Darrell Alfonso is head of Global Marketing Operations at Amazon. Darrell’s been ranked as one of the top marketers in the US by Propolis, recognized as a top martech marketer to follow by the Martech Alliance, given keynotes at several marketing conferences, and he joins us on the podcast to talk about marketing technology and his new book, “The Martech Handbook”
After years of bridging the gap between technology and marketing teams of every shape and size, Darrell Alfonso decided to compile his hard-won martech experience, advice, and expertise into a book that would help marketers leverage their marketing strategies with technology.
“With digital transformation today, you’ve got a majority of businesses trying to attract and retain customers through digital, and the only way to do this is with tech,” says Darrell.
“The problem is, if you ask marketers what their martech strategy is, they don’t have an answer. They are all cobbling together their own stack – email, social media monitoring, CRMs, scheduling – and the results are a mess. My book, “The Martech Handbook” is supposed to be a field guide for marketers, helping them to incorporate tech into their strategy.”
Darrell sees that a lot of marketing teams end up relying on the technology to guide strategy, which is a recipe for disaster.
“There are a few common pitfalls with digital marketing tech that pretty much every company faces,” explains Darrell.
“The first issue is letting technology drive your strategy. You end up driving your strategy through the tech, rather than use tech to enact strategy. The platforms dictate the plans. And the second big martech mistake is this “keeping up with the Jones’” approach, where you see a competitor or friend using a tool or a piece of technology, and you feel like you need to have it.”
Another common issue Darrell sees in martech, is that too many marketers approach solving their problems solely through the collection of point solutions, rather than letting their customer experience and strategy lead the acquisition of technology.
“The challenge is having too many tech solutions in your stack,” says Darrell.
“Marketers tend to build their tech stacks like golf clubs; you get a driver, a putter, maybe need a wedge, but you aren’t 100% sure if you’ll need them. Just having technology to say you have it, isn’t a martech strategy. The right approach is to say, ‘ok, this is where we want to inject ourselves into the customer journey, this is the experience we want to cultivate,’ and build from there.”
“I say this all the time: you have to let strategy drive technology and not the other way around. Marketers need to pick outcomes that value the customer and generate value. Every martech stack should be bespoke, because your business is not like any other business. Be outcome driven, know what you want first, and then acquire the tech to help get you there.”
For more insights into strategy and martech, how to avoid data duplication, redundancy, and “shelfware,” and advice on how to measure and analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing technology, listen to the whole interview at the links provided above & below.
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