OVERVIEW

Selecting a marketing technology company requires distilling a bunch of information down into an “apples-to-apples” comparison — here’s how to do just that

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BACKGROUND

Developing a framework for choosing a marketing technology company

When you are looking to select a marketing technology that will be the best fit for your business, the most important thing you can do is to set up an apples-to-apples comparison. If you try to conduct an evaluation without a strong apples-to-apples framework in place, you'll end up swimming in too much information.

To that end, let’s develop example framework for evaluating marketing technology providers. The next section lays out the most important categories for evaluation and provides two example questions to ask vendors within each category. You can then download your own copy of the framework in Excel format — complete with all relevant questions — in the “Implementation” section.

 
STRATEGY

Questions to ask a marketing technology company during the evaluation process

Merchant Setup / Operations

  • Does the vendor eliminate installation of additional pieces of hardware, e.g. a new point of sale or iPad?
  • Does the vendor have a long-running track-record of system up-time exceeding 99%?

Merchant Success Team

  • Does the vendor directly respond to support requests from consumers who have questions or challenges with the loyalty program?
  • Does the vendor provide support outside of 8am–6pm work hours?

Customer Experience

  • Does the vendor eliminate added steps at checkout for the customer, e.g. punching in a phone number, presenting a loyalty card, checking in, scanning a QR code?
  • Can the customer receive real-time updates of reward redemption and progress?

Customer Data

  • Does the vendor provide customer demographic data, e.g. gender, geographic location?
  • Does the vendor provide customer purchase data, e.g. total amount spent in a month, total amount spent at a single location?

Rewards

  • Does the vendor offer both monetary and non-monetary rewards, beyond discounting or cash back incentives?
  • Can the vendor distribute unique offers to specific customers instead of blanketing all customers with the same incentive?
  • Does the vendor eliminate installation of additional pieces of hardware, e.g. a new point of sale or iPad?
  • Does the vendor have a long-running track-record of system up-time exceeding 99%?

Customer Feedback

  • Can the vendor capture real-time customer feedback — at the moment s/he makes a purchase — using an industry standard metric such as Net Promoter Score?
  • Does the vendor support responding to customer feedback in real-time?

Marketing Promotion Campaigns

  • Can the vendor drive customer traffic during off-peak hours at specific locations?
  • Does the vendor offer programs to increase traffic to specific locations at certain times of the day?

Systems

  • Can the vendor’s mobile loyalty solution increase sign-ups to the email database?
  • Does the vendor actively encourage social media sharing / engagement?

Location-Based Marketing

  • Can the vendor utilize geo-targeting, e.g. triggering promotions according to sign-up location or current store location?
  • Can the vendor utilize Beacon technology for contextual notifications, e.g. reward available when near store locations?

Multi-Location Tools

  • Can admins assign varying degrees of access privileges to specific user log-ins (e.g. store managers, area directors, franchisees)?
  • Can admins track in real-time which stores and employees have completed training?

Security

  • Is purchase data verified so as to completely eliminate fraud risk?
  • Does the vendor authenticate the identity of the customer at the point of sale?
IMPLEMENTATION

Download the marketing technology company evaluation framework now

Click below to get your own copy of the marketing technology evaluation framework, in Microsoft Excel Format. Your download will begin automatically.

 

Get framework

ADVICE

Looking for more info about evaluating marketing providers?

If you have more questions about how to evaluate a marketing technology company, please email us and we’ll get right back to you. We’re happy to help you figure out how to make apples-to-apples comparisons and find the best fit for your business’s goals.