Hey you! Marketing Ops Pro! Want to know how you get ahead in your career? It all begins by developing habits around one often overlooked skill in the modern workplace: storytelling!
Most MOPs folks are stuck firmly in the trenches of day-to-day urgent grind of urgent requests, dealing with fire alarms, managing leads that don’t sync with your CRM, and handling the creation of duplicate records, among other things. We end up being superheroes, tirelessly fixing these issues late into the night. But, we never think to invest time in demonstrating to the business what we do, why we do it, and how our vision will support both short-term and long-term business objectives.
Sharing this insight with business leadership will earn you a seat at the table, where you can contribute to important business decisions. The contrast between businesses that include Ops in their decision-making process and those that don’t is stark. I’ve witnessed those who make decisions without Ops suffering from misalignment, mistrust, and internal mishaps that can cost you valuable ROI.
I want to provide you an easy method to get started on your MOPs story-telling adventures. Starting with a MarTech Stack Rationalization.
For some, the tools in a MarTech stack serve as a key process in how we do our business day-to-day. For others, the MarTech stack can become a source of frustration, and burnout, spending lots of time on fixing complex processes that seem to need constant TLC. I feel for the MOPs pros here, who spend all day spinning their wheels, just to do it over again only to repeat the process for the next campaign, event, or process change.
Auditing your MarTech stack for rationalization is a crucial step to ensure that your tools, and processes align with your business goals and budget. This step-by-step guide will help businesses of all sizes embark on the journey of auditing and optimizing their MarTech stack.
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
Before you dive into the audit process, it’s essential to clearly define your objectives. What are your specific goals for the audit? Common objectives include cost reduction, improving efficiency, enhancing data management, and ensuring compliance. By knowing what you want to achieve, you can tailor your audit accordingly.
Step 2: Inventory Your MarTech Tools
Create a comprehensive list of all the marketing technology tools currently in use within your organization. This should include software, platforms, subscriptions, and any custom-built solutions. Ensure that your list captures all tools, even those used by individual departments or teams. We like to use a visual tool like a LucidChart to map how these tools and processes interact with each other.
Step 3: Evaluate Tool Usage
Once you have your list, assess how each tool is used. Gather feedback from teams and individuals to understand the tools’ effectiveness, ease of use, and contribution to business objectives. Identify any redundant or underutilized tools that may be candidates for elimination or consolidation. You’d be surprised at how many times we have audited a client’s tech stack, and uncovered that another department is using a similar tool to one they already have, and are using it in the same way! (Shout out to the sales teams bypassing the expensive Marketing Automation tool and sending their own email campaigns through MailChimp 😅).
*Not a knock on MailChimp; they have made BIG moves in the past few years and are now using Generative AI in email copy. Boy, we have come a long way!
Step 4: Assess Integration Capabilities
Evaluate how well your MarTech tools integrate with each other. Poor integration can lead to data silos and inefficiencies. Identify tools that hinder data flow and those that enhance it. Look for opportunities to streamline data sharing and automation. Make sure you review if there are integration opportunities that you are not taking advantage of. Some of them could use a simple Zapier connector to facilitate an easy data flow.
Step 5: Review Costs and Budget Allocation
Examine the costs associated with each MarTech tool, including subscription fees, maintenance, and support. Compare these costs to the value they deliver. Determine if you can achieve cost savings by renegotiating contracts, eliminating redundant tools, or finding more cost-effective alternatives. Make sure your vendors feel your pain. If they want your money they need to sweat the things that keep you up at night! Push for more, and more often than not, you can get what you’re looking for!
Step 6: Prioritize and Rationalize
Based on your evaluation, prioritize which tools to keep, upgrade, replace, or eliminate. Develop a rationalization plan that aligns with your defined objectives. Consider the impact of changes on different teams and ensure buy-in from stakeholders. Bucket similar pain points into categories, develop a plan on addressing those, along with the level of effort and time it will take to address them. Show this to leadership, and watch them tear-up at such a masterpiece!
Step 7: Implement Changes Gradually
Don’t rush to make sweeping changes all at once. Implement your rationalization plan gradually to minimize disruption. Communicate the changes to your teams and provide necessary training to ensure a smooth transition. Make sure you incorporate all of the stakeholders here to ensure we are all working towards the same priorities, or else it will be difficult without the added alignment.
Step 8: Monitor and Measure
Continuously monitor the impact of your rationalization efforts. Track metrics related to efficiency, cost savings, and performance improvements. Adjust your strategy as needed to achieve your objectives. Ensure your tools have the necessary reporting in place to tell the story of your tech transformation. It’s why we’re all here!
Step 9: Document the MarTech Stack
Maintain an up-to-date inventory of your MarTech stack, including changes made during rationalization. Document integration points, user guidelines, and best practices to ensure consistency and clarity across your organization.
Step 10: Regularly Review and Update
MarTech is a dynamic field, and your business needs may evolve over time. Schedule regular reviews of your MarTech stack to ensure it remains aligned with your goals and responsive to market changes. Keep that LucidChart as a live reference of the transformation, to capture those visual folks!
Auditing your MarTech stack for rationalization is an ongoing process that can yield significant benefits for your organization. By following this step-by-step guide and continuously optimizing your marketing technology tools, you can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure that your MarTech stack supports your business objectives effectively. Remember that the key to success lies in a well-defined strategy and a commitment to adapt and evolve with the ever-changing marketing technology landscape. Remember, you are a story-teller! Your MOPs journey and vision is that one needs to be shared!
To get started and learn more about MarTech Stack Rationalization and storytelling in Marketing Ops, please feel free to contact us by clicking here. We’re here to assist you on becoming a Marketing Ops Pro and enhancing your storytelling skills for success in your career!