Fraser Charles is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at MediaValet. Since joining MediaValet in 2016, he’s been building a partner ecosystem focused on partnerships that integrate new technologies with DAM, provide customers with value-added services and unlock new channels for revenue growth.
Leading marketing and creative professionals know that it’s imperative to have the right tech in place to achieve both short and long-term goals for your team. As not all tech solutions last forever, it’s common for organizations to implement a system that works best for them in the present, only to find they need something different, or more supportive, within just a few years. In fact, according to Chiefmartec, 83% of marketers have swapped out at least one marketing software application in the past year.
When building your marketing tech stack and implementing new tools, it’s important to plan for the long haul. In other words, when considering new tech for marketing or creative teams, you should be certain that it will not only work for you now but well into the future. Throughout this post, I’ll dive deeper into why longevity matters for your marketing tech stack, and how it can be helpful in more ways than one.
Thinking Beyond Today: Why Does Longevity Matter?
The tech systems that you put in place don’t typically operate in isolation. These tools are connected to workflows, applications, and other tech systems, part of a much bigger picture. When a piece of foundational technology is no longer viable, it diminishes workflows and affects the overall health of your ecosystem. Moreover, replacing this technology is rarely a “flick of the switch” as implementing new tech often takes months of onboarding and preparation.
In addition to the work it takes to implement new technology, offboarding from previous solutions can put other priorities and major initiatives on hold. While it can be worthwhile when a change really needs to be made, it's definitely not something you want to do every year.
Longevity matters when implementing new tech, as you want to invest in something that you know will stay relevant and work well for your organization. If you do not prioritize longevity, you may find yourself replacing your tech as you grow—and ultimately using more resources to make that happen. If you’re constantly upgrading your tech, you’ll spend more money and time on onboarding and training when alternatively, you could avoid those unnecessary costs by considering a solution that will grow with you and support your goals.
How Do I Ensure Longevity?
When considering new tech for your team, I recommend asking yourself these three questions in order to ensure longevity within the product:
1. How does it scale with our budget?
Consider if the price of the tech enables you to scale easily, or if you’ll quickly be priced out of the solution and need to evaluate less expensive options as you grow. For example, if your tech vendor charges per user, when your team grows or expands, so does the cost of the tech. As a fast-growing company, it might not make sense for you to choose a technology that charges per user because it will end up costing you more as your team expands. I suggest comparing it to tech that only charges for storage costs or quotas. I like to compare it to budgeting for things like storage costs or quotas. Consider how you plan to grow over the next five years and evaluate if you still expect to be able to afford the solution you’re pricing for today.
2. Does the feature set allow for us to grow?
Along with the budget, you also need to consider how the functionality will scale as your organization grows. In this case, think of efficiency rather than cost. Processes and solutions that work for a ten-person team often can’t scale to meet the needs of say, a 50-person team. As you add more people or take on more projects, does the functionality of the technology scale to meet your new needs? I can’t stress enough here how important it is to consider the workflows for each department, and then how all the departments work together, to ensure longevity.
3. How can it speak with our other technology?
One of the first things I always look for when evaluating a new technology is how it could integrate with my pre-existing tech stack. Technologies that plug and play with each other can make it much, much easier to scale. Plus, if one solution isn’t working, it is relatively easy to plug in a new one, without needing to recreate your entire ecosystem. In addition to considering out-of-the-box integrations, explore if the technology has an easy-to-use API that you can use to build custom solutions that fit your unique workflow.
Best-of-Breed vs. All-in-One: Which is The Better Choice?
I understand why it can be very tempting to pick an all-in-one solution when searching for new tech. Many make the decision to do so thinking it’s the easiest and simplest choice. But an all-in-one system often causes challenges and pigeonholes your team in the long run. If there are elements of the solution that you’re not happy with or outgrow, you’ll have to choose between just living with it, adding another solution on top of it at an additional cost, or completely ripping out your entire ecosystem for a new one. None of these options are ideal for a fast-growing company.
When you use best-of-breed solutions instead of an all-in-one platform, you’re able to customize your entire ecosystem. And again, if you’re unhappy with one element, you’re able to switch it out easily, relatively speaking. Now that sounds like a much better plan.
Set Yourself up for The Long-Haul
As your team grows, your tech should be able to scale with you. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly replacing solutions you’ve already implemented, which adds up quickly in cost and time. For this reason, longevity should be a major consideration when choosing your tech stack and implementing new technology.
Ready to join the conversation? Join me at Henry Stewart Creative Ops, where I’ll be participating in panel discussion: Accelerating Half-Life of Technology: What is considered the “right/perfect” tech today soon becomes the “wrong/detrimental” tech.
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