Technology has always been a big part of online marketing, and there’s not ever really a perfect time to swap out tools when you need an upgrade. During a crisis, one may ask if they should pause or push ahead with onboarding a new technology partner.
A constant stream of new tools in marketing
According to a Garner CMO survey report, Martech is one of the major categories of expenses that marketers invest, with 26% of their budgets dedicated to this category in 2019.
Part of the reality of relying so much on technology means that sometimes we have to upgrade to a new system. Based on the data, the majority of us are adding new tools either once a year (27%) or every 6 months (26%). However, some of us are adding new tools every month (13%) or even every week (9%)
To wait or not to wait when in a crisis
Even if the marketing team feels incredibly confident about the value that bringing in a new tool will have on the organization, migrating to a new platform can be a bit painful. Making sure there isn’t much disruption in the day-to-day operations requires a very well-planned and structured plan—generally in phases.
In the face of the global pandemic, there may be some hesitation to continue with a planned onboarding or new migration. However, the decision for marketers to wait or not to wait is if the positives outweigh the negatives.
For businesses that are marketing through the crisis, the issue with waiting is that there’s no real certainty how long this time will last. Yes, the migration might take a little time to complete, but an upgrade right now might be exactly what is needed to stay competitive and nimble to adapt to market fluctuations. And post-COVID, having the team more adroit and proficient in the new platform will certainly be beneficial.
For non-essential businesses who have slowed down their marketing programs, now may be the best time to change over. With less spending, there’s less risk to the marketing investment and the team will be trained and ready to go when the business starts moving again. For these companies, hitting the ground running will be incredibly important when the time comes.
Certainly, if there is a true business reason for not going through with a technology migration, then that should be considered. However, if it’s because there’s a blanket policy to “keep things simple right now”, that might not necessarily be what’s best in the long term.
To alleviate the pain of this process, reduce errors, and ensure a smooth transition, the Skai Technical Services team has become experts in leading new clients through a full-service onboarding experience. It starts with a dedicated onboarding manager whose focus is to understand the current program, map goals, handles all data needs, and develop a custom migration plan with minimal requirements from the client’s team.
We spoke with a member of the onboarding team to learn more about Skai’s approach.
Five questions with Stephanie Herndon-Rasse, Skai’s Senior Director, Technical Services about the onboarding process
Tell us a little about the onboarding team at Skai – who are you and what keeps you busy?
Herndon-Rasse: The onboarding team at Skai is dedicated to onboarding new
customers onto the platform—this is all the team is responsible for day-in and day-out. Onboarding Managers at Skai are not only Skai experts but are cross-publisher experts too.
Believe me when I say they’ve seen it all and know how to handle it! The industry moves quickly and so do we. Our onboarding team specializes in incorporating our customer’s marketing goals and technology needs in Skai in order to achieve success.
Post-migration, does the onboarding team ever continue to get involved with clients?
Herndon-Rasse: No, onboarding focuses exclusively on the initial setup phase. Once a new customer is live, our team of Technical Account Managers (TAMs) takes over as long-term technical specialists. Similar to the onboarding experience every customer has a dedicated TAM responsible for keeping up with industry updates, publisher requirements, tracking changes, and any third-party or customer-driven technology enhancements.
Even when there isn’t a global crisis, why do marketers often worry about migrating from one tech partner to another?
Herndon-Rasse: I’ve heard it all: it takes too long, it sounds complicated, I’m afraid of disrupting my program, I’ll lose my historical data, my team is too busy to deal with starting over, and simply “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I get it, these are all valid concerns.
Our onboarding process is built for a seamless transition, and I like to compare it to flipping a switch. We start by building a customized onboarding plan based on your technology and timeline needs. We set up everything in Skai for you so when you first log in, you’ll have a fully migrated and operational program with access to your publisher accounts, all historical data, and any required integrations in place.
We often even find and fix issues that have gone unnoticed.
Are you finding that fewer clients want to commit to migrating their programs in these challenging times?
Herndon-Rasse: We’re actually busier than ever. We have a few large retailers we just onboarded that are taking advantage of our strong cross-product offerings around eCommerce and Search. Retailers are aggressively moving all marketing efforts online right now, and need the freedom and flexibility to make program changes at a moment’s notice.
Globally, we’re also seeing an increase in our existing customers leveraging onboarding to add Social to their product mix. These customers are getting their brands in front of a captive at-home audience and planning campaigns to be ready for the post-COVID rush.
For someone considering a migration who may still be unsure, what advice would you give them?
Herndon-Rasse: If you’re still struggling with the decision on moving to a platform like Skai I’d say talk to me. I’d be happy to join the conversation and discuss particular concerns. I look forward to working with you!
Would you like to see what Skai has to offer you?
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- Skai Search. Achieve next-level performance with the award-winning, industry leader in SEM
- Skai Social. Engage social customers while achieving your branding and performance goals
- Skai Ecommerce. Create, manage, forecast and optimize Amazon & Walmart ad campaigns at scale
- Skai Apps. The all-in-one, complete solution for app marketers to drive installs & increase engagement
- Skai Local. Manage multi-location local search and social campaigns in one unified platform
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