How to scale for marketing success: Don't bite off more than you can chew

When it comes to the architecture of your martech stack, marketers shouldn't bite off more than they can chew, says The Pedowitz Group's Lauren Kincke

In a very real way you can halt your progress by trying to tackle too much at once. Think about it in non-work terms and 1 January is barely in the rear-view mirror. How many people set up big hairy New Year’s resolutions and by now have let them fall off by the wayside? My comment is not to say anything negative about people who have shifted goals; it’s to point out that the bigger the objective, the harder it is to stay the course. As it is in life, it is at work… trying to optimize your MAP, CRM, CMS, Web Analytics, and your business processes in a six-week span might be stretching you thin, especially since you also likely have an actual day job to perform.

Scale back to scale up

Each part of this series has identified foundational things you need to do before you undertake a full analysis of your martech stack. The final piece of the puzzle is in how you scope and execute projects. I touched on this topic a bit previously when discussing the impact that organizational culture and attitudes towards change can have, specifically around being rigid with process and becoming more agile. The first lesson for successful execution: don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Traditional waterfall approaches to project management emphasize understanding everything up front and executing consecutive steps without shifting requirements. In today’s fast-paced environment that simply does not work. Now we must understand the larger context, pick the right starting point, be ready to move quickly and adapt as changes occur.

The right team for the right project

The second part of scaling for success is resourcing for success. This sounds obvious, but think about being a project manager for a minute. How will you resource your project? If everyone working on the project has a full-time job outside of the project, you need to factor that into both the timeline and scope. Understand priorities, not just how your project fits into the larger context of the organization’s priorities, but also how it fits into each team member’s priorities.  

You also need to be sure to build the right team for the project by understanding the skill sets required and motivations. If you have been following along through the series, you will want to hand pick a team who is not resistant to change and who readily willing and able to collaborate across departmental lines. 

My hope is that with these five articles I have given you some food for thought before you begin architecting your martech stack. The process you undertake matters just as much, if not more than what technologies you purchase. Ultimately, it's this thoughtful process that will drive your team to achieve a successful outcome.