Mumbrella recently published a piece I wrote for the global Marketing Management Consultancy TrinityP3 on wasting marketing budgets with shiny technology installations.

It was in response to reading an article about McDonald’s ex-CMO, Mark Lollback. He was talking about his regret of spending $3M on Salesforce CRM technology. Most likely a robust ROI was not projected at the outset.

The article also created quite a wave of response on LinkedIn with many colleagues, peers and marketers making comment. Essentially agreeing to use the numbers to drive more logical decision making rather than being swayed by the amazing “sell” of tech vendors.

Here are just a few of the comments

“Are you saying that the average person who owns or runs a business doesn’t understand this basic? In short: How much do I need to sell to make a profit? If this is true, no wonder so many go to the wall.”

“Agree, it can all fall down in implementation without the right strategy, culture, processes, ability to demonstrate ROI and integration.. buying the tech isn’t the end game.. the magic doesn’t just happen after that”

“Exactly, Anton Buchner, a good summary why we should first make a business case before investing 3M USD into a CRM tool. Return-on-Investment is key. Thanks for the sharp analysis.”

“Well it could have always been worse. They could have gone with Oracle.”

“Agree completely, run the analysis!! Cost/ benefit. We’re admittedly not a CRM, we’re a site optimisation Martec, but we provide a ROI forecast as standard, we’ve created a tool that tells you what uplift in revenue you will get by utilising our SaaS to target long tail queries and to drive traffic from new customers (non-brand traffic) We also provide a 3 month Proof of Concept guarantee. We’re only suited to sites of over 1,500 pages indexed though”

“I suspect a lot of marketing budgets would be spent very differently if marketers routinely analysed TCO, ROI, and other business outcome KPIs.”

“This is heartbreaking. While I’ve no visibility on what McDonalds are actually doing with their investment in people, what I do know for sure… it is quite a disgrace that organisations are so willing spend so big on technologies that don’t deliver results – flushing money down the toilet – while their investment in people – those are actually accountable for making these things work – is below par. I’d like to see what would happen if a small, very small proportion of such monies was invested in long-term science-based resilience programs and what that would do for the company’s performance growth and results. 🧐

The opportunity

As you’ll see in the full article (from the link below), I’m not one to bash technology for technology’s sake. Quite the contrary. I love technology when it is thought through from a strategic perspective.

For effective loyalty programs (or CRM activity) businesses need to identify which consumer segments have the potential to grow. And for most heavy user segments (who are maxed out in terms of product purchase), you need to focus on improving the experience and treating them like VIPs rather than offering discounts and giveaways.

So I wonder which consumer segments McDonald’s were focussed on. Or whether they were still thinking mass marketing.

I came into the marketing and advertising industry at a time when Direct Marketing flourished in the 90s. And digital technology started to get applied in the early 2000s.

The basics haven’t changed. You still need to work out a projected ROI, and assess how technology can enable better marketing activity from a consumer’s perspective.

In the end, it’s all about harnessing technology to make a consumer’s experience better. And if you can focus your efforts on profitable experiences, then ultimately you are in good shape.

If you are just implementing high cost technology without a clear pathway for success, then you may be majoring in the minors. And like McDonald’s (and many other businesses) feel like your decision to write a big cheque was a big mistake.

If interested, then you can read the full article here

Like to leverage your MarTech investment for a better ROI?

If you’d like to review where your business is at with utilising technology for marketing, then please feel free to touch base with me here

I can help evolve your strategy and campaign utilisation.

Or through TrinityP3 we can assess how efficient and effective your technology investment is from team culture, structure, capability and process perspectives.