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Clever Content Club Blog

Strategy First - Then Technology

By Tom Salvat 29 May, 2019 0 Comments

When the latest version of an iPhone is set to release, die-hard Apple fans and individuals who need "the best and latest" offering from the world's top tech company line up to get it. These individuals are committed to spending hundreds (or even a cool thousand) to purchase a piece of technology that hasn't even seen the light of day. (Tim Cook's keynote speeches going over new product features do not count.)

When the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max came out in late 2018, people were quick to adopt them because, again, they were eye catchy and "shiny" in terms of tech features. But they were not without problems. On the website Tom's Guide, Monica Chin wrote about the most pressing issues that early adopters of these two phones were experiencing.

Some of the issues included:

  • The phones were not charging when the display screen was off
  • Having a poor LTE/Wi-Fi reception
  • Front-facing (selfie) camera smooths skin (excessively blurs) versus the back-facing camera, which was normal.

These issues could have been avoided had these early adopters stayed with their original phones. (We promise we are not faulting them. It is their hard earned money, and we too enjoy shiny things.) While we give them major kudos for being technology pioneers, we should also thank them for a great content marketing lesson:

Technology, while it can be helpful, isn't everything—especially when it adds issues that weren’t there before.

Marketing Automation, AI, Strategy, & You

We know how beneficial marketing automation software can be for finding the best ways to connect with customers and how powerful artificial intelligence is able to mine through data in seconds and help us make insights we would otherwise miss is invaluable. But there are times with technology can detract from our strategy, and there are times you need to ignore tech-based insights.

Say it again with us: Do not let technology jeopardize your strategy.

And by that we mean that you should not look to technology to solve all your problems. Just having technology is a necessary but not sufficient strategy! Of course, such marketing technology can be a game changer, but your strategy should come first and foremost.

So how do you incorporate a shiny new technology into your business without letting it outshine your strategy?

Technology Incorporation Considerations

To make sure your strategy shines and works for you the way it is supposed to, here are some considerations to keep in mind.

You Need the Right Technology

Even if a piece of technology has a ton of features or is even used by all your competitors, that does not automatically make it right for you. Ask yourself: does it help you advance your strategy? Does it have maybe one feature that you really need and the others you don't?

When shopping around for marketing tech, it’s natural to examine pricing, features, number of users, ratings, and more. But the first box you should check off is whether those things align with your strategy. If it is an okay fit, put it to the side and continue shopping around. Nothing with ever be 100% an ideal fit for you (unless you create it yourself), so look for one that has most of what you need.

Do Not Sacrifice User Experience

Another consideration for selecting technology, in addition to advancing your strategy, you also need to make sure that your technology will improve user experience. Tech like chat functions and AI that can suggest blog posts for visitors to read are great, but you have to make sure those are things that will foster the type of user experience you are trying to create, whether externally or internally.

If a piece of technology helps your strategy but detracts from user experience, move on and find something else. Strategy is at the forefront, but if you have to sacrifice user experience to achieve it, the tradeoff isn’t likely worth it.

Use Technology to Its Potential

If you are pretty savvy when it comes to smartphones, you are probably one of the people who forego reading the manual that spells out the features and capabilities of the phone and instead take a deep dive to discover it all for yourself.

Now imagine that you have had your phone for several months and come across a feature on accident, or your friend, who has the same phone, says one day, "Hey, check this out."

You: "Whoa, I didn't know the phone could do that."

If you have also said the same sentence regarding any of your marketing automation software or other technology, it is time to press pause for a quick break.

What is the point of paying for a tool if you won't use it to its potential? It's like only using 25% of a battery's "juice."

Whatever tech you use in your stack, contact your sales rep to see if you can get some one-on-one or team training to learn how to use the software. Sometimes the company will offer webinars or video tutorials that provide an overview or go in depth on certain features. You may (or already are) paying for it, so take full advantage!

Use Technology to Your Benefit

So, we know that strategy comes first and foremost before technology. Your strategy is your roadmap to success, and the technology is a car. A Lexus will get you to the same place as a Ford, but the journey will vary. Some may be able to afford a luxury car with leather seats. Others may not want all the bells and whistles. That's why you need to shop around and find what is best for you.

Now that you have the right technology for your strategy, it is time to put it to work.

Chat Feature

Implementing a chat feature is a great way to not only foster positive customer or client relationships but also help lead your customers through the buying cycle. No matter what stage your customer is in, you will be able to help them. Needing more information? Handled. Want to know return policy? Answered. Need product comparisons? Consider them compared.

A chat function is a great tool to use to meet any of your conversion goals, from signing up for a newsletter to someone asking for a product demo.

Content Strategy Platform

Having a platform like CONCURED that can help you strategize your content is primo. Knowing exactly what content will resonate with your audience is important because it will help you close the gaps between your company and your audience and increase conversions. Nothing like having an actualized strategy, right?

Our software can do just that and then some. (We aren't biased or anything, but it's a great tool to have in your bag of tricks.) It helps you take the guesswork out of content marketing so that you can see proven return on investment. Benchmark your content against competitors', and learn exactly what kind of content you should be writing.

Analytics

An analytics platform will help you dig up gold that you never would have realized was there otherwise. There is too much competition and not enough resources to waste time and money in trying to guess our way through what does and does not work. What third-party sources (e.g., social media) draw the most traffic? When customers land on a page and stay there, what prompts them to stay versus pages where there is a lot of bounced traffic? How well are we hitting our goals? What's our conversion rate? What is our near conversion rate (and why wasn't it a full conversion)?

This information is crucial, but for it to be any benefit, we must be able to decipher it and figure out our next game move when it comes to our strategy.

A Quick Recap

Technology is awesome. With its endless capabilities and vast applications, who knows where it—specifically, marketing technology—will take us. But no matter what new software, platform, or artificial intelligence tech is released later today, tomorrow or this month or this year, we cannot allow ourselves to get drawn into the immense appeal if its newness. Stop and think, "Strategy." Will it help or hinder?

Whatever your strategy is—whatever goals you may have or methods of getting there—that should be your primary focus. Technology comes second.

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