How to Know When Your Marketing Tech is Holding You Back

midsection of person in front of desk with keyboard, mouse, coffee cup and monitor to denote marketing tech

Have you ever tried putting on a pair of pants, straight out of the dryer, and found yourself doing the pants dance? Those not-so-slick moves where you have to jump around just to get the zipper up and the clasp buttoned? Maybe it’s just me… It’s an awkward, pretty ridiculous, but effective solution to shrunken pants.

Running your marketing engine with tech that’s holding you back can feel similar. Chances are at one time your tech did fit, but now and then you find yourself really pushing to make it work, and you’re feeling the squeeze (for those unfamiliar, the pants are usually pretty snug after the pants dance).

These are a few of the tell-tale signs your marketing tech could be holding you back.You’re Not Able to Answer the Right QuestionsThis can happen if find yourself feeling like you’ve teleported back to the days of liquor and guessing, even if you know there has to be a better way. Furrowed brow, maybe even a bit lip, you might be hoping the answer will come to you in a vision or moment of clarity.


Hopefully this is a dying perception.

You’ll know you’ve arrived here if you are able to answer basic questions like, “how much revenue did we make in the month of May?” but are struggling to drill down with certainty on the answers to more complex questions like, “was it the email campaign we sent or the Facebook ad that led to more revenue in May?”

As a marketer, you should be able to speak with certainty about which of your marketing activities and programs are contributing to success. Here are a few example questions that you should want clear answers to for your ecommerce business:

  • Which marketing activities are affecting sales?
  • Which email is performing better (via A/B test)?
  • Are there repeat patterns that buyers seem to be taking?
    Ex. 20% of customers put a particular product in a cart and abandon, but upon receiving a win-back email offering a 15% discount, 36% of those recipients purchased.
  • How many interactions with my brand does it take for someone to purchase?
  • How are customers finding my website?

You Keep Saying, “If Only There were a Way”Many technology solutions are not built for marketers, but instead for someone with one particular pain point. As your business and needs grow, often the tech doesn’t stay in line to your needs. This can lead to feeling that your creativity is being limited by your tech.

If you find yourself regularly dreaming up new feature requests for a product, that’s a good indicator that it is time to explore new solutions or approaches.You’re Scrambling to Keep UpAt Klaviyo, we see this all the time — an ecommerce store kicks into high gear and the marketing team is left scrambling. They are usually spending hours on the same tasks week over week and month over month. It can be a fast track to burning out, unhappy customers, and can leave you feeling like a windup monkey.

windupmonkeyThe problem is pretty straightforward– their current tech is just too manual. It’s time for these businesses to automate more of their processes and invest into more sophisticated solutions.

These are a few things to consider automating:

  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Reports
  • Win-Back Emails
  • Customer Satisfaction Communications (NPS)
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Welcome/Onboarding Emails
  • Post-Purchase Follow Up/Product Review Emails

Your Competitors are Making Strides, FastIf you keep hearing a senior level executive ask, “why aren’t we doing that?” or “how are they doing that?” in regards to your marketing or the competition, you might be feeling a bit in the dark.

You should be scoping out your competitor’s web experiences using a tool like Crayon to see how they interact with their users and to get some new ideas on how to interact with yours. We also like the intelligence tool, BuiltWith to get a clear picture of what tech is under the hood of your competitors website.You’re Running on FreemiumFreemium products are awesome, and they allow us to take a product for almost a full test drive before we purchase. For those just getting started, they are a cost effective way to get your marketing engine up and running. Freemium options are also on the rise amongst marketing technology vendors.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-33-06-pmSource RJ Metrics

The trick becomes when you max out the capabilities of a freemium account.

The goal of all freemium products is to get you to convert into a paying customer, yet many freemium users are resistant to flip the switch because they don’t want to pony up the cash or are struggling to decide if it’s really worth it.

If you’re living and breathing in a freemium product, it’s time you invest in the solution and get the full capabilities — the ROI will be worth it.You’re Paying Too MuchOn the other side of the coin, you might encounter solutions where pricing scales very poorly or features scale poorly as your usage grows. For example, pricing plans that jump from $99 a month to $500 a month for the next tier — that’s an increase of 5x!

If a solution is nickel and diming you for add-ons, on top of a base rate, that also might be an indicator that it’s time to reassess your solution. With over 3,874 different marketing technology solutions available, there have never been more options available for marketers. A little detective work could save your business a significant amount of money.Next StepsIf you just read through these signs and are feeling like you are being held back by your marketing tech, here are a few next steps for finding an improved or new solution:

  • Get advice from others in your space via discussion boards like the ones mentioned here.
  • If you’re looking to keep up with your competition or other brands you want to emulate, try Crayon.
  • A simple Google search for competitors of your current tech.


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