With the martech universe growing rapidly, marketers can often feel like a kid in a candy store when it comes to selecting from the incredible amount of shiny, new marketing tools available to them.

As part of our Next Gen CMO series, we interviewed Jascha Kaykas-Wolff and Kobie Fuller, experienced marketing leaders and creators of interactive martech visualization tool GrowthVerse. In the video above, they explain how the next generation of CMOs can wade through a seemingly infinite number of technology options to choose and integrate the tools that best support their marketing strategy.

Here are some of the steps marketing leaders can take to ensure they’re selecting the right marketing tools and using them effectively:

1. Understand the tools you’re buying–and exactly what they can do for you

Jascha and Kobie suggest that when marketers are looking to test out new tech tools, they first need to understand:

  • What the tool can do
  • How it will integrate with their existing tech stack
  • How they can quickly measure results

This means identifying both the long-term and short-term benefits of a product (which is helpful since the average CMO’s tenure is roughly 2 years.)

Kobie also stresses the importance of buying a software vs. being sold a software. Instead of waiting for sales reps to hunt you down, reach out to your peers for technology recommendations. If it’s relevant to them, it may be relevant to you.

2. Use technology as a tool, not a structure

Jascha and Kobie agree that one of the most common mistakes marketers make is relying too heavily on technology, without having a strategy in place. Marketers need to first establish a solid strategy, including a list of short- and long-term goals, before delving into the overwhelming martech landscape.

Once you have a framework in place, you can begin testing out different technologies to help you achieve your goals. Jascha and Kobie recommend continually testing out different tools until you find the ones that work for you. With so many martech options available, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the first few you try.

3. Invite thought diversity to your marketing team

In order to keep up with the evolving role of the marketer, Jascha and Kobie stress the importance of bringing in different kinds of thinkers to fill in some of the skill gaps in your marketing team.

Jascha suggests adding people with IT and technologist backgrounds to take care of the process and systems management functions of your teamwhich he says are usually poorly managed.

Kobie also emphasizes including both the old-school “Crayola” marketer (who understands the art of marketing) and the new-school quantitative marketer (who understands how to measure product performance) on your team. He says that by acknowledging the value of both sides of the marketer persona, the two can work together to create new initiatives and ultimately fuel business growth.

4. Implement Agile Marketing

Both Kobie and Jascha agree that an Agile Marketing approach offers many benefits in the evolving marketing landscape. Jascha says that implementing an Agile Marketing approach can optimize the business process and help marketers measure the impact of their campaigns faster, allowing them to course-correct quickly.

Before implementing an Agile Marketing approach, you’ll first need to establish transparency and common goals throughout the organization, not just the marketing team. While the objectives and execution will look different across departments, everyone’s contributions are important to the overarching goal and should be celebrated equally.

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