548: 3 Things You Need to Know Before Buying More Technology w/ Samantha Stone

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Samantha Stone, Founder of Marketing Advisory Network & Author of Unleash Possible.

Wouldn't it be nice to have several thought leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. We are here today at the B Tob Marketing Forum in Boston and I'm talking to Samantha Stone. She's the founder of the marketing advisory networks. Man, that how you're doing. Excellent. So glad we're connecting in person the first time. I see you so much online and so it's fantastic to to get hang out with you here today. So your talk is...

...on Friday and we were just talking a little bit before before I hit record, about what your talk is going to be, and it's really around how do we choose the marketing technology that's really going to have an impact on on revenue, and you've got some really interesting ideas on this. But talk to us a little bit about why is this something that we're not doing correctly currently? It's such an important point because increasingly we have, you know, somewhere between ten and thirty percent of our budgets are spent on technology today and marketing. It didn't used to be that way, but we are investing a lot of money and a lot of people into technology and we're doing it wrong. And I know we're doing it wrong because if you look at the data, it shows that we're only using about three percent of the technology we've already bought. So not the technology we could have the places we have already spent money. We are just using very, very little of what we've already licensed,...

...and so that tells me something is really, really broken, and I see that from the data and I see it anecdotally when I talk to clients as well, when we go in. I was teaching a social media workshop a couple months ago and in preparation for that, I spoke to the people who would be our students and we pulled them and we asked them a whole bunch of questions, one of which is what tools were use. Came back, was about to walk in the session and the person who had brought us in pulled me inside. As I want you to know, we have licenses to this social media tool and I said, but nobody knows that. You're not used because I know she says, we don't even know how to log in. Our company has bought it in. Our group has no idea how to log in, let alone actually use it right. It's crazy, but it's actually a very common challenge. They have a person by something, they use it for their purpose, it never gets permeated through the rest of the organization.

We also have waste, where we buy a product for a particular purpose and we use those one or two features that were our urgent need and that tool has this rich capability and we just simply don't use most of it. Yeah, okay, so you're obviously looking at data, you're talking to a lot of your clients. You know we're doing it wrong. So how do we fix it? Yeah, it's shockingly easy to fix, and that is we've got to remember. There's three things that we forget to do right. So we forget that whenever we make a system decision, there are a lot of dependencies about whether we unite. There's data that has to come in the system, there's IT security protocols we have to follow, there are systems that we have to send information to, and we sometimes forget about the complexity of the environment this tool is going to and we do it more and more often now because there's all these cloud based systems. They set you up and in theory you're up and running in fifteen minutes, but in reality your data and your other systems aren't talking to each other. So we have to stop forgetting...

...that. Okay, we also have to stop chasing shining new objects. Right the tool de jures. I want artificial intelligence. So every technology out there is now saying, well, we have artificial intelligence, and to a certain extent that might be true, but it we don't need to chase artificial intelligence. What we need to chase is a business problem we're trying to solve, and the way to really get around all of these obstacles is for us to take a step back and think about what are we trying to do, not what's not chase the technology. Let's write down what is the business outcome we're trying to address, to the opportunity we want to go after. Let's bring together a cross functional group of people and let's start there. Then, from that being defined with a pretty rigid process, we go out and we say, okay, technology folks, this is what we're trying to do, showmaking do it or not, and then we get to make an assessment about it and and not forget to first start with what we already have. Oftentimes we...

...can actually do something we didn't know about simply by changing the way we operate with an existing marketing on action tool or crm system or something else. So is this? Is there an example? I mean, I love that. The the simplicity of start with the problem. That's pretty simplime, doesn't it? But you said that you'd mentioned they're being you know, a process for how do you identify the problem that we're going to try to tackle? Can you talk to us a little bit about what? What should that process look like? Yeah, absolutely. I'll just give you a little bit of context. So I was at a client and they brought me in. They had spent eighteen months trying to solve a big marketing problem around data and they had been working with the IT team and they were just completely frustrated. It was not building them the system they needed. They couldn't get off the ground. It was frustrated because they kept saying marketing won't tell us what they need. And so it actually came to me. They found me through some referrals and...

...talking to a bunch of people and they said we need a translator between it and marketing. Please help we translate and literally within two meetings I was like, here's your problem. I'm not magical. I could take the step back and I listened to what the business problem we were trying to solve this now in two weeks. This is a big, complex organization. The project was not done, but we spent about six weeks doing requirements gathering. We put together a cross functional group of people that were made up of users, made up of people bole who would consume output of the system who may never log into it, and people who needed to put connections or data into the system. And I observed the business environment where people would be using that system and I sat side by side with those people and understood what they do and we went through a pretty rigorous product requirements prioritization process and we wrote down here's all the things we can possibly do, what's mandatory, what's optional, and it's...

...basic block and tackling very similar to how our product management team's design products and services. They go through a very similar process. We have to do that in a very structured way when we buy technology and treat it like a project and treat it like something that we want to have a defined outcome of defined time frame. I don't I love it and that example I was you still my next question. I was going to ask about an example of what walking through this process looks like. But that that makes perfect sense. If there's somebody listening to this, Samantha, they want to stay connected with you or they want to maybe dive deeper on this, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Absolutely best way to reach me as Samantha Dot Stone at Marketing Advisory Networkcom. They can also go to unleashed possiblecom and there's links to content end and blogs where I've talked about this. There's probably a linker two and they're around a version of this presentation I've done before. So...

...lots of ways to learn more and I hope they do, because I think we are inefficient and how we do this, yet we're making big investments. It's time for us to sort of change our orientation. And if you have not purchased Samantha's Book Unleash Possible, make sure to go to unleash possiblecom and get that also on Amazon. And what it is? It's, Yep, on Amazon kindle print. You know, I still like old school books and turning pages. I can't help it. I love that. So it's available their option. Wonderful with thank you so much, Manna. Thank you. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growth show, email me at Jonathan at sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know. We love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom and perspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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