You're faced with a business challenge, whether it is a marketing goal you're not hitting or a process isn't working. Someone in the team suggests you need new software, and they've seen the perfect solution. You all get excited, buy it and then it flops.
Before rushing to spend, ask yourself if parting with the budget you fought hard to secure is actually the right thing to do.
Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid.
1. Who'll do the work?
Yes you have a team, but are they ready to maximise your investment. For example, you've identified the need for a new social listening tool:
Who is going to take the lead on managing the tool?
Have they got the analytical skills to interpret the data?
Do they have capacity in their workload?
You should avoid any new digital marketing tool becoming an expensive investment that ends up becoming a burden, or something you end up forgetting about.
2. Do you have internal buy-in?
You may have pitched an outstanding business case to your senior leaders, secured the budget, and purchased the software. But, have you brought the rest of your colleagues along with you?
Will they want to use your new software?
Is this going to be an unwelcome addition to their role?
Do they understand why you have purchased the software?
Involving all stakeholders throughout the buying journey is important. Get to know their actual needs, not just the ones you may have assumed.
3. Are you ready for change? Can you handle the truth?
In most cases you're going to need to do a lot of self-reflection when you start using new software. There's every chance you'll need to adjust working practices. It's near on impossible to get the best out of a new tool by applying existing working practices. Are you ready to bin your bad habits?
You'll also be receiving new insights, be that from social listening data or response rates in the case of customer service tools. Is your mind open to what this will tell you about your organisation? Are you prepared to act on these facts?
4. Are you clear on your objectives?
It's very easy to focus on functionality when purchasing new software. For example, seeking a social media management platform that can schedule content, includes a content calendar, and can run weekly reports.
Features are nice, but can you link these back to business goals and objectives? Instead, identify your key performance indicators and discuss these with vendors.
5. Are you prepared to listen to the experts?
Nobody knows the product you're purchasing better than the experts at the vendor. Keep an open mind when approaching companies, as with above (4) your focus on functionality could cause tunnel vision.
Take your objectives to them and ask the vendor to present a solution to your business challenges. Don't waste time comparing product features, instead use time wisely to compare who can help you meet your goals the best.
Procuring new digital marketing software can be a daunting task. At Neon Caffeine we enjoy the experience, and help take the stress out of the process for our clients. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you set your budget, find suitable providers, and manage the tender process for you.