Buying your next ‘Magic Tool!’ Conversion Sweetspots Series
AKA ‘How to select a tool in 7 steps’ by Michiel Jansen
Do you know that feeling? You look around a meeting room and you see an eclectic group of professionals 10 -12 people. Some fixed hires, most flexible hires. Why? Because they have jobs that the fixed hires didn’t knew existed 1 year ago. Programmatic Real Time Bidding, R Big Data-specialist, AI specialist etc. Then some business owners and the Enterprise Sales Guy and Pre-sales consultant pitching their dream to your CTO, CMO, CBO etc.
Help! Does anyone know what we are doing here?
More importantly? Does anyone know what we are doing here? More often than not these meetings are organized around the selection process or recent acquisition of a ‘Magic’ tool. A multichannel tool, a DMP, CRM or Personalisation engine, algorithm.
The marketeers suggest using the Sex in the City Model, the Data scientist suggest first building a database and then the tool will suggest itself what to do. Magic will happen!
These set-ups are great for dealing with my fear that machines will take over Marketing & Website Optimisation. That I will be outperformed by an algorithm very soon.
The one question to ask
I usually go into these meeting with one question and one question only. This questions reduces all ‘Technology Non-sense’ to one simple thing!
What do we actually want to achieve? You can imagine that this opens up a world of questions, mismatches, opinions, beliefs and errors. The simpler the question the harder for al the Specialists to answer it. Why? This is when you can see that no one knows what the priorities are in the company. Everyone just knows they are not as successful as management has promised the owners they would be. So they seek for the answer in the Enigma: the new tool. While the answer is not to be found there.
Think like a carpenter, not like a consultant
Next time you think about using a new tool: Ask yourself first! What is the next best action you want a visitor to take? Ask yourself secondly; Can we increase this change by improving our product or reducing friction, adding some piece of mind? Wouldn’t increasing your Value add not be better then adding a new tool. Only if you think you have reached the end of improving your product and service: then think about a new tool.
How to select a tool in 7 steps
If you buy a new tool: Make sure you actually know what you want it to do. So don’t treat it like an Enigma treat it like: Think like a carpenter, not like a consultant.
- Consider what happend all previous times you bought a magic system: don’t expect a different outcome this time. If it was a disaster then, it will be a disaster know. If it went great then: great you are working in a company that can ‘deal’ with new technology!
- Understand what you actually want it to do!!!!!?
- Understand what it would deliver if this actually happened.
- Consider if you can swap the tool for something else easily in 2 years or that you are stuck.
- Don’t listen to the enterprise sales person!
- Listen to the employees in your company actually delivering end-customer value
- Proof it first, then scale! If they don’t want to do a realistic Proof of Concept: walk away!
What are your experiences with buying Magic Tools: the next big thing?