Why martech purchase decisions get delayed

Thursday 05th, November 2015

As a company Xerago has done numerous martech implementations over the last 10+ years. This has given us an unique opportunity to assess how clients respond to martech presentations and we share some of these insights with the hope that these will help, if you’re presently considering such an investment or are in the middle of an implementation.

1. There is no such thing as ‘a right time’. The time is always now.

We often hear clients offer us a variety of reasons to postpone a decision to buy, but one major reason that always seems to crop us is a perception that a client’s internal organisation is ‘not ready’.

Now, readiness is not a goal or a destination; it is a moving journey. And what a journey it is going to be! There will be staffing issues, readiness issues, training issues, budget issues and all kinds of issues all the time.

The key question as CMO to ask is really this: Can we afford to be caught napping when nimbler competitors are deploying technology, when customers are becoming ever more demanding and when whole business models are being re-shaped almost overnight?

2) ‘I want the best technology, the best support, the best price…’

There is no such thing as an ideal or a ‘best’ solution. By all means, go through the rigours of a functional, technical and commercial evaluation but recognise that the next better solution is just around the corner. CTOs agonise about whether to lock-in with this or that vendor, but the reality is that there will always be a multiplicity of proprietary systems, technology environments and the like.

At Xerago, we have time and again helped customers resolve such knotty issues and get the different parts of the puzzle to fit. An execution partner can and will bring better value to the table once the installation is completed, rather than the original vendor.

This is really the rough end of the stick and we would be the last to claim that everything goes according to plan, each time. But if we recognise that there is scope for implementation going off target and plan accordingly, the pain points can be better managed.

3) ‘This is not for us’

This has to be one of those statements that reveal an inability to comprehend the big picture, of just how quickly things are changing in the business landscape. There is the popular anecdote of the great Mr. Tom Watson, Sr who founded IBM and who is said (in 1943) to have assessed the size of the computer market at 5 per year! So much for prophecies.

We have time and again come across customers in certain sectors such as FMCG/CPG, pharmaceuticals etc who have expressed complete disinterest in investing in martech. The reasoning given is, there is no immediate requirement. The customer is a faceless entity and there is little or no contact with her.

This may be true to an extent, but categories which even a few years ago did not see the influence of e-commerce are today adapting themselves. Who would have thought that groceries, fresh vegetables and fruit could all be ordered and delivered online? BigBasket, Grofers and many such business models are a reality. They’re putting a face and a name to a once faceless customer, opening the door for data mining and creating future opportunities.

And that is the reality that no CMO – whether from a new-age or traditional – industry can ignore.


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