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The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing Technology

By October 16, 2019 No Comments

With the advent of marketing technology tools, solutions, and platforms; we are in a constant state of how best to market to our customers and prospects. Just check out the marketing technology (martechlandscape graphic from ChiefMarTec; it has over 7,000 different products and still growing! 

Overwhelmed companies, organizations, teams, and individuals implement what they think will be the be-all-end-all martech stack and at the same time expect immediate results. Here, we start on dangerous paths, or as I call them: “The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing Technology.” 


We are all guilty of this deadly martech sin. The speed of marketing and technology is moving so fast that we desire the latest and greatest tech for our business. We get caught up in the hype and excitement of what the solution can do to enhance our marketing efforts. This translates into a narrowed view of the solution, and that we can’t do our job or be successful if we don’t have tool A or platform C. Our lust for what tool A promises drives our decisions, actions, and ultimately the outcome if we feel successful.  


Companies and teams tend to get a little zealous in their approach to acquiring martech products. They want to consume more and more thinking that each new tool is going to quench their thirst and appease their appetites. Unfortunately, organizations that get into this cycle of sin find themselves bloated with too much tech and overweight from the burden. They realize they have lost sight of the value of a more simplified approach. 


Along the same lines as gluttony, greed is a marketing sin that needs to be tempered. We learn from Veruca Salt (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory); that immediate desires have disastrous outcomes (“I want it and I want it now!”). The same is true with martech desires. We may feel like we ‘need’ the solution or shiny new object, but without a proper understanding of where the solution fits into our martech stack or ‘why’ we can have a stack full of solutions, those shiny objects have little to no value. 


Being slothful is an act of omission. We can become overwhelmed or even too cautious to move forward. It’s true: indecision and lack of action can actually pose far more of a threat to the well-being of your business than you might think. Organizations that are slothful and staying passive tend to spend too much time evaluating tools or putting together a martech plan that is often skewed. If you find yourself spending time building a roadmap or having long evaluation cycles of technology, or hesitant to tackling decisions head-on, you are probably guilty of this sin.  


To an extent we have all been guilty of this sin. We have periods of anger, frustration, rage, and yes even hatred towards the martech vendors, solutions, integrations, support. I doubt we want to take out revenge on the technology, but sometimes we get so frustrated with the technology that we indeed want to scream, shout, or even throw our laptops out the window. The feeling of wrath can also include impatience (who really loves those spinning circles or other vendor animations) and in the world of SaaS and cloud systems, slowdowns and limited connectivity test even the best of us. Wrath can cause us to send angry emails, vent on social platforms and online communities; this in itself is not bad most times, but continuous spewing is just that…spew, and it is not beneficial to anyone or organization. 


We’re all guilty of this particular sin. We hear of all the success stories and the winners of the “Stackie Awards” and have a feeling of both dejection and also envious of other organizations. How can they be so successful? We’re doing more than __(fill in the blank)__ How come we weren’t chosen? Or, why can’t we be like that? Why are we not successful? This conflict in feelings can cause you to pause or re-evaluate why you have been working so hard. Envy can cause you to put time and resources on areas that are not important to your overall growth and health of your marketing. Focusing merely on visible awards and recognition may detract you from the real goals and objectives for your company.  


Pride is the opposite of the same coin with envy, and unfortunately, it’s considered the original and most serious sin. Being boastful and over promoting your recognition and awards can be detrimental to continuing to build upon your success. We put ourselves above others and our superiority that we have mastered the martech world. Organizations feel the need to spend time promoting outward on your current success yet neglecting to keep adapting to the ever-changing marketplace. Pride can be self-destructing, and then you can find your organization wallowing in past success but not moving forward with continual adjustments and modifications. 

Now you may ask, okay so I’m guilty of one, two, maybe three (or more?) of these sins; what do I do about it? The good news is that you can repent and overcome each of these sins, some are harder than others, but can be corrected. I recommend that you should evaluate one of the several marketing maturity continuum models that are published – below is the one from Marketo, to help you put together a structured approach in your marketing technology journey. Additionally, check out our Engagement Framework approach that is designed to help companies refocus their marketing efforts around relationship development and the integration of your marketing technology solutions. 

Keep focused on your goals and you’ll achieve great success as you avoid these 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing Technology” downfalls!   Download the Infographic to keep handy and post on your office wall as a quick reminder on what to avoid.






Trent Cross

Trent Cross

Trent Cross is a seasoned digital marketing and marketing technologist, helping companies create and execute on marketing programs generating results with technology. Over 12 years’ experience in Marketing Technology and Marketing Automation (Marketo, Eloqua, and others along with CRM tools and other marketing tech). Trent considers himself a closet geek and with the explosion of technology in marketing has come out and found a home that he truly enjoys. Currently lives in Utah, but has lived in Michigan (Go Blue), Pittsburgh, No Cal, and most recently in Colorado, where he raised the family before moving to Utah. rent has worked for several companies including Novell, Symantec, Hewlett-Packard, Arrow ECS, MarketStar, Harte Hanks and a few startup companies along the way. Currently a Marketo Champion and Certified Expert, leads the Salt Lake City Marketo User Group, recipient of the Marketo Revvie award and a Marketo MUG MVP award recipient.