media. How do you choose the right tool, and what sort of things do we have to think about in terms of technology and social media?
Adam: You're right, John, it's a hot topic at the moment; Martech or marketing technology has absolutely boomed in the last 5 to 10 years. We're talking of a $30+ billion sector that in many ways didn't exist 10 years ago, so sales and marketing professionals alike are a bit confused. It's a very deep, complex landscape, and people are all scratching their heads.
John: It is. You look at me at my age, trying to keep up with the technology. It's tough; I manage to do it to some extent, but it's getting more challenging, and the enterprises out there have the same issue. We all are living in a very complex world, and it's getting more and more complex, with all the information that's coming through, the uncertainty that's happening around business and so on. Trying to make decisions on the technology we use is tough. Have you got recommendations, particularly in the... I'm talking about in the sales world, but sales and marketing?
Adam: Look, John, another relevant point is the worlds of the sales and the marketing teams are very much converging now. What sales did 10 years ago, marketing are now doing, and vice versa, so in a more digital based economy these worlds are converging, so it's an important topic for both sales and marketers.
John: That whole topic of alignment is really important, isn't it, to get sales and marketing working together. Because we're all working together to help the buyer move through a buyer's journey, and create value for that buyer through that journey, and ultimately hopefully get reciprocity and create some business for ourselves, right?
Adam: Correct. So, the holy grail of one view of the customer is very relevant to this topic as well. You don't want lots of different tools and different data silos in the business, so the sales team acting on one database and marketing acting on another, so a common approach is very important.
John: Yes, otherwise you end up with point solutions all over the place and none talk to each other, and really you might get a bit of benefit in one area of the business, but ultimately the business fails to communicate effectively and get together on delivering value for the customer.
Adam: That's right. And I think, John, you asked about how can people approach this. It is a big, complex world; there's an infographic that most of the marketing world have seen, I'm happy to link in the show notes for your sales audience to see. We live in a world of more than 2,000 tools; in fact, the updated version of this infographic is closer to 4,000 now, and that straddles a lot of areas in terms of the customer and marketing and automation and newsletters and the end-to-end sort of customer experience, very much of relevance to a sales professional. I think particularly the marketing fraternity, we can get hung up on the shiny, new toy and the technology for technology's sake.
John: Salespeople do the same thing, I can tell you!
Adam: I just think it's so important to take a step back. This isn't about being good at technology for the sake of it. Think about your business strategy, think about your business processes, define your requirements, then and only then slot in the technology tool that works for you. I think that sequencing is very important.
John: And think of it either enterprise wide or at least sales and marketing wide, to make sure we're covering the needs across both areas.
Adam: Absolutely. Look, I hate to use the clichéd term about customer-centricity, but it's the buzzword around at the moment. Customer experience is a massive theme going into 2016 for the marketing world, but sales and marketing have to work so closely aligned in this area. We don't want different views of the customers, we want all communications with the customer, all information about the customer to be in one place, so it's important for the enterprise to look holistically at its technology solutions.
John: Okay, some good, key messages out of that. A few of the key messages I got are lots of tools, but make sure you think about your needs before you deploy a tool, and think about it more enterprise wide than in niche areas, and make sure those tools are going to help all of us.
Adam: Yes. Forget about the shiny new toy; think about your business strategy.
John: Great advice - thank you very much, Adam!
Adam: Thanks a lot, John!
Go to @adamf2014 or echojunction.com.au to see and hear more of Adam.
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