At year end, brand managers and marketers look at what can help them do a better job of meeting goals for next year. Because it offers so many benefits across the entire marketing ecosystem, technology is often on their list. If brand tech is part of your plan for improvement next year, here are 3 tips to set you up for success, whether you have a system in place today, or are considering an investment in 2021.
One of the most important things to remember about implementing and improving brand technology is to not start with the technology. The platforms themselves should be among the last things to consider, because technology alone won’t help anything. You need to do the homework and find where you need the most support. Talk frequently with your people, study your processes, and review what data you have on how things are working (or not working) in your current situation, before making technology decisions. With a clear understanding of exactly what you need, don’t need, and would like to have, you’ll find it much easier to identify which platforms have features to enable that, and to exclude the ones that don’t.
- Think in increments
Managing your brand is a lot like fitness training. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run a marathon your first week of training, so don’t try to fix every problem in Phase 1. Just getting started with one small-but-effective solution is a step toward success. You can build on that incrementally which will allow you to tackle the most important challenges first. Design a governance process where you repeatedly collect feedback from your teams, and review how things are working. Expect to make frequent minor adjustments and refinements, which over time will build a more effective overall solution. Eventually, one seemingly small adjustment will unlock greater potential or value, because it’s the culmination of many small tweaks toward a larger goal.
Using data to guide tech purchase decisions is a great strategy, but it can be a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. You need the technology to capture the data that will show how much you need the technology.
One way around this is to recognize you’re collecting data whether you have the technology or not. Technology just makes it easier to compile and report.
Doing the work to quantify the important aspects of your current people and processes will give you a useful baseline for measuring the ROI when you implement a platform. Think about the aspects of your job or day that could be improved through technology. Then keep track of how many times you’re doing these things. Even if it’s just a list with a tick mark next to it, capture as much data as you can, and review it in regular intervals, so you can see what factors affect it. Once you implement a system, it should be easier to review that data more often.