Which consultants could recommend marketing software?
August 23, 2018 12:19 PM   Subscribe

My org has grow past the phase of simply looking at something at a conference and saying "oooh that looks cool" and instead are looking for a consultant to look at our marketing software stack/eco-system and recommend a better solution (if one exists).

This seems pretty simple but in speaking to companies like Gartner they same to have this giant suite of solutions but we are just looking for "based on your business models, processes, etc you should not be using product X for your email or product Y for your CRM, but should instead consider product A for email and product B for CRM". Is there any company that can perform this task? Just looking for a recommendation as a deliverable - not development or ongoing consulting, etc.
posted by UMDirector to Work & Money (3 answers total)
The tech consulting and/or business process consulting wings of pretty much any Big 4 or second tier accounting/audit firm would happily take on this type of project if it's at the right scale.
posted by BrandonW at 12:55 PM on August 23, 2018

I do this as part of my work at a medium-sized marketing consultancy; any similar consultancy should be able to do this for you. Look for something local, ideally a consultancy that doesn’t solely work with Salesforce or other tool.

If I were scoping this project I would allow a lot of time for discovery (sitting with your team to understand business needs and existing systems). This sometimes seems unnecessary to clients, but it’s the best way to ensure there are no surprises and that the delivered recommendations truly meet their needs.
posted by third word on a random page at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would look beyond the Big 4 for marketing consulting. They tend to be expensive, understaffed (or woefully over-staffed), and addicted to proprietary frameworks that often fail to account for the nuances of individual businesses. My firm wanted to perform an analytics-focused marketing assessment (for our type of business, what should we be measuring and what changes would be needed to start measuring it from a people, process and technology standpoint) and got a good recommendation from Dirk at https://www.itsma.com/ for a consulting firm that we were very happy with. Their deliverable was a roadmap of recommended changes, which we'll now prioritize and possibly engage with them to implement.

That being said, I think this brief boils down to "do we have the right tools for what we want to do?" -- the very first question from a good consultant will be "well, what do you want to do?" I think if you already have a good handle on that, the question of "does our current technology facilitate this?" is pretty easy to deduce on your own.

If you find that your technology is NOT facilitating the things you want to be doing, then you can get much more detailed in your brief, which will generally lead to a better consulting engagement.


If you have priority accounts in your business, does your current tech setup allow you to see a single view of all activity for those priority accounts easily?

Do you need to automate campaign activities to help senior people focus on the strategic items rather than day-to-day campaign management? Does your technology allow you to automate campaign activities?

I think reviewing some of these questions beforehand will be helpful. That way the brief could be "help us find a marketing automation tool that integrates with our current marketing technology" or "help us choose a data integration provider to help form a single view of accounts", etc.

We have found over and over that good processes and well-articulated goals are the key to success -- the technology tools make the good processes less labor intensive/more efficient, but are no substitute for them.

If you don't know what you're trying to accomplish in marketing, then engage a consultant to better understand what you should be working toward--we were in that boat and are now much better prepared to make more costly decisions about technology.
posted by undercoverhuwaaah at 2:18 PM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

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