5 more martech sales gimmicks - and how to cut through the BS | DMA

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5 more martech sales gimmicks - and how to cut through the BS


As Gartner's Martin Kihn mentioned in his 10 martech myths vendors want you to believe, it's a 'rare and wonderful vendor who tells you what they don't do'.

I tackled the first five of Martin's myths here, to help CMOs to not only identify the tricks from a mile off, but to ask the questions which might identify the right martech vendor for them, over the thousands of wrong ones.

Here are the next five.

6. What they tell you: 'all it takes to implement is a single line of code'

What they mean: and of course a lot of other code to work with your existing systems and do what you actually want to do

Cutting through the BS: so it’s one-rule-fits-all? No (working) solution can magically unfold with a single line of code, especially because the ‘solution’ should be as fresh-from-the-box as possible. Realise that every unique ecosystem shares aspects which might be standardised, but how much can be tailored where you need adaptation?

The golden question: 'if all it requires is a single line of code, why do you need sixty consultants to implement it?'

7. What they tell you: 'we use proprietary machine learning algorithms.'

What they mean: that are in fact the same Python libraries everyone else uses for random forests.

Cutting through the BS: that’s all very well, and maybe you can incorporate your industry standard MLAs; but how far can you customise the standard libraries to feed into our system? There are rules which our Business Intelligence team have spent long hours building based on years of customer data insights, so how far can you extract the current data, add your own ‘special sauce’ and serve it back to the system? Hopefully this can be a collaboration, not a conquest.

The golden question: 'can you feed both your industry-wide algorithms, and those we have created specific to our business, into a collaborative machine learning solution? How will these work together to yield real-time, one-to-one marketing interactions with consumers?'

8. What they tell you: 'we are 100% a software company'

What they mean: unless of course you need professional services which are pretty much required.

How to cut through the BS: If their business model isn’t to deploy an army of consultants, why is every LinkedIn profile saturated with their business integration specialists? In fact, the lack of developers, and the several thousand product specialists they have waiting in the wings with their dedicated toolkits poised for action, could say something significant about the product – and something about the quality of the consultants.

If someone needs to teach me to drive properly, I’d rather have one quality instructor, not a whole bunch of backseat drivers.

The golden question: 'Can you give an honest and transparent estimation of how many consultancy hours we would require to implement one use case?'

9. What they tell you: 'all our funding goes right back into R&D'

What they mean: if you don’t count the 80% we put into offices, sales people and parties.

How to cut through the BS: I saw their helicopter ride with their clients around Cannes Lions this year on snapchat; I guess that’s a form of research and development?

Anyway, this is good news. This should mean, of course, that their solution is completely future-proof. With this weighty investment and focus on testing, development and innovation, surely they can connect your century-old CRM system with all the latest IoT, in record time.

The golden question: 'I'm impressed by your R&D investment stories - that's why I'd like to know what your development roadmap looks like. Could you also share your implementation timelines and what kind of compensation you offer if you fail to meet your proposed deadlines?'

10. What they tell you: 'we’re at a $20 million run rate this year'

What they mean: or some other number you have no way of checking.

How to cut through the BS: I guess we can blame influencer guru Robert Cialdini for this one.

Every commercial professional works their way mentally through the Psychology of Persuasion. You can see every response a mile off. They may have chosen to create a pregnant pause on a combination of Principal #2 - Social Proof and Principle #5 – Authority, to settle on their huge run rate figure, but correct - you don’t have any way of checking.

The golden question: if they’ve passed every other test, it’s probably time to give them a break at this point, in case they break down and cry.

A+ martech: the ideal scenario

Your software vendor has passed the test with flying colours, so what will your company activities look like with you as its new martech maven?

You can connect online with offline – integrating cash registers and ticketing machines with website clicks and ad inventory. You can integrate impulse purchases via mobile app and email workflows with razor-sharp, real-time precision.

You can use beacons and a server-to-server Facebook integration to send relevant, geo-location based offers via chatbot – or mobile app push notifications, based on the consumer’s next-best-channel.

The marketing technology landscape today looks like an icon jungle, but finding the right path to navigate it will see you embracing change – the only constant - with open arms.

Read more: Martin's first five martech sales gimmicks - and the right questions to ask


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