Seriously, how much marketing technology do you really need?

more technology 1

Don’t get too hung up on technology. You probably have all the tools you need right now to build a sustainable ecommerce business.

I’m thinking you already have access to your Facebook Ads campaigns where you can deliver relevant messages to relevant audiences?

I’m guessing you have the platform (one of the big four: Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento or BigCommerce) that allocates you the space to present the products you make & the reason people need what you sell. A place where you can support that message with imagery and video either created by your brand or your customer. A place where people can shop, with ease.

There’s a great chance that you already have an email subscriber list. A collection of people. People that have either bought from you or are, at the very least, interested in what you do.

The technology that runs that list will, more than likely, allow you the opportunity to send email based upon the behaviour of your subscriber. Be that an email sent to a potential customer part way through buying what you sell.

And I know you have Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel installed. You already have access to tremendous insight into what people are doing when they visit your store.

Finally, there are the tools to respond. Messenger and chat bots ready to serve.

You have a place to advertise. A place to sell. The tools to communicate. And yet you still want more?

You probably have what you need

My advice is to make better use of what you already have. Focus your efforts on the message, not the mechanism. Words. Images. Video. The connectors.

  • what message will stop people in their tracks to hear what you have to help them?
  • what stories can you tell of the people that make and use what you sell?
  • what narrative underpins the very work that you do? How will you communicate this across a series of messages to retain interest and build community?

You can spend too much time in your day reading about, or pursuing, technology that you don’t necessarily need. Looking for whatever is next.

The desire for new technology is unnecessary.

I am playing devil’s advocate here. A lot of my time is spent helping clients get a deeper understanding of the tools of the ecommerce trade. What I do see is the jump from one piece of technology to another. Unnecessarily so. We’re expecting too much ‘out of the box’ with the technology we accumulate as ecommerce marketers. There is work to be done. To truly take advantage of the capabilities marketing technology has to offer us.

Testing times for technology

The tools you have, will they allow you to run tests? A/B testing copy from first click to conversion is crucial and yet I rarely see a marketer use technology to better the customer experience in this way. Can you use your technology to learn how to influence people to buy through active and continual optimisation?

The ecommerce industry’s choice voices are the software makers. The instigators of the ‘more is better’ mindset. Software providers that are interested in enterprise clients – where the need for technology, in productivity terms, is different. Damn fine tradespeople rarely have an abundance of shiny new tools in their toolbag. They know what they need and they use it well. It’s the same for marketers.

Technology talk is a natural distraction. The case studies. The promises of growth. 1x. 10x. You just need to accept that ‘free 7 day trial’.

No you don’t.

The continued pursuit of new technology is a massive distraction from the work that really matters

You already have access to technology that allows you to do wonderful things. I suggest you put the research to one side and focus in on what really matters. Get to know the technology you already have.

  • continuously test and learn through your Facebook ads
  • understand the essence of timing with your communications
  • gather insight from data rather than staring at meaningless numbers
  • make it easier to shop your store without distraction

Most importantly, focus your time and energy on crafting those simple messages that make what you make matter. That’s where your money is made.

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


First employee of an ecommerce startup back in 1998. I've been using building and growing ecommerce brands ever since (including my own). Get weekly growth lessons from my own work delivered to your inbox below.

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