Avoid these six common pitfalls and help your team survive the challenges of your next marketing technology implementation.

Gartner has predicted that CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017. IDC predicts CMOs will drive marketing technology spending to $32.3B by 2018. IDC notes that CMOs’ influence has moved beyond traditional spending areas into more parts of the business, as evidenced by the marketing technology map, broken into four main areas: interaction, content, management and administration, and data and analytics.


As CMOs rise in importance within the organization and have an increasingly important role in technology decisions and implementations, it’s important to consider how to best deploy marketing technologies for maximum success.

I’ve implemented numerous marketing technologies, and helped guide hundreds of B2B marketers through the implementation and adoption of marketing technologies. After being involved with successful and not-as-successful MarTech implementations, I’ve observed there are six common pitfalls to avoid which will help improve your success rate. Let’s discuss how to help you and your team predict and avoid the common pitfalls within any marketing technology implementation.

Top 6 Most Common Pitfalls of Any MarTech Implementation

There are several important considerations to help any marketing technology implementation be more successful. Before the first user gets login access to the system, as you plan the rollout and adoption of a new marketing technology, spend time thinking about and solving potential challenges to avoid these potential pitfalls.

Here are most common snares I’ve seen tend to trip up MarTech implementations:

1. Using technology to solve people or process problems

The “People-Process-Technology” model has been around for more than 30 years, yet it still applies into today’s modern marketing organization. It’s important for any company to identify team and process improvements before adopting any marketing technology.

Too often, I see companies adopt a new technology, only to find out in hindsight it was really their process that needed improvement, or it came as a surprise when they had to increase their team to operate the new technology that was brought into the organization.

While all of these are natural discoveries, it’s better to plan for them before a technology decision is made, to prevent slowdowns and setbacks when “rip and replace” decisions are made down the road. There are numerous free tools available to help develop a MarTech blueprint.

2. Driving too much change, too fast

Be careful not to ask your team to change their process too much unless it’s severely broken, or absent. Any new tool you bring in should help reduce team members’ workload, not add to their already full plate.

3. Ignoring the WIIFM (what’s in it for me)

Before you ask any team member to learn and adopt a new system, be sure you can answer the WIIFM question for each group you’ll be asking to use the new system. When users can see that a little upfront investment for them will result in a payoff down the road, they’re more likely to adopt.

Payoffs can come in a variety of forms such as reduced workload, easier content reuse, better accessibility to current content, better oversight, instant reporting tools, or a reduction in tools.

4. Choosing complicated systems with too many steps in the process

Hint: Look for easy-to-use tools that don’t require a long-term central administrator. MarTech systems should be simple to use once the initial data migration and setup has been completed. This is especially important when working with teams of varying levels of technical expertise.

Even though the most technical people on your team may tolerate a complicated interface, there’s no reason to put the rest of your team through a steep training curve.

5. Overcomplicating or overanalyzing the process

Be careful to avoid adding unnecessary steps in the process. Keep it simple. The best technology should enable users, not disable them with burdensome training or ramp-up time.

Any marketing technology should add value, not add workload. Some tools are so complicated they require a central administrator, which means your team learns to become experts at the tool but not necessarily better at doing their job. The best tools enable users to be better at their job, simply using the tool to do their job.

6. Forgetting that tech buyers aren’t always tech users

Think about the motivations inside of your organization’s own buying cycle. A marketing department head may buy the tool to gain increased reporting and visibility, while the user who’s being asked to use the tool everyday may see it as extra work which is simply fueling management reporting.

The decision-maker buying the tool will likely have different motivations and job functions than the person using the tool; understanding this will help you prepare to answer the WIIFM question for each team member.

By being aware of these potential pitfalls and developing a plan to avoid them, you’ll be better equipped to lead your department through a successful MarTech implementation.

Read more: The Future of MarTech: Less Shouting, More Listening