Maximizing Martech Adoption: How to Unlock the Full Potential of Your Marketing Tools
By Jodie Byass
Imagine this scenario: A seasoned marketer returns from long-service leave, energized and keen to re-immerse herself in her projects and collaborate with her team. However, what she encounters is a cluttered landscape of new marketing technologies, each claiming to offer a unique solution for optimizing various facets of the marketing ecosystem—from customer relationship management to content distribution. Unfortunately, these tools exist in isolation. They have not been integrated into a unified marketing project management system or approval workflow, and as a result, their dashboards are virtually empty and their advanced features underutilized.
According to a recent report, the medium number of marketing tools a marketing team uses is 20 to 29, but nearly 10% of teams are using 40 or more. This overabundance often creates bottlenecks in integration, complicates marketing approvals, greater manual workloads, and obstructs the path to effective marketing project management. In turn, this fragmentation establishes operational silos and reduces even the most feature-rich marketing project management software to a mere desktop ornament.
Why Martech Tools are Underutilized
Lack of Strategic Alignment
One of the most pervasive issues is the lack of alignment between the tools and the larger organizational objectives. Organizations often procure these tools based on features or pricing, but without a cohesive strategy, they find it challenging to measure their impact or even calculate a clear return on investment (ROI).
There is a wide gap between merely using a tool and leveraging it for maximum benefit. Often, team members are not provided with the adequate training necessary to unlock the full potential of advanced features in marketing project management software, leaving a wealth of capabilities unexplored.
Many organizations fall into the trap of adding new tools to their stack without considering how they will integrate with existing systems. This oversight often results in a jumbled creative workflow that hampers marketing approval processes and limits the utility of each individual tool.
Human beings are creatures of habit. Employees may resist adopting new tools unless the benefits are effectively communicated and the transition is managed carefully. This cultural resistance can become a formidable obstacle to tool adoption.
The marketing field is notorious for its high staff turnover rates. As people move on, the institutional knowledge about how to use these tools effectively also leaves, creating gaps in utilization.
Ad Hoc Selection and Siloed Teams
This issue is especially rife in large organizations where different departments or even sub-teams within marketing operate in silos. Tools are often selected for individual projects and are not effectively rolled out across the organization. The result? Multiple subscriptions to similar tools, redundant functionalities, and a lack of consolidated data or insights.
How to Maximize Martech Adoption and Utilization
Start at the Top
Senior leadership plays a pivotal role in the adoption of new technologies. When the C-suite is actively engaged in using marketing project management software and other tools, it sets a positive example for the rest of the organization.
Design Your Workflows
Workflow design should be an organization-wide initiative involving stakeholders from various departments. This comprehensive approach ensures that the workflows are fully integrated into your marketing approval software, making project management a breeze.
Create Some Excitement
A bit of internal marketing can help boost the adoption rate of new tools. Use real-world examples to demonstrate the advantages and efficiencies that these tools bring. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small, to build momentum.
Identify Your Super-Users
Every organization has tech-savvy individuals who are quick to adopt new tools. Identifying these super-users and equipping them with the resources they need can turn them into evangelists within your organization.
Effective communication is key to successful adoption. While your marketing project management software can be an excellent platform for project-specific updates, broader communication should not be neglected. Leverage internal newsletters, emails, or even town-hall meetings to keep the team aligned and informed.
Offer Ongoing Training
Learning is a continuous process. Offer refresher courses and advanced training sessions to cater to the varied learning needs of your team members. This ongoing education can significantly improve the ROI on your marketing technology investments.
Reward Good Behavior
Employee recognition is an essential factor in fostering positive behavior and tool adoption. Consider implementing a manual rewards program where team members can be nominated for excellent use of your marketing project management software or creative workflow system. Whether it's a monthly "Martech Maven" award with a small bonus or additional paid time off for standout performers, offering tangible rewards can motivate your team to fully engage with your toolset.
Monitor Adoption in Real Time Through Data and Dashboards
In today's business landscape, real-time data is a valuable asset for driving decisions. Utilize the analytics capabilities within your marketing management system to closely monitor tool adoption and usage. Dashboards can offer insightful metrics that allow you to gauge how effectively your team is engaging with the platform. This real-time data can serve as an early warning system for areas that may require additional attention, enabling you to make timely adjustments to your adoption strategy.
An essential but often overlooked strategy is the enforcement of tool usage policies. Make it mandatory for all team members to log updates in the project management software and submit all creative projects for approval through the designated marketing approval software.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Martech underutilisation is a complex problem, but it's far from insurmountable. The first step toward solving it is acknowledging the common reasons behind this issue: poor strategic alignment, inadequate training, lack of integration, and more. With a keen understanding of why these valuable tools often go underused, you're better equipped to tackle the problem head-on.
Your marketing team has the opportunity to fully leverage its marketing technology stack. After all, tools like marketing project management software and creative workflow solutions are not mere expenses; they are investments meant to drive ROI.
Next Steps to Consider:
Conduct an Audit: Take stock of all the martech tools currently in your arsenal. Are there redundancies? Are some tools underutilised because they overlap with others?
Consult with Teams: Dialogue with the different departments that interact with your martech stack. This could reveal bottlenecks you weren't aware of or uncover tools that have fallen by the wayside.
Training and Upskilling: Arrange specialised training sessions focused on lesser-known but powerful features of your tools. The aim is to move beyond basic functionalities to unlock the full potential of your software.
Regular Check-ins: Schedule periodic reviews to measure the effectiveness and adoption rates of your martech tools. Use the analytics within your marketing project management software and agency management software to inform these check-ins.
Iterate: Based on the data and feedback, make necessary adjustments to your martech strategy. This could involve phasing out underused tools, further integrating existing ones, or even adopting new solutions to meet evolving needs.
By concentrating on comprehensive training, strategic integration, and ongoing management, you're not just optimizing your current operations. You're setting up your team—and your entire organization—for long-term, sustainable success.