When evaluating marketing technology, buyers often start with a list of desired features:
- “We need integration with all our other systems.”
- “We should have automated reporting.”
- “Email notifications are important.”
Yet too often this list will not actually help achieve important marketing goals such as increased lifetime value or increased awareness in key markets. Be careful what you wish for, the old adage goes, because you might just get it.
Rather, try the technique of asking “why?” five times to uncover and document the most important needs, timelines and risks associated with a desire to buy marketing technology, noted Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
Challenge assumptions and dig deeper
Too often the marketing technology decision train has already left the station before the underlying need is clarified. Even simple new technology requests can mask a gap that exists between the capabilities marketers think they need and the capabilities they actually need. Asking why five times crystallizes the need and surfaces the best solution, which may not be technology-related at all.