Having an ideal MarTech partner to manage the ever-evolving tech stack amidst marketing and sales initiatives is crucial. They must align with the needs and goals for successful MarTech projects. But how can brands choose the right MarTech partner? What factors must they consider?
As per a recent report by LXA, “The State of MarTech 2022/23”,
Marketers would require a MarTech partner when-
- they lack time, customer strategy, and a business case for the necessary IT solutions
- the tech solutions are not optimized
If brands want to create future-proof solutions, they must go through the necessary considerations when choosing their MarTech partner. Wrong decisions could lead to loss of time and money.
Ultimately, the partner must be competent to provide the type of service the brand requires. Brands can only scale if they have the right foundation and a purpose to deliver ROI
Here are five questions to ask before choosing a MarTech partner.
1. Do they Specialize or offer Multiple Services?
Choosing a partner who offers multiple services can be beneficial. But there must be a balance between the two. For example, brands wanting to streamline their tech stack for centralized reporting require specialized skills.
Conversely, if they don’t need a partner to train and optimize each tech solution, find one who can integrate the martech stack to meet their needs.
Ensure the partner has a specialized skill to avoid collaborating with a tactical partner who can’t provide proper feedback. Non-tactical partners will remain dedicated to the business process and help refine strategies needed to achieve the goals.
2. Do They Have a Competitive Edge and Credibility in the Industry? Do their Working Culture and Practices Align with the Company?
While this is an irrational question, it is always better to enquire what other partners, customers, and past clients think about the potential MarTech partner. Each partner has things they are trying to get good at. So, be specific and ask the partner about their niche in the industry.
More importantly, consider whether the team is working remotely or in-house. If remote, how do they communicate, and with which tools? Do they use survey tools for feedback? How do they create a learning environment for their employees? Answers to such questions will help understand their culture.
Talk to their team members to learn how things work inside their company. Lastly, ask for references and check on their credibility in the industry. Brands can find such details on the partner’s website or via some in-house research.
3. Are they Invested in the Brand’s Future or Just Ending Contracts?
During initial communications, whether the partner is invested in the brand’s future is hard to understand. But, with some experience, it becomes easy to find if they are willing to evolve with their clients or just end partnerships.
Moreover, ensure they do not rush any changes as deadlines make the projects less desirable. Undesirable outcomes hinder the brand and the partnership.
For a healthy long-term partnership, they must be able to present a new perspective to something the brand already has. They must always evolve with the brand’s growth and health. Even with a limited budget, the MarTech partner must help develop good strategies.
4. Do They Acknowledge Brand’s Tech and Business Perspective? Do They Empathize?
LXA’s report states that
While tech understanding is a common factor to look for, the “why” factor plays an essential role in the partnership. Partners must always ask questions and acknowledge the reason behind the tech used. This way, they can better comprehend a brand’s business perspectives.
At the same time, explaining the needs in marketing and sales is challenging. The partner must be able to listen and vocalize the needs. Further, they must be able to bridge the gap between the brand and the IT team.
While they do this, brands must also understand their openness, honesty, and tone. They could work with them for months or even years.
5. What are their Competencies? How Well is their Team Structure?
LXA’s report also states that-
Knowing their competencies will help brands make more informed decisions and assign budgets correctly. Their competencies will reflect their-
- commercial and technical depth with MarTech
- understanding of data
- familiarity with AI
- sense of IT-architectural issues
Partners must understand the brand’s specific issues and whether they can scale up or down the project through transformation needs in the long run. These insights will help shortlist the MarTech partners, accelerating the decision-making process.
Other questions to ask them to know their competencies are as follows-
- How does their business model look?
- When and how will they offer future-proofed advice?
- Will their decisions and support diverge based on IT platform vendors?
Additionally, note who will be working on the project and their role. Solutions architect, project manager, creative, and tactical support are the standard team brands would work within a partnership.
More importantly, ask whether they use contractors, when, and to what extent. This way, it becomes easy to understand how a partner’s team is structured and how well they will be able to serve the needs.