Technologies are becoming a key part of the overall customer journey mix of people, processes, content and technology. A recent Gartner study found enterprise marketers are spending 33% of their total marketing budget on technologies alone.
With that in mind, it’s increasingly important to have a process for evaluation technologies both before the purchase and also after, to ensure adoption and that you are getting the most out of the promised benefits.
Here are some sample steps when evaluating customer journey technologies:
- Goal definition: Often this step gets missed in the desire to quickly adopt new technology. It’s important to define first what goal the purchase and implementation of a new technology will help the company achieve, especially as it relates to what’s already there.
- Evaluation team building: Who needs to be part of this decision? Who does it impact? These are some of the questions to ask when putting together a team to evaluate whether this new technology will add value to the overall customer journey efforts.
- Census of available technologies: In addition to looking at competing vendors for a specific solution, think outside the box in terms of what could be potential technologies that would achieve the goals defined in step 1. Use visualization tools like a digital transformation canvas that help make sense of how new technologies fit to your goals and to what you already have in place.
- Integration analysis: Given the need to collaborate among teams and technologies, it’s important to identify the integration points and ensure that any selected technology vendor has the ability to meet that integration need and if they don’t that there is a feasible plan to achieve that integration.
- Total onboarding cost: Often the cost of the technology is much less than the cost to implement and onboard the team over time. Understanding that cost for each different vendor or technology choice should be part of the evaluation process. Vendors often charge an initial onboarding set-up cost that should be factored into this analysis.
- Total cost to receive expected benefits: The amount of effort and time to onboard the team is often something different than the amount required to achieve the goals and their expected benefits outlined in Step 1. An estimate of that cost is also a useful evaluation exercise.
- Estimated value of benefits: Hand in hand with the cost analysis should be estimating the value of those benefits, so that you can compute an expected ROI.
- Estimated cost of not pursuing: In a market where competition is fierce and innovation needs to be constant, a simple ROI analysis is not enough in most cases. It is also helpful to think about the potential costs of not pursuing this technology implementation, e.g. what it could mean in terms of falling behind, or not developing necessary skills that will factor into a later project, process or technology implementation. Of course, you can factor these things into the benefits calculation as well.
- Trialing and Consideration: Once you have a short list of options, it is important to be able to trial out the solution if possible as part of the deeper consideration process.
- Selection and Initial Adoption: Making the selection and investment kicks off only the start of the process of implementation, most of the work is still ahead, but focusing on making sure the initial adoption period is a success is highly recommended.
Bonus Tip – commit to adoption and have a plan for that.
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