It's the start of the new year, and every company is doing cost-saving exercises.

We recently posted a list of 20 questions you should ask when planning for the upcoming year. One we'll dive into is: 'Do I need to tune up the marketing technology that I use?' as it can help streamline your operations and identify cost savings.

Like good Yeti guides, we also thought about these questions within the context of the MRM universe and our own team. While we found it easy to answer questions like “What do we want to accomplish in 2024?” (Hint: It has to do with delighting our customers!), questions like “How will we track our efforts to measure our success this year?,” “Do we have access to reliable data?,” and “Do we have the tools that we need to run our program?” gave us a lot to consider.

Here are a few lessons we have learned and wanted to share:

1. Understand your goals and how you will track them.

Understanding your goals is one thing; really understanding how you will measure and shape programs to achieve them is another. Make time to write down the specific objectives in terms of marketing programs, channels, key performance indicators you want to track, and challenges you faced last year. It is good to have this list handy as we go through the next set of items in this list.

2. Make a list of all the tools you have and notate the ones you use to discover which tech you really need and which tech you could live without.

We did this exercise internally and discovered a whole host of tools and applications the team had access to and the organization was paying for that we didn't necessarily need. When you do this exercise in-house, we expect you will also discover overlap, technology that you aren't using anymore, or duplication across systems. Unnecessary tools and applications are a drain on resources and budgets, and over time, it can be hard to keep track of what you are subscribed to unless you're paying attention to the bills.

3. Make your tools work for you more efficiently by performing a marketing automation platform clean-up.

It doesn't matter which platform you use (HubSpot, Marketo, Mailchimp, Marketing Cloud, Pardot); you likely have duplicate contacts, individuals who are no longer engaged, templates and automated programs that are no longer relevant, and fields to collect data that are now outdated. As we dug into our own CRM in January, we discovered that these out-of-date components created a lot of noise and distraction, and by cleaning them out, we could really focus on the tools and data that would push our programs forward.

A thorough system evaluation and clean-up could also help eliminate unnecessary costs to your organization:

  • Paying for contact volumes you are not using: we find most organizations are overpaying for data by 25–30%.
  • Overly complex use of multiple systems can increase the time it takes your team to execute programs and figure out what list and automation program to use. This is a real drain on the time you have to be creative as well.
  • Your sender score is the ability for your emails to be delivered to clients and prospects. Not cleaning your marketing automation platform could permanently damage your sender score and your ability to send emails to anyone.

4. Integrations between systems are important for you and your customer.

Having access to the data you need to make decisions not only means making sure your individual systems are in working order, but that all your systems are better connected. You may find that there is information in one system that would benefit the organization if it were in another. Determining a central system of record and/or integrating data that lives in your marketing automation platform into other systems can also support a more personalized experience for your customers!

5. Make time to think about reporting early.

Reporting is the most common request we get at the end of the year, especially from marketing teams who need to report on their KPIs/successes: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Influence on Sales/Revenue, and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). We also see systems lacking the necessary data needed to create these reports. Whether you decide to improve the configuration of your current tool or invest in a better one, it is easier to consider the types of reports you want and the data you need to generator those reports early on in your programs rather than at the point where you desperately need data for reporting.

We love technology and how it helps us keep track of the complicated world we live in but hate overpaying for tools and contacts we are not using. As you kick off new programs this year, it’s a great time to assess if you are getting the best value out of your technology investments and if it is really making your life easier.

If this exercise has you feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or stressed about your tech stack, never fear! Contact us today to connect with a Yeti guide and get the help you need!