What’s the best way to get your team to adopt a new technology solution? Make sure it’s easy to use.
Technology solutions for marketing and creative teams is one of the hottest topics around the water cooler these days—after all, there’s even a catchy buzzword (“MarTech”) to describe it.
While a recent Dotmailer survey of over 450 global marketers found that 59% planned to increase their technology spend next year, the actual adoption of new solutions is still a challenge for many marketing and creative teams. 37% of marketers feel their teams lack skill and knowledge in relation to the technology they’re provided. And 34% do not think they are provided the best software to help them do their job properly.
According to Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2016, it all comes down to two main challenges. In their survey of over 300 marketers, more than half indicated that internal resistance to change and difficulty of implementation were the greatest obstacles to unrolling new technology on their teams.
That’s why simplicity is such an important consideration when evaluating technology. In order for a solution to achieve its intended business goals, its team of users have to feel like learning the new system and adjusting their processes accordingly will be a seamless transition. In other words, ease of use drives adoption.
“Modern technology has transformed the world around us,” explained B2B marketer Rohit Roy in a recent MarTech Advisor article. “However, without a concurrent change in behavior, technology alone cannot be completely effective. While CMOs can continue to add to their budgets to bring in advanced technology, the desired business results will not be achieved if all the different arms of the marketing organization do not leverage the new technology to concentrate on the common goals. The technology, no matter how advanced, will fail to deliver in the end if adoption and operationalization is not up to speed.”
Before unrolling a new solution, it’s important to first establish internal buy-in. 57% of marketers say just three to five people are typically involved in technology decision-making on their team—and Chief Marketing Officers continue to lead the process in nearly every MarTech product category. But when only a few stakeholders are familiar with a solution before it’s implemented, there can be a disconnect between the C-suite’s business rationale for choosing the technology and the understanding of the team members who will actually use the solution. And that’s a recipe for low adoption.
Clearly communicating the specific benefits of a new technology to the entire team will help bolster enthusiasm for adjusting current behaviors and processes to match the solution. When people understand the positive impact a new technology will have on their ability to excel in their role, they’ll be much more likely to invest their precious time and energy in training and implementation.
Once internal buy-in is established, it’s absolutely essential that the solution delivers on expectations. Walker Sands found that ease of use was a top priority for 70% of marketers when it comes to evaluating technology. Why? Because if a new tool is too difficult to implement or too challenging to use, teams will focus less on the benefits the solution is intended to foster, and more on the time and energy they’re expending attempting to adjust. That can lead to a slow and painful onboarding, dissatisfied contributors, and unmet business objectives.
Prioritizing simplicity is one of the key lessons creative operations consultant Debbie Kennedy learned when unrolling a solution to her overwhelmed in-house creative team. Rather than alleviate the strain of 350 active requests from some 60 internal clients at any given moment, the complex, hard-to-use system only increased frustration. That’s why when Debbie and her team found inMotion, its signature ease-of-use and pain-free onboarding plan sealed the deal. Today, inMotion’s automated workflow has shaved off nearly 15% of the team’s average request turnaround time.
“The worst thing you can do is release a product that nobody likes because it’s too complex or doesn’t work well. If your team thinks the technology is easy to use, they will keep using it. If they don’t, they won’t.”