I often witness my colleagues’ hesitance about having to adopt a new platform. Whether it’s for sales, HR, marketing or accounting, there’s always some push back.
I understand that, especially with the rapid proliferation of marketing tech, adding another platform, system, tool, etc. is just one more thing we have to log into and learn how to use. But we should keep our irritation in perspective.
There’s a very good reason we’re continuously adding new tools: the benefits of a properly selected tech solution far outweigh our irritations.
It’s simple math – one new platform eliminates numerous other time- and resource-draining tasks, and enables marketing orgs to become more productive…even if it’s adding a couple more initial tasks (i.e., learning new processes and systems).
The benefits of new tech
Any adopted technology should at the very least provide:
- Efficiency gains
- Greater production as a result of efficiency
- Transparency (and thus greater insights) since technology that automates tasks is driven by stored data
Yet we often take these benefits for granted. Think of everything that is automated now because society took on the initial irritations of adopting new technology.
I haven’t balanced a checkbook since high school.
I don’t have to buy stamps and place them on envelopes.
Planning a party with friends involves a Facebook event rather than phone calls.
At work, we no longer track individual leads on paper or in excel sheets, we use CRM and marketing automation systems.
Sales reps don’t sign paper IOs and fax them to clients, they use DocuSign. ….and on and on.
Because of all these things, we’re able to accomplish much more in a single day. But with each of these new technologies, there was initial adoption hesitation.
4 reasons why marketers resist new tech
1. Learning new things can be difficult
Nobody likes change, and no busy person wants to add more work to their already busy schedule. Introducing new platforms requires changes in processes that have had hundreds, if not thousands, of man hours invested in them to make them as smooth as HUMANLY possible.
This often requires a team from the software provider comes in to help with onboarding and implementation. The process for some larger companies can take weeks to months. Not only are processes changing, but the affected team is also required to learn how to keep the new system running, with the added pressure of needing to make sure no mistakes occur.
Eventually, the new processes take precedence and the old become archaic. Then teams become far more effective and months later look back at what they used to have to do and breathe a sigh of relief that they evolved. Usually these teams either shrink in size or expand in responsibility now that the old tasks take a fraction of the time they used to.
2. Worries that a new system may be more cumbersome than current manual processes
It’s possible that a new system can cause more work if it isn’t the right system. Everyone has “workarounds,” and manual environments breed exceptions to rules. When given a high level of manual tasks, resourceful people find ways to bend the rules to get things done faster. Less important tasks tend to drop out entirely and urgency allows for streamlining.
As soon as a system is introduced to automate and govern the tasks at hand, processes shift. People become worried that the system requirements will interfere with getting things done, or that the system is too rigid to allow for the flexibility needed.
All these are very important considerations when evaluating a new platform. The implementation team needs to fully understand the existing processes, both mundane and urgent. Escalation policies and exceptions need to be clearly defined and accounted for. Only then can the correct system be properly adopted.
I once met with the head of marketing for a large flash sale site who was considering Integrate's demand generation platform. He spent the entire meeting reiterating that he didn’t have time to learn a new platform because he was too busy balancing all the things that our platform would’ve automated for him.
He agreed on the values we would add, but decided that the only way he could work with us was to pay our demand marketing experts to manage the software for him. He was so buried in his own daily routine that he couldn’t envision having the time leverage another tool, even if it eliminated a great number of the tasks weighing him down. But within a quarter of quickly learning the system, he was almost entirely self-serve. The point is, it’s difficult to imagine all your chaotic tasks being automated, until they’re actually automated.
3. Doesn’t seem worth the price tag
Platforms can become incredibly expensive depending on the problems they solve and the amount of data they use. I’ve seen CRMs and reporting suites become million dollar investments made by larger organizations.
It’s rarely cheap to evolve. But the right systems eventually pay for themselves. This has more to do with the decision-maker selecting the right technologies. Which leads to the next reason for resistance…
4. If you champion a new tech and it fails, it’s your ass
Anyone charged with investing in a new system has to have the wherewithal to make the proper decisions. If things are left out, somebody somewhere in your organization will feel the pain.
But this shouldn’t stop any organization from continuously exploring new technologies. In fact, at marketing’s current pace of innovation, exploration is imperative.
Most platforms allow for a trial period specifically to allow all team members to interact and see how they are affected before the final decision is made. Take advantage of a trial if you have it. If you don’t, ask who else needs to be involved to fully evaluate the effect of adopting the new system. What effort is required and who covers the day to day while other members work on the onboarding of the new system? Proper consideration and evaluation will ensure successful adoption.
3 keys to making new martech adoptions successful
1. Be excited about change (advancement) – it’s a good thing.
I’ll never go back to balancing a checkbook or sending a letter to my grandma, who at 96 years old has Facebook. Technological evolution is always a benefit to the company and team member. As the technology evolves, the work your team engages in can evolve from mundane and tactical to strategic and innovative.
2. Take inventory of manual tasks and wasted time/resources.
Look within your own organization. Where are teams excessively overstaffed with hard working people in a constant state of trying to catch up? Where are there manual processes being performed over and over and over? Where is there a lack of transparency into day-to-day operations, clutter where efficiency is needed and mystery where details can’t be found?
Creating a marketing tech blueprint is a good practice and can help you identify areas needing improvement and where where the proper technology would add value and scale to your team. Leaving them hamstrung means lost opportunities and gives your competitors who do evolve and advantage.
3. Research technologies that can eliminate tasks and create efficiency and transparency.
When researching solutions for your departments that need automation, involve your whole team in the demo of the product. Ask yourself how the new platform affects your processes and operations. Who needs to be involved to properly evaluate the cost, the technical requirements, or the usability?
A good software will leave your team members excited because they see light at the end of a tunnel they thought they’d never escape. If you hear sighs of relief from your teammates as they envision their lives improving, you’ve most likely found a winning solution for your team.