Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Winning hearts and minds: increasing martech adoption in a post-Covid world

By Martin Wilson, Director at Bright

Anyone who has attempted to implement a change in the workplace can attest that it’s not always an easy task. In 2019, Ascend2 published the “Marketing Technology Trends Survey”, reporting that the majority of marketers (58%) claim that they have only been “somewhat successful” at achieving top priorities with their MarTech strategy.

If the phrase “Somewhat successful” leaves you cold, then you’re not alone. The challenge is, in a post-Covid 19 world where social distancing is the norm, how can MarTech companies ensure that marketers are able to adopt new technologies easily, with their hearts as well as their minds? The following four steps may make all the difference.

Step 1: Communicate your vision for positive change

The key to turning ‘somewhat successful’ into ‘hugely successful’ starts at the beginning of the adoption process. When introducing a new system it’s natural for people to be resistant to change – after all, it often represents uncertainty and extra work. Start by devising a comms plan that will inform, enthuse and reassure colleagues about what’s around the corner.

Work closely with senior management, being transparent about the potential challenges ahead and ask them to openly champion the changes as exciting and worthwhile. This positive attitude will help others to trust and buy into the idea. As face-to-face contact is currently off the table, using video call platforms such as Zoom (best for larger meetings) or Slack for quick one-to-one chats will help you communicate your plans openly and effectively, allowing for questions to be invited and answered in the moment.

Step 2: Gain insights through user testing

Adopting a new MarTech tool can be exciting and it’s easy to want to dive in headfirst – however, your future self will thank you for taking this step slowly. Once you’ve communicated the vision to the team, it’s time to encourage the users to take ownership by being involved in testing. Identify the people who will form your user testing team – their job will be to test and feed back on the training as well as how the new technology works alongside current processes.

This team should include those who are initially enthusiastic about the change, as well as those who you see as potential challengers. By listening to these challengers and working together to solve any teething problems, you’ll be better positioned to change their mindset and get them on board from the beginning. Utilise online questionnaires such as Google Forms to collect valuable feedback which can then be used to shape your onboarding process.

Step 3: Make onboarding as pain-free as possible

Once you’ve rolled out the testing process, it’s time to onboard. If you would normally meet in person to go through a training session, now is the time to think about how to do this remotely. Most video conferencing platforms allow screen sharing which will make it easier to run through a demo of how to use the new technology step by step.

Depending on the size of your organisation, pick a couple of senior colleagues to be your ‘super-users’. They will be trained first and will be able to onboard their teams and provide a sounding board for questions and help during the implementation phase. Preparing documentation that answers FAQ and common niggles will be useful to provide each trainee with; this should be kept in an easily accessible place, such as a shared drive or DAM.

Step 4: Keep up momentum to maintain and manage new MarTech

The initial hard graft is over and you’re starting to see great results from your new MarTech – brilliant! But now is not the time to sit back and let things slide. MarTech is only as good as the users implementing it, and it’s important to keep up the momentum and ensure you are seeing a healthy ROI year after year.

By assigning a software administrator role to a member of the team, you’ll have a key person in charge of liaising with the MarTech provider, ensuring that any problems are dealt with quickly and new functionality is rolled out to improve the system. When new recruits are onboarded, the administrator can be in charge of training them and ensuring that the software is being used to the best of its capability.

When little else around us is certain, the way we manage new MarTech implementation is one change within our control. With a comprehensive plan and clear communication, winning the hearts and minds of your team and encouraging change is certainly achievable, whether you work remotely or together in the same location.