The holidays can be quite a busy time for marketers. Between the events, promotions and holiday greetings, it can be hard to keep it all straight! As you’re winding down from the holiday frenzy, do you find yourself thinking about how you could make next year’s holiday season just a little less crazy?

If getting your content pieces out the door feels more like herding cats than cultivating creative genius, it may be time to look at your operations and marketing technology. We all wish there was a magical cat-herding tool. Unfortunately, since that has yet to be invented, marketers are left trying to decipher a landscape of thousands of tools — all claiming to meet their marketing operations needs.

The truth is, choosing and implementing a new marketing technology tool is never again going to be a one-time deal. Since new solutions and software are constantly being introduced, marketers need to change their mindset and make new technology an expected part of their regular responsibilities.

It’s easy to let process documentation sit in the corner collecting dust and put off trying out new technology because, well, who has time for that? Oftentimes, marketing teams wait to learn about new tools until they need it — or the CEO suddenly decides she thinks that your organization should have a Snapchat account and you need a tool to manage it.

Don’t wait until you have a problem to start learning about the technology options that are out there. Keeping in touch with the marketing community is a key way to stay in-the-know about martech. Setting aside a little bit of time on a regular basis to learn about trends and new tech can make it feel a lot less overwhelming when the day comes to choose a new tool. There are lots of ways to do this, but here are a few:

  • Attend networking events and make it a point to ask your peers about what kind of technology they like and don’t like -- and why.
  • Keep a list (spreadsheet, note on your phone, email folder, or little black book) of the tools you think are interesting and may have some application in your organization someday.
  • Attend events that let you hear from marketing leaders in your area.
  • Follow marketing organizations on social media to get quick bites of insight on new tech and other industry trends. You can find AMADC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Sign up for email newsletters from organizations that write product reviews or operations-focused content. If you think you might be interested in a specific tool, check out the blog or email newsletter of that company. Often, tech companies will share best practices and how current customers are using their products.

New tech is the new normal. Leveraging your network can be an easy way to be ready with the perfect martech solution — or at least a short list to work from — when your organization is ready to invest in the future.

Jenna Strahm is a content marketer specializing in marketing operations. Connect with her on Twitter, @jenna_ps, or LinkedIn.



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