Before the pandemic, investment in martech was on the rise. Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2018-19 found that 29% of marketing budgets were being earmarked for martech – up from 22% in 2017.

This growth has been affected by Covid. Econsultancy and Marketing Week research conducted on 16th March found that nearly half of major brands (with £50 million+ annual revenue) in the US and UK had delayed or were reviewing strategic initiatives such as digital transformation.

However, other research also highlights a hidden truth, which is that companies have been failing to generate return on investment as expected. According to Econsultancy and Oracle research from March 2020, for example, just 47% of businesses say their investment in customer data is paying off.

Why aren’t businesses seeing ROI?

In simplistic terms, the reason for this could be that companies are investing budget without having the skills, people, or time to deliver the desired outcome.

Of course, there could be much more nuanced reasons at play, too, which is what Econsultancy’s latest whitepaper (in partnership with TAP London), aims to uncover.

10 Questions to Ask Before Your Next Martech Procurement’ aims to help marketers improve their chances of successful investment.

Begin by building a business case

One of the main points the whitepaper raises is the importance of clarity, particularly at the start of the process. Crucially, marketers should consider the question: “What are we trying to achieve?” From this, the focus should be on building a business case that is both realistic and motivating.

As the whitepaper states, “the challenge here is for a business case to be built that is so strong it makes anyone reading it think… it would be crazy not to implement it.”

Interestingly – and highlighting even more reason to do so –  research suggests that many marketers are failing to outline their case at all. According to Econsultancy’s ‘The Business Case for Digital Investment’ report, 20% of marketers are failing to base their investment decisions on an objective business case, and instead, are investing in tech only when legacy systems fail.

Think again about the potential of existing platforms

The next step for businesses is to ask another important question. Namely, “Can we achieve the outcome with the technology we already have?”

As the whitepaper points out, this might sound like a backward step, but it is actually a crucial and often overlooked consideration, and one that could potentially result in businesses losing out in the long run.

Further questions to consider include: “Is there the potential to upgrade or to discover overlooked functionalities?” Or perhaps there is even the possibility that businesses need additional skills or knowledge in order to be able to uncover it.

Keeping customers at the heart of every decision

A third point the whitepaper makes is one that sounds obvious, particularly in today’s customer-centric world, but one that can easily get overlooked. It is the question marketers should ask themselves before making every decision: “What will it mean for the customer?”

Ultimately, if the benefits aren’t clear, marketers must go back to the drawing board and think again about how and why they are investing.

To learn more about what to consider before investing in martech – including a checklist to determine your company’s readiness –  subscribers can download “10 Questions to Ask Before Your Next Martech Procurement” in full.