TLDR: Adopting a new tool has a range of logistical and financial consequences. MOPs and RevOps leaders should interrogate each potential addition to your tech stack by evaluating the ease of implementation, the experience of your team, the ease of integration with your current or planned tech stack, the potential financial costs beyond the purchase price, and how the tool responds to real business needs and strategic aims.
The motivation for adopting new tools: When new leaders join companies or people move internally to different teams, they take with them the technologies and practices they’re used to. New marketing leaders are often keen to implement tools they’ve had positive experiences with in the past and can be prone to thinking that having more tools makes it easier to surface ROI—more ways to analyze data, more ways to present it, more functions and features to optimize how you work.
The consequence of new tools: In practice, however, this isn’t quite the case. Adopting a new tool has a range of logistical and financial consequences for your business that require thoughtful planning to navigate.
What’s in this article for you? In this Tough Talks Made Easy, we’ll help you explain to your CMO or CRO the problems that can arise from adopting a new tool too soon. We’ll also outline the important things your organization needs to consider before deciding to adopt new technology.
New tool consequences
Marketing operations people are frequently asked to take ownership of managing new tools, and so they have first-hand experience of the reality that more tools = more responsibilities.
Adding a new tool to someone’s workload has productivity consequences for what that person can feasibly deliver, especially if they need training to effectively use the tool in question.
If the department leadership is looking at a new core piece of tech—a marketing automation platform, a CRM, a content management system—it’s likely to demand a revamp of your whole MOPs infrastructure.
“Before adopting a new tool, you need to understand
if it’s worth it and why.”
Without qualified talent on board, you might need to hire someone new to lead on that piece of tech — and the hiring process costs time and money. So before adopting a new tool, you need to understand if it’s worth it and why.
Poorly-conceived additions to your stack will leak revenue, for example:
👉 Wasted subscription fees for unused tools.
👉 Unforeseen disruptions to your team’s workflow and productivity through accommodating new processes.
👉 Suboptimal implementations or maintenance that cause damage downstream.
👉 Integrations that don’t work properly, corrupted data, bloated storage.
The questions to ask
If you have a robust tech stack
If your tech stack is already robust, your first step should be to evaluate what isn’t working.
Is a new piece of software the best way to address your needs? Encourage your CMO or CRO to explore the solutions existing in your company stack — you might already have the license to a tool that fulfills a similar purpose to a good standard, and you’ll avoid the redundant expense on an overlapping solution.
If leadership’s considering a tool that can change the essential infrastructure of your MOPs/RevOps function (a MAP, a CMS, a CRM), it’s crucial to know what strategic ambitions it supports.
➡️ Are you scaling down to cut costs or simply overhead?
➡️ Are you scaling up because your CMO/CRO has a growth plan and needs the particular capabilities of more advanced tools to achieve it?
➡️ Have they planned for the corresponding investment in the MOPs team (e.g. whether that’s greater headcount, higher training budgets, or a redistribution of role responsibilities) to facilitate a more complex platform?
If the new tool will play a supporting role in your stack
When evaluating a tool that plays more of a supporting role in your stack, you’ll want to assess how well it integrates with your existing infrastructure.
➡️ What depth of expertise will the tool require?
➡️ How long is the implementation period? Will it require more resources on a temporary or permanent basis?
➡️ Is it best-in-class at providing the functionalities you’re looking for?
➡️ Does it have good momentum in the marketplace?
Getting to the bottom of these points is essential to come up with a realistic assessment of a tool’s total cost of ownership.
Questions to ask beyond those above
➡️ Is the total cost of ownership (TCO) worth paying?
➡️ Do the capabilities of the tool respond to the goals your CMO/CRO wants to achieve?
➡️ Can you reasonably estimate that its features can drive revenue and productivity in ways that justify the time, money, and work?
“The impact of adopting a new tool
is often poorly understood.”
The impact of adopting a new tool is far-reaching and often poorly understood. Remember that strategy defines your outcomes and tools help you achieve them. Read our article Connect the Dots Between Strategy and Technology for more.
Your MOPs and RevOps leaders should interrogate each potential addition to your tech stack by evaluating the:
👉 ease of implementation
👉 experience of your team
👉 ease of integration with your current or planned tech stack
👉 potential financial costs beyond the purchase price, and
👉 tool’s ability to respond to real business needs and strategic aims.
Approach each tech decisions with this degree of intentionality, and you’ll maximize the ROI you gain from your stack.
Get in touch for more guidance on assessing and implementing new technologies.