Value of Working with a Technology Partner

Mythili Viswanathan, PhD

Champions have trainers. The best of the best still have coaches and a team that help them be even better and help them maintain their physical and mental health. I love tennis, and although on the court tennis is a one-(wo)man show, there are countless people behind the scenes who help the athlete maintain their strength, stamina, and integrity.

What value do these coaches, trainers (both physical and mental support), and health experts  bring? They help make it possible for the greats like Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to keep dominating the tennis world, but also know their human limits. These amazing players hire a team. This team is what guides them through each day, week, month and year of their lives to achieve their goals. It’s a lifelong partnership that promotes growth and success. So really, tennis is actually not a one-person sport. It’s a team effort where both sides are accountable for success – to help them adapt, react, and modify their skills over time so they can last long and play against younger opponents.

Champions stay champions by consistently training to be better, faster, and stronger and they achieve this by having the right experts to support them. Even sports teams need trainers, experts, advisors and doctors to ensure they succeed. So, why don’t marketing teams prescribe to this plan? Having a trusted technology partner who can support your growth and education the way an athlete’s coach, trainers, and health experts do can set you apart from your competition. Let’s examine some of the ways in which partners help your organization stay at the top of its game.

Knowledge. The shots you take to hit a winner will be guided by experience and knowledge. Without a trusted partner, you might as well lob the ball over the net and let it flop away instead of attempting to serve an ace. Knowledge is key to any type of success.

  • We never know enough about something. As things change, we need to keep learning. A partner can advise you on what’s out there and most importantly, help you ensure your chosen revtech (martech + sales tech) stack works like a well-oiled machine. They can see the bigger picture; help you fill in the gaps and help you learn more. You constantly need to learn, keep up, and develop your skills within your chosen technologies to stay ahead of your game. You can’t rely on what you learned 10 years ago to help you get ahead today. It won’t work.
  • A partner knows what’s current, what’s new, what’s old and most of all, will get to know you and your marketing strategy and help you make the right choices and not succumb to the shiny new objects that you may be drawn to. New tech is great, but it has to be the right tech for you.

  • Team turnaround is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Onboarding a new person to take over from someone who was well established in their role on your marketing team is a challenge. Having a partner will help the new team member understand the WHAT and the WHY of your various solutions in a given technology, and the choices/reasons behind your revtech stack.

Strategy-Technology Alignment. A partner can help you align your strategy with your technologies and will be able to advise on other technologies you need to add to close the gap.

  • Technology is only as good as your marketing strategy and its often hard to figure out what the strategy should be and how to get the most of out the tech you have. If you have a marketing automation platform that offers robust personalization options, but you don’t have a solid strategy around targeting and personalization, you’re wasting a valuable feature and losing out on maximizing your technology investment. 

  • The last thing you want to do is outgrow your technology. If your technology limits your planned strategy, a partner can advise you on other technologies to add to your stack, or even to migrate to. 

ROI. The dreaded acronym does not have to be so dreaded. You spend 1000s upon 1000s of dollars on your revtech stack, but what is the actual ROI?

  • A partner can help you take a wholistic approach in analyzing the value of your technologies. Having an effective marketing strategy is one part of the puzzle, but the other part is to work with a partner who can help you develop a plan to grow into a technology. You want to get what you can out of your investment right?

Growth, Success and the Truth. 

  • Working with blinders on is detrimental to the growth of your organization and individuals on your team. I often see technology “gatekeepers” on teams where one person thinks they know everything and when this person leaves, or someone looks into the solutions they’ve built, it may not be what you expected. They may have created solutions that hinder progress or worse, waste precious time and money. Consulting with a partner can alleviate what I like to call “the gatekeeper syndrome”. Humility is key for success. A partner can keep you and your team in check. A self-proclaimed know-it-all is the last thing an organization needs.

  • Goals. What are they? Often, organizations get stuck in the day-to-day. What is the bigger picture? Why do you have x,y and z technologies? A partner can help you remain goal-aligned and not lose perspective.

  • Truth. A good partner will tell you if you’re heading down a broken path or veering off course. There’s nothing worse than making an isolated decision, without input from experts, that leads you to nowhere. That’s on you and is a failure in your thinking. Avoid this at all costs. 

  • A great partnership is when you involve your technology partner in your technology evaluations and in your quarterly and annual planning process. The insights these meetings can give a partner are priceless for your growth and success.

I have only scratched the surface here on the value of working with a partner. Bottom line, the best of the best, the champions and winners are not alone when they succeed. The team supporting, advising, educating, and sustaining them is what leads to their continued growth and success. So, when are you going to call me for help? I am waiting. 

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