11 November 2017
As I’m driving my car, do I need to be double-checking if the car’s systems are properly calculating oil levels, tire pressure, and if the locks actually work? Do I need to drive and hang out the back to see if the brake lights go on while I’m pressing the brakes? Ludicrous, right?
And yet. This is my state as a marketing leader. My boss expects the car to work as advertised and truly cannot comprehend that it doesn’t. And fair enough. But it doesn’t.
The dirty little secret for many companies today is the digital infrastructure for data-driven decisions is often pathetic, at best.
One of the key reasons the MarTech landscape has exploded is a proliferation of bandaid tech to fill the gaps that the foundational tech is missing.
Users have grown so used to tech that doesn’t integrate, and workarounds are just our status quo, that not many of us even acknowledge this isn’t how this is supposed to be. Heck, “Hacks” are even considered sexy.
You know what should be sexy? Efficacious results.
We’re slammed scrambling to deliver results in an environment of bizarre expectations. The hype the MarTech community builds to get funding has permeated every corner of our being. For years.
It’s crazy-making. Trying to solve for these issues, whilst also leading a team, connecting dots, clutching data across moats and keep up with the Jones.
Here are two lads with better, more succinct examples of the nightmare users have to deal with:
Avinash Kaushik on Facebook’s Measurement Errors
Out of all the channels and apps, these are just two examples deconstructed by a couple of the world’s smartest folks in that space. Just. Two. Examples. Marketers deal with these issues everyday. With all the tech. The productivity suck is mind-numbing.
So, if this is the state of current MarTech, why are we pinning our hopes on the new tech?
The same ecosystem is producing it.
For instance, from MIT Tech Review: Biased Algorithms Are Everywhere, and No One Seems to Care
The Polly Pureheart in me wants to believe this is all just new and we simply all need to be more careful in what we develop and none of this is designed to be purposefully misleading – at worst it’s sloppy or lazy structure, development, architecture. Possibly??
Regardless of which it is, though, purposeful or sloppy – we are better than this, y’all. Aren’t we?
How do we get better collectively?
Business can’t afford for their internal teams to be constantly checking the veracity of the tools we are using – especially as the tech stack grows. It’s an impossible task.
A couple suggestions
- Demand better. Insist on seeing the integrations. Insist on transparency to attribution gaps. Before. You. Buy.
- After you buy, engage your vendors’ success team. Let them know what’s not working. Hold them accountable.
- Talk to other users. Talk to your friends and colleagues – they’re the ones who will give you the straight scoop.
And here’s where the free press worldwide can help to hold the newsmakers accountable.
- Talk to users – and not just happy users. Actively solicit user feedback from all users.
- Ask uncomfortable questions.
- Find out what is and isn’t working in the category
- Look behind the UI and the pitch decks
If Present is Prologue, we’re not gonna make it through Act One.