Between the Lines — The MarTech Paradox
Centralise but decentralise. Humanise, but also automate. The implementation of marketing technology (Martech) is almost paradoxical in its own right. The growing standards and demands of today’s market and customers place an expectation on businesses to keep pace with the ever-changing dynamics of marketing technologies and operations. Driving something as seemingly contradictory as Martech seems logistically unattainable, but is certainly achievable with the right steps in place.
Much like everything in life, handling Martech can be a balancing act. Several seemingly contradictory concepts come together to create something entirely new. The rules that govern the styles of marketing technologies and operations for the digital marketing landscape today, are often compared to a tug-of-war situation between concepts and practices. In reality, most of these paradoxes can be resolved by a simple change of perspective.
Centralising the Decentralised — Getting On the Same Wavelength
This particular paradox has been a much-discussed point within the martech crowd. And for good reason. Centralising while decentralising, where to draw the line between the two and determining whether it is really possible for them both to sit within the same plane of existence, sparks much debate. Put simply, the answer yes, — just not at opposite ends of a spectrum. The tug-of-war between prioritising centralisation or decentralisation has often been compared to a wavelength formula. This “tyranny-of-or” perspective limits the capabilities of a business to grow at the rate and speed it wants to.
That is where martech comes into the picture. It breaks the paradox and shows company executives that they can have their cake and eat it, too. Figuring out the best places to implement decentralisation, usually goes together with understanding the scales on which these two facets of a business should interact.
Centralisation helps the pipeline focus on three main factors — scale, power, and control. Within the realm of the sales pipeline, martech provides solutions that businesses can easily scale up to meet their processing needs as they grow. It also lends a hand to larger-scaled businesses in terms of streamlining their processes for a marked improvement in terms of efficiency and brand cohesion. This is how martech helps in terms of scale.
A unified and singular hub of power allows businesses to control the risks and liabilities that may threaten the overall productivity and efficiency of the company. Though it seems more than a little utilitarian, marketing technologies were created to do exactly that — to help businesses carry out their processes in ways that are as practical and functional as possible.
One of the key ways centralisation helps direct a business is through control. It goes without saying that utilising a singular marketing technology for your business’ process allows you the capability of setting boundaries. It allows consideration for how much freedom your business’ on-the-ground marketing team is given. This way, your brand goals and priorities are streamlined, no matter which tiers your teams are in.
So, where does this leave decentralisation? In the sales pipeline, it works best in areas that require agility, freedom, and flexibility. A decentralised perspective means data can be used across the board by different teams within the pipeline. They’re free to tailor the information towards a local perspective where necessary. This ability to handle and distribute information and data allows teams to focus on what they’re creating and how to create something of value.
Freedom is one of the key driving points of decentralisation. As the name suggests, decentralisation focuses on breaking away from the focus on a singular “centre” of control. This allows individuals and teams within a company to explore the realms of their capabilities without the restrictions of a centralised process.
Marketing technology has to offer some level of flexibility. In essence, one of the main reasons businesses do – and should – decentralise portions of their pipeline processes, is flexibility. Creating opportunities for your operations team to adapt, improvise and overcome challenges in the ways that best suit their needs, eases the process of problem-solving.
HubSpot, for example, creates a middle ground where both paradoxes of centralisation and decentralisation meet. As a standardised marketing technology platform, HubSpot provides tools for specialities like social media marketing, content management, and web analytics all in one place. This is the centralised part of martech use. The decentralised part comes in where each unique department or team is given free rein to utilise HubSpot in whichever way that suits their needs best, whether it’s integrated features from Salesforce, CRM tools, and more.
There is still a lot to be said about the processes in which martech blends together worlds that seem at odds with one another. But like the rest of the world, martech isn’t all black and white. The greys in between are where businesses should set their sights to ensure that they are getting the best of both worlds.