The main reason why marketing technology projects often fail

Sander van der Blonk Blog Leave a Comment

In 2001, the Internet crashed. Also known as the dot-com bubble, it wasn’t the end of the Internet but the end of people’s irrational expectations.

The dotcom crash is an example of situations in which our collective expectations at that time weren’t wrong -they were premature. And now that marketing technology has become an essential part of modern marketing and ultimately business impact, the question arises as to whether we have set ourselves up for yet another disappointment?

Look at all the stuff you can get! According to reviews from Scott Brinker and Capterra, more than 2.000 platforms, suites, hubs and point solutions are being offered across some 40 application areas. As before, there is genuine reason for excitement but expectations may be well beyond what the technology can deliver. It’s not surprising that marketers feel overwhelmed and that disappointment is imminent.

Forrester for example suggested that the majority (60%) of digital experience projects sometimes or often fail.

Why is that happening?

Top-down technology choices and implementation projects assume we know the endpoint and that we can rationally plan each step to align people, process, functionality and expectations.

It rarely works that way.

Instead, companies need to understand that the goal is not tool or platform adoption per se. It all is about digital transformation and ‘fit’.

Digital transformation tends to be driven by the question what (technology) competences the company needs to develop to meet the challenges of future customer demands even while it cannot predict exactly what is going to happen.

Many marketing organizations are not fit for purpose when selecting and implementing new tools, such as customer experience tools. These draw heavily on an organization’s ability to use and draw insight from analytics and the capacity to create a bridge between analog and digital channels. Without these competences, customer experience tools are just workhorses without stable.

The most reputable technology providers will be a total waste of money and time if the technology does not match your particular challenges and competence level. So, before you start a technology love affair, take a realistic look at your competences and expectations and what you can do about it. Technology rarely crashes, expectations do.


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