Blog post

POCs: They’re Not Just for Buying New Stuff

By Mike McGuire | May 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

Marketing
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Peter Drucker said that.  For the past decade or so, marketing leaders have focused measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts via KPIs such as customer churn, conversion rates, customer experience and customer lifetime value, to name a few.

Masters of Measuring Effectiveness? F1 Teams

But you know  what type of organizations continuously measure, test and adjust almost everything about the platforms they manage? F1 racing teams. In fact, F1’s rules actually restrict the amount of on-track testing teams can do, otherwise only teams with more resources than others would just continuously test and refine the cars.  A modern F1 car carries as many as 300 different sensors, all providing a firehose of, well, KPIs  back to the team, enabling minute adjustments to the car in real-time.
I’m not suggesting we treat our martech stacks like F1 cars. I mean, who would want to rebuild a martech stack after every campaign?

POCs: Regular Track Tests for Your Martech Stack

But, you know, we can monitor the health and effectiveness of our martech stacks by using POCs at multiple stages — not just when we’re buying new stuff.
Oh sure, we create use cases, we drill prospective vendors on their feature sets, we demand marketing personnel make business cases for new technology  . . .
Except when we don’t. Then we end up with tools and platforms that aren’t fully exploited, we end up buying technologies that we think deliver a unique capability without carefully checking whether or not that functionality existed in something we purchased a year ago. We also run the risk of hanging on to certain technologies (and their attendant processes) longer than we should.
More than a few clients have shared stories — and spreadsheets — with many of us on the team detailing the results of less-than-rigorous martech investments. Beyond simply risking wasting budget dollars, the, the resulting muddle of applications, KPIs and conflicting metrics make it virtually impossible for martech leaders to assess the effectiveness of their technology investments.
Auditing your martech ecosystem (hey, we have a toolkit for that but a Gartner subscription is required) is a start — but only just.  And unlike F1 teams, we don’t assess every element, component, tool or platform to make sure they are still exactly what we need.
But we can implement regular POCs — and not just when we are buying new tools.  Regular POCs can give us the kind of insight into our martech stack that ensures we’re maximizing our martech budget by investing in tools that enable our teams to continuously deliver optimum performance.
Read all about how we can help you institute a regular cadence of POCs that will pay off in the short-, medium- and long-term.  (Gartner clients can access these reports here, here and here.)

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