Over the past few weeks, we’ve highlighted the changes marketing teams have made to their technology stacks over the past year and found that despite the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, organizations have replaced many tools and platforms- shapes. However, the MarTech replacement investigation found that the pandemic had affected the way teams were put together to deal with these new technologies.
When asked if new staff were hired at the same time as the replacement, as many as 43% of 2019 survey respondents said they hired a new team. Only 26% have retrained existing staff, while 24% have adopted a mixed approach.
But in this latest survey, the answer was radically different. 55% have reconverted the existing team. Only 18% hired a new team. 24% reported a mix of new hires and retraining, while use of an outside agency fell from 8% to 3%.
We didn’t ask if this decision was linked to the pandemic, but it’s easy to imagine it was a time to avoid throwing people adrift or adding staff in uncertain economic conditions.
Replacement Housing: Building a Home Video Player
The full-service Mediavine advertising management platform manages the digital advertising load for some 8,000 publishers. Last year, amid pandemic lockdowns, a fair number of advertisers withdrew, straining publisher budgets across many categories, including travel and consumer packaged goods.
At the same time, the public was consuming a lot more digital content. But what was the point of running a toilet paper ad when no roll was in stock?
âWe tried to figure out what we could do to be creative and increase our partners’ revenues,â said Phil Bohn, senior vice president of sales and revenue at Mediavine.
Rather than buying an out-of-the-box solution, Mediavine decided to create its own outstream video player, a type of technology that allows publishers to serve video ads without producing their own video content.
âWe have probably doubled our engineering sources over the past year, hiring over 40 people and currently filling 15 other open positions,â Bohn said.
“With the increase in stocks and the lack of demand during the pandemic, we have created an internal PSA program,” he added. If no ad is served through a particular ad space, publishers can choose to run PSAs.
Almost half influenced by the pandemic
When we asked respondents whether the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic were factored into decisions to replace marketing technology, the audience was divided, with the slight majority (52%) in favor of no. It’s close enough to be a virtual tie.
This is surprising because the general perception is that the events of the last year at 15 months created an environment where brands needed to dramatically accelerate a digital transformation that for many was already underway. It was a time when brands were forced to find new, effective (and empathetic) ways to interact with customers who no longer showed up to in-person meetings and demonstrations or visited retail stores.
Read more : More and more executives advocate for marketing technology replacements
The types of replacements we saw – marketing automation, email delivery – seemed consistent with the story of digital transformation linked to the pandemic. But it may be too simple. Maybe we really envision a realization of plans that were underway before COVID-19, and that were motivated by other considerations.
Replacement case: Consolidation of project management
Three years ago, when Casey Bolduc joined the Massachusetts-based solar power company ACE Solar, project management was not tied to a central tool.
âMuch of the industry uses spreadsheets,â Bolduc said. âOne of my main missions was to integrate my team, to rationalize and to automate to gain in efficiency. I’ve had a lot of flexibility with integrations, making sure things can be integrated, not just on the marketing side, but with operations.
Bolduc opted for Scoop Solar, a project management solution specifically geared towards the solar industry.
Managing workflow and projects on a single platform has eliminated manual email communications and disjointed data sharing.
ACE Solar executes solar energy projects for commercial and residential buildings throughout New England. Depending on the state of the project, there are a number of forms that must be found by contractors and others involved. All of these forms are easily accessible through Scoop.
Having a unified workflow means marketing can work with field operations. For example, an image of a new project can be used by marketing to show other prospects.
âWe had previously done remote site visits and assessments,â Bolduc said. âCOVID-19 actually made it easier, with people making appointments on Calendly and meeting on Google Meet. “