Buying Marketing Technology & Services

There are numerous possible categories with regard to analyzing and evaluating marketing services and technologies as it pertains to your business. While only a subset of these may be a priority for any specific need within your marketing team, the coverage is important. It allows solutions to be identified that meet your objectives and requirements.

As a result there are two primary considerations. First, is understanding the core needs for you, including your unique set of business requirements and combining this with a thorough understanding of what’s possible from available solutions in the marketplace. Second, is evaluating technologies against your unique needs and accelerating your time from the identification of a marketing need to implementation, while improving the probability of success.

When embarking on a project, it is always important to review possibilities with respect to building and buying the set of solutions that enable you to get from point A to point B. This may entail complementing your internal resources with any of a number of potential resources or simply getting a better understanding of your options.

What are the benefits of hiring a company for their marketing services or marketing technology? There are many potential benefits, but here are a few:

  • You are hiring passion and people who excel at what they do
  • They may make your employees better by exposing them to new perspectives
  • Depending upon the maturity of the solution, you may get more capability than performing the same work or building the same technology yourself

In addition to general and detailed capabilities and the standard considerations associated with buying this type of service or technology, a few of the categories a buyer could consider are:

  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Specific Integrations
  • Migration Considerations
  • Privacy Implications
  • Supportability
  • Sustainability

These and many other categories enable you to easily evaluate the technologies and services most suitable to your company’s needs while taking into account those potential marketing and technology capabilities best aligned to your strategic objectives.

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Roadblocks to Successful Marketing Campaigns

What are marketing campaigns without roadblocks? We just do what we can to go around them, remove them, satiate their needs or mitigate their corresponding risks. When considering new marketing opportunities, these hurdles may consist of examples such as lack of budget, inaccurate data or misaligned objectives with the selected marketing tactics (see Demand Gen Report).

If a budget issue, it could be a lack of the necessary budget for any of the required MPTT resources of money, people, time or technology. If the issue is the amount of allocated funds for a project, then understanding what people or committees are responsible for approval of budget items plays a role, but building a well constructed business case is the real need, depending upon the level of rigor required for a given decision. If the limited resource is people to either complete the work or manage it going forward, then finding qualified personnel is the priority whether it is in the form of reallocation of existing people, the addition of new staff or external resources from agencies or consultants.

When dealing with data, it may be incomplete, out of date or even insufficient for the task at hand. Thankfully, there are many data sources and technologies to improve these situations. It’s possible to implement these data sources to supplement a marketing campaign, ensure compliance or even use it as a primary source to build an initiative for a new market segment or new product launch.

Time is yet another story. How does a company manufacture time that doesn’t exist? Short of turning back the clock, this seems to be a fruitless effort on the surface. However, with standard changes such as adding or sharing resources and an ounce of creativity, you will be on your way to finding alternatives that get more done in less time.

If technology appears to be the hurdle, you may find that multiple MPTT issues exist and may be solved by the ingenuity of solutions. As a general rule of thumb, technology today is easier to install, implement, integrate and manage in many respects. This is the result of cloud based solutions, vendor ecosystems, APIs as well as data interchange standards. Of course, that statement is not without exception. Lastly, technology has to do what you need it to do, even if it comes in a slightly different form than you originally had in mind.

And finally, because an extraordinary number of solutions exist in the marketplace today, companies have the luxury of finding marketing services and technologies that align well with their specific corporate objectives. As an example, if an organization places emphasis on sustainability for its own products, finding solution providers that do the same could be a great fit with their goals as corporate citizens within their industry or the world as a whole.

Regardless of the people responsible, either someone or a group has a fiduciary responsibility to make investments that will align with the criteria important to the company and marketing effort. While you may not understand all aspects of this reality due to your position or role, it makes sense to minimize the risk and maximize the reward for the marketing effort, doesn’t it? Whether you are a marketer, consultant or agency, you have to determine what part you play in these decisions. Furthermore, you need to understand the level of due diligence that is necessary to create the best chance that the investment being pursued will generate the intended results. If your company has decided that a purchase of technology must meet certain criteria, align with one or more corporate strategies or even meet certain compliance restrictions, then these become guidelines for getting to a solution whether you build, buy or lease it. The list of possibilities is long and distinguished, but determine what is imperative to you, the team, the organization, customers and shareholders as appropriate. Additionally, seeking the assistance of a trusted, competent resource for guidance is always a beneficial approach.

Today’s Marketing Looks, Tastes and Smells Better with Technology

Many marketing tasks in today’s world are improved with the appropriate amount of technology seasoning. Websites, as an example, are by definition a solution where the technology usually becomes the backbone of a company’s digital marketing presence. Stated another way, a company’s marketing presence may include a website. Given the competition, the website requires a base level of functionality to perform well and meet the needs of the necessary segments within a marketplace.

A deeper review of this website example shows that a typical website for the hotel industry has multiple components that make it work. A website may include:

Content Management SystemEmail & Social Marketing
Digital Asset ManagementContent Marketing & Blog
Content DistributionMulti-screen Responsiveness
Internet Booking EngineMarketing Reporting & Analytics
Group Booking FunctionalityProperty Performance Data
Guest Surveys, Feedback and ReviewsPricing Data

Whether you manage this internally, rely upon a brand or hire an agency, it still requires a fair amount of oversight by the various people responsible for the performance of the property. When considering a website, another system, or all technologies required to make a hotel operate efficiently, there are many details to manage.

Furthermore, the advent of new technologies may present unique opportunities for competitive advantage, even if only for a matter of months or a few years. During the last 20 years the industry has seen this occur multiple times. Companies and properties created strategies to reap the benefits of each instance.

Email arrived in force in the corporate sector in the mid 1990’s. Websites became prevalent shortly thereafter. Subsequently, online travel agencies began providing new distribution capabilities. And more recently, hotel companies are better leveraging the features of social and mobile for their business. It is important for hotel marketers to stay aware of changes and address the opportunities appropriate for their hotel, brand and the customer experience they want to provide to the marketplace.

The question any business needs to ask themselves is what are the market opportunities for the industry and how will this marketing team take advantage of them to continuously improve its sales and marketing performance. Today, the answer to this question may require an investment in marketing technology. Now is the time to prepare for tomorrow’s marketing opportunities.