Whether you are a brand, an agency or a tech vendor, you’ll already know that martech spend is on the increase. The rapid behavioural change in consumerism over the past few years has accelerated your need for it.
You are changing your way of engaging the end consumer. Having the right platforms, tools and data analytics will be key to maintaining your customer experience.
However, this is not purely about the technology. There is a skills shortage too. In short, you need the traditionally separate disciplines of marketing and technology to merge. And you need it yesterday.
Martech's forward march
Brand, agency or vendor, you need a strategic approach. Which tech? Why? What skills do your people have? Who needs training? Who can train them?
Of course, the challenges and opportunities for the three types of organisation are different yet intertwined. What they have in common is the need for a robust martech strategy.
You want to maintain your competitive advantage, so you must plan for investment. What does your optimal combination of technology, skills and practical application look like?
One tactic might be to train your marketers to code. Another to train your IT engineers to interpret marketing trends. In time, they will meet in the middle, so it’s the interim you need to focus on.
Recognising your resource gaps – people or technology – will trigger a requirement for cash. Calculate how much you need in advance to get the skills and technology in place. You might need to redistribute your overall budget, take a loan or raise funds from investors willing to take a punt.
You know it’s not just a case of you developing great new technology. Is there actually an agency or brand you can sell it to?
Research what platforms and tools agencies and brands already use. Offer modular solutions that bolt onto their existing technology. Your other key function will be to educate the users, so include technical training in your strategy.
Regarding having the best people on your team, don’t assume salary alone will satisfy them. Our research shows that the technologically gifted see internal career progression as the most valued benefit.
Focus on succession planning, illustrating roles that go sideways as well as upwards. Review your HR proposal and demonstrate you offer long-term career progression.
You can often be more agile than large brands, so exploit this. While brands are working out their own martech strategy, you can step in to bridge the gap. You not only have the knowledge and creativity demanded by brands but you can also combine tech integration and education in your client work.
You will be considering how to retain and attract the right people, while keeping your costs down. Blue-sky thinkers are likely to be willing to gamble on an exciting venture for future monetary gain. Instead of salary, explore equity split or EMI pool options.
Meanwhile, some look for branding and culture in their agency employer. A successful well-known name might carry more weight than pound signs. Conversely, contractors with the right skills will command high pay in the short to medium term.
You know your niche with your customer base. Hold onto it. Customers are fickle and will soon abandon you for a competitor’s offering that is slicker, faster, louder, smaller, smarter.
Brands who take risks will win but not at the expense of ROI. Allow for short-term losses while you plan for the medium term and hone your martech strategy.
Be smart about your tech armoury. Work out what new kit you need and how it integrates with your current set-up. Rationally appraise what skills you have, what skills you need and what mix of training, recruiting and outsourcing this means.
In a few years, your recruitment inbox will be awash with new martech graduates, for whom the streets will indeed be paved with gold. Until then, increase your catchment area. Entice candidates from overseas with desirable relocation, visa and sponsorship deals.
Help from the experts
The coming 12 months will be frantic, so your business planning will pay off. Moore Kingston Smith can help you maintain your competitive edge.
We guide you in planning your critical path, identifying substantial investment sources and building in contingency. Our specialists work together seamlessly, combining expertise in:
- Media and marketing services
- Global mobility
- Digital transformation
- Corporate finance
- Private equity
Why not contact us for a quick chat about your circumstances and see how we can help?