October 10, 2017

3 Tips for Your Next MarTech RFP

In a landscape of over 5000 different marketing technologies, running an RFP for your tool selection has become even more critical in finding the right solution.  Having been on both sides of the RFP process (creating for clients and responding to prospects) I can tell you there are good ones and there are, well, not good ones.  From my experiences, a few of the things that made the good ones successful were:


1. Come with a vision

If you begin the RFP thinking that a tool or platform will help you define your marketing growth plan, then you’ve already lost.  Technology enables solutions, it doesn’t create them.  You’ll significantly benefit by going into the RFP process with a marketing technology roadmap in hand that clearly lays out your desired marketing capabilities growth over a period of time and a process for achieving that growth.  And never lose sight that the tools you’re evaluating should align to your roadmap, not the other way around.


2. Address integration head-on

Marketing technology is no longer an isolation island on the enterprise technology map. We’re now a full-fledged part of the enterprise data ecosystem where CMOs are spending as much as their CIO counterparts according to Gartner.  Marketing should now work across financial, transactional, web, and other systems to deliver meaningful insights across Sales, Services, etc.  Talk with your IT group to understand and document your integration requirements for things like: CRM, big data lakes, home-grown systems, etc.


3. Try before you buy

It’s hard to get a sense of how easy or intuitive something is simply from a controlled demo from the vendor’s subject matter expert.  Not unlike buying a new car, you should ask to test drive it before you purchase it.  Let me also recommend, like a car salesman telling you about all the features of the new car, your software test drive will be more useful with a subject matter expert in the passenger seat.


To sum up, as you begin building your marketing technology RFP you should keep in mind that the more comprehensive and complete you make your RFP, the more informed the responses will be from the vendors you’ve solicited.  In short, the more you give, the more you’ll get!