Evaluating a replacement or addition to your current marketing technology stack is no easy feat.
Many buyers begin their search in the exhibition hall, scouting out the who’s who in their area of interest. However, starting the preliminary discussions by perusing the gangways of the next industry trade show can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. The options and capabilities are plentiful and with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of attendees crowding the exhibition hall floor hunting for their next big integration, it can be hard to hold an impactful conversation with any software vendor on the floor.
But while it may seem easier to forego the exhibition hall speed dating set up altogether and instead submit individual contact inquiries to each vendor, utilizing the face to face time with software vendors in your early search may be more beneficial than you think.
Not only are you able to get the answers you’re looking for on the spot, receive a tailored demo, or gain an idea of how your assessed tech intends to keep up with industry trends, a quick introductory meeting can also provide a high level understanding of how each individual vendor could approach your specific business challenges as well as giving you a feel for the team – after all, for a successful implementation it needs to fit with yours!
So, before you arrive at the exhibition hall bright eyed and bushy tailed, there are a few things which you can do to ensure that your goals don’t get lost in the madness:
Identify what is valuable to you. Don’t be quick to let your imagination run wild with the possibilities of achieving marketing technology bliss. Instead, identify and prioritize the business challenges which you would like to solve in the short and long term. Make a list of the goals which you want to achieve with your chosen solution.
Understand your baseline. Understand your current MarTech stack and identify what is working well and what is not. Make sure you know which kinds of digital assets and content are most important to your business as well as how these are currently housed and processed.
Create a scorecard. Take your understanding of your technology stack, goals and the business challenges, and organize it into an actionable checklist of requirements. Be methodical and consistent with your conversations with vendors so you can compare everyone against the same criteria. You may not have time to dig deep into each vendor’s technical capabilities but having key, high level questions answered early on can help to qualify who you wish to continue the conversation with.
With trade show season upon us, this kind of preparation can help you to effectively navigate the exhibition hall and vendors conversations, setting set your quest for the next software procurement on the path to success.
Good luck with your search!