In the new world of the after-effects of the pandemic, many companies are focusing on becoming leaner and how they can do more with less. That applies to all areas of an organization, including your marketing stack.

Today, more than ever, it is a great moment to re-evaluate what you need and cut the fat. 

With so many point solutions on the market, there had been the temptation before to use multiple tools, even if you were not sure of the ROI. “ROI takes time to calculate and the features sounded cool and it is not a lot of money.” Sounds familiar?

Ten plus tools later, we created a maze where many times because of lack of integration and fluidity between the tools, the time the tool saves, we spend repeating the data and accounting for mistakes in the process, sometimes resulting in a net-zero or worst negative ROI produce by the tool.

In fitness, being lean and strong is a common goal, but many people do not realize the tradeoffs, while you will need to focus on strength, you will lose some muscle in the process. Here, it is not different. You will lose features in this process, just not the ones that make you strong.  Another commonality is that with fitness you need a plan to become lean and strong, no secret, that it applies here too.

Next, let’s talk about strength, which here is related to the automation, and what it entails. We have heard many times that automation is paramount in digital marketing, but what kind of automation? The one that allows me to automate an inefficient process? Or the automation that brings me higher profit? Easy answer, correct? But the devil is in the details. 

The plan to get to a leaner but stronger technology marketing stack starts with a question:

1. What is my value proposition and differentiator and what level of automation do I need/want to support it and be profitable?
Hint: you can automate as little or as much of you want. 

You will need to reach alignment on this because it will become a guideline for any of the next steps. Once you have laid the law of the land, and therefore you have your golden rules, you will know what to say “No” to, which is more important than the “Yes”. 

Now, we are ready to start.

2. Situation Analysis

What is your situation today? Draw the flow that takes place from the moment you get an order to the moment you deliver your services, and then what you need to do to support and report.  

What tools do you use in each step? Which features do you use of that tool for that step? What happened if you did not have it? How long does each step take and how many people are involved in performing it?. As you continue with your situation analysis you are building an evaluation chart of your marketing stack and your operations.

3. Where do you want to be? 

Here is where we lay out the tactical goals. You want to be lean and strong, but it will not work unless you have clear objectives. You want to lose 15 pounds and be able to bench-press 100 pounds. 

4. Imagine I’m there

Next, comes the fun! Let’s imagine we are lean and strong. 

We had removed every tool in our list where we are not using 70-80% of the features, we will minimize the number of people involved, and we will eliminate every step where a person has to re-enter information replacing it with integration.  We lowered the number of tools we used and the number of people and we have listed, and every place where we need an integration or a more encompassing platform.

We have removed all the fat and we automate to the full extent which means, I press a button, and magic happens. 

How would this affect my processes and services?

List everything you will no longer be able to do.  Hint: if your list is empty, or has few items, you have not removed enough and you have not automated enough. 

Once you are done with the “No” list, go back to Step 1, can I still support my value proposition and differentiation. If the answer is “Yes” you are on the way to greatness, my friend. If the answer is “No”, then iterate removing the “No” that compromises your value prop or differentiation and add it back to your process. 

As you might suspect, this game is won by eliminating as few “No’s” as possible.
If you need help executing this process, we have a workshop where we can assist you in performing this exercise.
When you are on the route to automation check out our Chassis platform, created with automation in mind. 

We all need to do more with less and automating is how we get lean and strong.