Why the MarTech Solutions You've Purchased Aren't Getting Used (And How to Change That)

Tyler Williams
by Tyler Williams 21 Apr, 2017

Is your marketing working? The way to find out, of course, is to measure it.

With the rise in marketing technology, proving your marketing efforts' worth through ROI, ROAS, etc., has never been easier. But there's one small problem: we're really bad at effectively using marketing technology.

In fact, MarketingCharts shared that a minuscule four percent of marketers say that they felt their marketing stack was fully integrated.

Common categories of marketing technology include advertising, content, social, commerce, data and management. With so many ways to measure data from specific channels and campaigns, why do modern companies continue to underutilize every last shred of technology available to them?


If your competitors are using a specific marketing technology, it has to be good, right? Maybe. But there's also a possibility that there's another marketing technology that better aligns with your company size, growth and structure. The "all of our competitors have it" reason, along with the following, are not good enough to begin marching down the path of purchasing a marketing technology:

  • "I used it at my previous company."
  • "I read an industry article that said buying it was a good idea."
  • "The product demo video on the website looks cool."


Whether related to a specific pain you've experienced or an identified opportunity for measurable improvement, there must be a deliberate reason for buying, adoptingand optimizing an organization's marketing technology. Instead of the previously listed reasons for purchasing a marketing technology, the following are good reasons to take the plunge:

  • "I could save two hours a day if we automated this process."
  • "We need to increase sales-qualified leads by 10 percent this year."
  • "Having insight into the ROI of our marketing campaigns will help us better understand where to place our time and effort and future hiring needs."

Undoubtedly, poor reasoning or understanding of goals before purchase is the number one reason for marketing technology sitting idle or being wasted. Be sure that you have a need and that you can measure technology's impact before buying so you don't join the 85 percent of marketers who aren't using their marketing technology to its fullest potential.


While marketing technologies can have widespread impact on businesses of all sizes, an individual or very small team must be accountable and invested in the buying process, implementation, and optimization of any technology.


Appointing a leader can help ensure that your marketing technology is used. To determine who should be responsible for the product, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Where is the budget for this product coming from?
  • Who will be using this system the most?
  • Other than primary users, does this technology impact any additional teams or people?
  • Do you have executive buy-in and support, whether it's direct or in respect to the empowered team/individual?

According to a recent study, 48 percent of decisions to initiate adding a new marketing technology are made by senior team members who will also be a power user of the technology.


Marketing technologies are often closely tied to sales metrics and performance. A common characteristic of salespeople (and certainly some marketers) is a high sense of urgency and relative impatience. Often, new technologies are expected to work flawlessly at the time of implementation. This almost never happens. While perfect implementation and functionality are always the goal of new technologies, there will undoubtedly be growing pains whether they lie in the actual functionality of the technology or the adoption and successful use by your team.


Scott Brinker, a computer programmer and successful entrepreneur, lists the complexity of integrating technologies as the single most challenging obstacle related to use of his company's marketing technology. Make sure that when you're bringing in a new technology, expectations for implementation are set appropriately. Give as much support as possible to your implementation team so that roadblocks and those pesky growing pains are at a minimum.


Marketing technology is a powerful tool for your business that's necessary to succeed in today's marketing world. How your team buys and uses marketing technology will either bolster you to new heights or expose weaknesses. Follow the above considerations and you and your team will be successful when purchasing new marketing technology.

About the Author

Tyler Williams fuels his love for competition as an Associate Account Executive at Element Three, a full-service marketing agency that works across channels to build discernable brands.