Buying and implementing a digital marketing ecosystem is an overwhelming process, one that involves multiple iterations of learning, application, comparison and negotiation to be completed in a finite time period.
Basis my interactions with enterprises striving to scale up their business through digital, I am putting together a 5 point journey. This will help quicker and more accurate decision making for digital practitioners in their buying process.
Check 1: What are you trying to achieve through this digital marketing ecosystem?
Identify and make a list of business use cases that you would want to execute through desired digital marketing technology to drive incremental business online. This is not about filling up unplugged areas in your existing ecosystem, you must be open to disruptive and innovative means to accomplish growth objectives for your business from digital.
- Asking the technology provider to present their own set of use cases is a good way to begin the conversation
- Understanding how each use case brings incremental business from digital will help assign exact dollar value to each one
- Identifying features that will play a crucial role in getting desired business results helps understand key value creation areas of the platform for your business
Check 2: How does the technology help you achieve your objectives?
Compare and weigh each of the digital technologies for their readiness to execute and bring results basis your business use case list.
- Look at it as simple as this - “my online user takes less than 15 days to make a purchase, I expect a similar turnaround for a digital marketing technology to start bringing me results”
- The technology that is likely to bring the best average “dollar value” and least average “time to execute” across my business use cases will be the best contender
- Add to 'Point 2' a scalability factor to include features and capabilities for futuristic use cases
Check 3: Are you missing something on Pricing?
Every pricing parameter has to be under your operational control when you begin executing with this technology.
- Are you being charged basis parameters that you can't have direct control over?
- Such parameters are often too technical for the business buyer to get a thorough understanding of – choose simpler and straight forward pricing models
- Win-Win is the best way forward
Check 4: Personal and Personnel Expert accessibility
You need support, you need to talk to and work with people because you are going to run your online business with this technology. You can use business consulting guidance on the technology so that you do your best right from day one.
- How quickly and effectively did you get a response from the technology provider on your queries?
- Did you speak with a digital marketing expert from the technology provider's organization? Were those conversations helpful to build a better case?
- Did their story resonate with your objectives? Could they demonstrate ROI?
- How well did they enable you to present a case to your upper management?
Check 5: Ground Zero References
Reference check in the strictest context of information you are looking for is extremely critical. Before the actual reference check - it will help firmly decide on whether the reference is needed for technology credibility or for business performance or for people/support OR for all of this and other aspects. Align and validate the reference audiences accordingly.
- References from major branding initiatives are a good start - to begin working with a digital marketing technology it should be basis their ground zero execution at another similar environment.
- This may not always be available considering the number of start-ups in this area, in such cases, having absolute clarity on all “How to” questions will help build a case.
Trial with a specific expected output in a set time period is a smart exercise before making the buying decision.
These 5 checks will enable you to acquire a complete and matured digital marketing ecosystem – one that will help you bring incremental business from digital channels rapidly.
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