Most marketers would argue that they implement new martech (marketing technology) in order to help them improve marketing operations; indeed, reports indicate that nearly seven in ten marketers are turning to martech to increase overall ROI, almost half of whom are doing so to drive efficiency.
With over 7,000 martech solutions available, there’s no doubting the popularity of such technology, or that it has become an indispensable tool within the marketer's armoury. A recent Gartner study goes so far as to declare that marketers spent a whopping 29% of their marketing budgets on martech in 2018-19.
But as the proliferation of martech leads to more content creation, management of that content (development, storage and distribution) is frequently siloed by department, platform or channel. That’s creating problems at a brand level in a number of ways - duplication of effort and lack of consistency being just two. It’s also causing major headaches when it comes to keeping tabs on compliance (especially for organisations operating in regulated industries).
So does this mean that there is inevitably a point of diminishing returns when it comes to martech implementation? And how will you know when it’s started hurting your brand before it’s too late and millions have been spent?
The 3 Cs
The best way to counter this risk is to ensure your martech stack is working like a true ecosystem. For that to be effective, duplication should be eliminated. Determine one, central source of truth for your brand, which feeds the rest of the marketing network and applications.
It’s important however that this central node not only integrates easily with the rest of your martech stack, but that it can actively facilitate and improve your marketing operations as a whole. In particular, look out for the key 3'Cs, we've outlined below - collaboration, consistency and compliance.
These 3'Cs have the power not only to drive time and cost efficiencies but to amplify ROI from all other marketing activation (including martech investment).
Here’s how to get the most from this framework:
- Start by making sure that teams from across the business (departmental and regional) have visibility on the brand assets, materials and activations being created centrally as well as by other departments.
- Share and promote best practice to create a virtuous cycle; structure your collaboration to not only ensure that the duplication of effort is reduced, but that you are uniting and engaging your teams around the brand.
- From a practical perspective, make the approvals process as easy as possible in order to avoid bottlenecks in production. Think carefully about your workflows, and consider multi-branch options. Most importantly, keep it all in one place, and one system.
- Consistency at every touchpoint is essential to build and maintain a strong brand, both externally and internally.
- Numerous studies have shown how consistency drives brand value through driving recognition, consumer trust and sales performance - all of which amplifies ROI on other marketing activity.
- Along with the benefits of having one central source of truth driving your martech ecosystem, consistency and efficiencies can be achieved by creating dynamic templates within your brand management software that integrate seamlessly with content pulled from (and pushed to) other applications.
- Making sure your content is both brand-compliant as well as legally compliant from the start saves everyone time and cost – not to mention manages reputational risk.
- Having only approved assets delivered for use into the martech ecosystem is essential; if you are working in a regulated industry, making sure that this approval trail (along with any comments and amends) can be easily and quickly exported for audit purposes can save enormous amounts of time and resource further down the line.
- Use automated templates to “bake in” the right disclaimer notices by product or market right from the start, whilst allowing your teams the freedom to customise and edit based on rules that you decide.
- By implementing the 3C’s, you put effective Brand control at the heart of your technology infrastructure; and far from being an enemy, martech can become your Brand champion.
Neil Monahan, head of marketing at Brandworkz