Insights How to bring order to chaos when it comes to Martech adoption

How to bring order to chaos when it comes to Martech adoption

In many ways, the Covid pandemic was the spark that organisations needed for embracing digitalisation and digital marketing. For many companies, Martech was a saviour. The events of 2020 led to a surge in the implementation of Martech in what could be a permanent move up the innovation curve. But there seems to be a disconnect because, according to Gartner, marketing leaders were using only 58% of their Martech stack’s potential.

The reality is that implementation of new technologies alone, if not accompanied by a cohesive internal adoption programme and outcomes-driven strategy, will not bring about digital transformation that so many hope for.

Effective Martech strategies drive business results, as demonstrated by the fact that ccompanies that automate lead management see a 10% or more increase in revenues within six to nine months. Plus, an effective adoption strategy also creates better employee experiences.

The past year and a half has shown pretty much every organisation the value of digital engagement -- the organisations which were able to pivot to introduce and optimise new technology quickly were the ones that thrived. Unfortunately, there are some central issues making Martech more challenging to adopt internally even as these technologies become more widely implemented.

  • There is an overwhelming landscape of technology, making it difficult for marketers of all levels to grasp the fundamentals. For example, we conducted an audit at a global events company to understand their Martech stack; leaders assumed there were 12 core marketing technologies but we found there were actually 48 and no one in the room knew all of them.
  • In many cases, Martech and the related process changes are not communicated very well so teams feel it’s been forced on them.
  • There is often a misalignment between IT and marketing, creating a disconnect between system configuration, processes, intended outcomes and real-world usage.
  • Particularly in large global organisations, the skills of the team and resources are going to vary wildly so any enablement programme has to take this into account.

Many companies - and marketers - have been through painful, bad implementations, particularly pertaining to technology not aligning to their needs, or have had previous experiences creating skepticism and resistance, making adoption of the technologies and processes even harder for marketers. So what can you do?

Top tips to successful Martech adoption:

  1. Have your priorities in order: people, process, tools ... in that order
  2. Crawl, walk, run - prioritise, set expectations and create a roadmap for the long term.
  3. Communicate early and often - leaders should show visible support and bring their people along throughout the process.
  4. Create, share and celebrate successes early on and on an ongoing basis; it is morale boosting to identify quick wins.
  5. Invest in enablement and training initiatives that cover both the processes and the technology.
  6. Get the right partner who understands your organisation and priorities in terms of strategy, implementation, enablement and adoption, ongoing optimisation and evolution.

Avoid common pitfalls:

  1. Make sure your budgeting, resource planning and timelines account for a true level of enablement and don’t let them get eaten up by implementation overruns.
  2. Don’t assume everyone in the organisation has the same level of digital marketing maturity or the same needs. A one-size-fits-all training strategy doesn’t work.
  3. Don’t over-engineer solutions to the extent they are unusable or unsustainable in the 'real world'.
  4. Make sure you give marketers the time to learn and plan for productivity disruptions during the transition.
  5. Answer the ‘what’s in it for me’ at an individual level and create excitement for what is possible.

At WoolfHodson we’re obsessive problem solvers united by a shared passion for delivering lasting change and value that sticks. If you would like to find out more about how we can enhance your marketing performance and improve business operations, why not contact the team today at

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