Expanding the digital footprint of the Martech Stack using Jobs-to-be-Done
A fresh look at the market of Marketing - Part 1 of 5
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Far too often, we find ourselves cobbling together tools to produce something, or get a job done. Assembly lines in manufacturing facilities are nothing more than a linear array of tools that facilitate each state of production. You could call the production line a single solution (or a platform), but it is also comprised of many tools that have been integrated in a way that makes the process more consistent, visible and measurable - from end-to-end.
What if there were actually a single-phased tool that could produce the same product? Would people value that more? If so, in what contexts? What if that tool could also be run from the software used to design the product? We're seeing this today with 3D printing, where 20 years ago we might have laughed at the idea.
The resources used to create the final product were substantially changed in a way that made it possible for a single, computer-controlled tool to create a highly engineered product that works as well as one that used to be hand-crafted. It’s cheaper, it takes far less time to engineer and produce, and it’s produced with far fewer errors.
They get the more of the job done, not by adding features but by doing it differently.
How many methods, tools and/or other resources do you currently use to develop a single qualified lead?
How did innovators re-imagine the way we could manufacture things? We all carry a substantial amount of baggage in the form of preconceived notions, old wives tales, and cognitive bias when it comes to taking common practices to a higher order. There was a time when we had to make our own tools, some of which served the purpose of creating yet other tools, which created a component that fit together with other components made by yet other tools made by tools.
With the flick of a switch we now have light, air-conditioning, security systems, etc. We have always desired light, comfort and security; but there was a time when we did not have appliances that did these things for us, completely, now with a verbal command, and in a coordinated fashion. We each had to have a more rudimentary set of capabilities and tools to ensure we got these jobs done.
In this series, I am going to ask you to suspend disbelief, and take a look at the underlying objective of marketing; and the steps we take to reach that objective. While it may not be possible to make a marketing appliance today, it is possible to create a high-level road map that can be used to evaluate (and select) new technologies as they emerge over time.
The only other option is to continually add cost and complexity to our customers' experience
I will focus on a small subset of what is generally considered to be the larger set of overall CRM capabilities. However, what I intend to describe during this (and future) series can be done, and has been done across the many interconnected layers of the customer experience problem-space.
Marketing Solutions in the Digital Era
Like many software users, marketers are no exception when it comes to having to navigate around features they never felt it necessary to learn; but had to pay for (in both time and money.) This is an experience we have all become familiar with, and leads us to one of the few possible conclusions:
Unique end-users must consume an average user interface, or an average stack of marketing technology
They find themselves navigating around the features that they do not want or need; or worse, their needs were not addressed at all. While there are often workarounds through customization, end users and buyers generally do not value the undue cost and complexity associated with such activities.
Let's face it. We like to talk about personalization when it comes to messaging and engagement, but we are willing to accept marketing tools that are not personalized to the circumstances in which we operate.
If I were able to accomplish two things today, I would like them to be:
Convince you that today's marketing tools and methods are cobbled together by professionals - most recently referred to as the Martech Stack. Jugglers call it juggling balls, hammers, flaming sticks, and chainsaws
Convince you that our current view of the market (of marketing) is not broad enough to see a future with fewer solutions, or what a single, perfect solution must help us to accomplish
Let's Focus on Marketers
As marketers, you have probably worked with tools that have forced you to navigate around the features that you never learned to use; but you had to pay for. Yet, when you move on to the next step in your process you are often forced to change tools, or methods, which are just as complex and costly.
Keep in mind that the tools you are using today are unlikely to be the tools you use in the future. In fact, as new concepts and technologies emerge that help you get your job done better (more completely, faster, cheaper) you will discard one or more old solutions for a single new solution.
While it should be the goal of your current solution providers to envision, and deliver these new solutions, it is far easier for them to leverage their core competencies and make their current solutions even better (more costly, more features, more frustrating)! I don't blame them, it's how we’ve all been trained.
In other words, it’s far more common to see these higher order solutions developed by companies that seem to come from somewhere in left field!
Did you expect an online book retailer to become a major player in cloud computing? How about a major player in logistics? For a company like Amazon, these were all capabilities they needed in order to deliver on their core offerings. Those capabilities became so scalable and transferable that they were able to disrupt the customer value chains of many other industries. They are clearly asking different questions.
If your team could work on a single, integrated platform to accomplish everything they needed to accomplish, would they switch?
We cannot point ourselves in the right direction by analyzing the over-crowded marketing technology (#martech) landscape and/or data from the past. Bloated platforms, Martech “stacks”, and disparate point solutions prevail in this landscape. Unfortunately, the practice of analyzing existing solutions has only led us to more solutions that do fundamentally the same thing; e.g., send an email, only better, manage a list, only better!
We need to shift from analytical models based on vendor-competencies to analytical models based on customer objectives. To do that, we will need to shed some of the baggage I talked about. Here we go:
Marketing technology is not a market — it is an industry supporting many disciplines, competencies, and capabilities. This includes many technologies, solutions and underlying methods. It only addresses certain aspects of a customer objective-based market, i.e., viewing it from the customer’s perspective
Things that appear impressive are not always comprehensive — the current marketing technology landscape looks impressive, but is over-addressing a small portion of a much broader definition of the market. If you define the market as businesses who want campaign management solutions (etc.), then you will probably disagree with me
Enterprise marketing teams are also customers — and therefore they have needs related to their functional objectives in various contexts and modes
Marketing teams have internal suppliers, and internal customers — internal teams, such as Sales (or an Ecommerce platform), need marketing to produce a valuable output and marketing teams need the proper inputs to make that happen consistently, and at a high level of quality
But wait, there’s more…