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Unlike what I am going to talk about in this article, I am not the 50% who hate DIY in the marketing process. But I am interested to decode why most of the marketers who I’ve met in Asia hate DIY.

Wikipedia has explained DIY – Do it yourself – as the method of building, modifying, or repairing things by themselves without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Speaking for the context in marketing, particularly related to the growing popularity of the SaaS solutions – Software as a Service, DIY has been a default operating environment for most of the marketing automations. Many marketers are given the liberty to operate the marketing software directly such as analytics, data dashboard, email marketing, CRM, or those digital advertising solutions like DSP, DMP, tags management, etc etc. Today almost all the so-call Martech solutions are SAAS-based. It is estimated to have over 8,000 Martech solutions launched in the market nowadays, growing from just 150 in 2011 (I believe this doesn’t include Asia).

So, as we know the Martech solutions are so common today, how come I don’t see a lot of marketers are using them? Or may be I should rephrase my question, how come I don’t see the marketers are actually operating the software by themselves? In my experience working in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, I can see there is still a behavioral gap between the intended users and the solutions. Here are the three possible key contributing factors.

Too geeky

In my opinion, the SAAS solutions are still technical for most of the end users. An onboarding process of a Martech solution can involve a series of technical tasks for configuration, authentication, or to activate a user’s module. Boiling down to how things work in the operation, SAAS is still a software commonly operated within a web browser. A SAAS solution requires at least three basic components for its operation: (1) input from a data source (2) output for a data view (3) the process between the input and output, which is handled in the server side or the cloud in today’s context, these processes are usually transparent to the end users. All these are not as easy as what it’s supposed to be. The data source is technical when it comes to the data format. The data view is also complicated when a customization is needed to provide more than the default output. To name an example, a Google Analytics dashboard is not meant to be difficult but in reality it is not easy for an end user to DIY a dashboard or a custom report.

You know what, by writing all these I already feel that it is unnatural for me to illustrate my points in plain English. Am I too nerdy or these things are just technical?

Hasty mindset

Thanks to all kinds of the DTC (direct-to-consumer) innovation which lower the attention span of the consumers and the sales funnel is getting shorter, the marketers are all competing against the short lead time to deliver result. Marketers today continue to make hasty assumption to satisfy the self-fulfilling prophecy. Why do I say so? Let me give you some context, when you engage a KOL to endorse your product, optimize only the content that engages traffics, redesign a website for the mobile screen but not for the users, or only measure the social media sentiment for the brand perception, most of the time, all these marketing practices are based on the belief to a larger population which you believe will result the same for anyone who follows the similar pattern of action. Besides, the vanity metrics also dictate the marketer’s mindset to pursue the short-term gratification. Having a future-proof marketing solution looks sexy in presentation but when it comes to reality, we choose to follow what everyone is doing to play safe for our job.

Managing a dashboard is a full-time job

This is what Google Analytics tells you in its website,

Get a deeper understanding of your customers. Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyze data for your business in one place. Build a complete picture. Get insights only Google can give. Connect your insights to results. Make your data work for you.

Honestly, I must say that I’ve never seen a marketing analytic department, or even a full-time job for marketing analytics. But the interesting thing is that almost everyone is using Google analytics. If you don’t measure, you can’t improve. So, who is actually doing the measurement for the marketing performance? It turns out your web analytics is more like an insurance advertising,

Help you protect your tomorrow. She’s my everything went wrong. Miracles happen but don’t count on them.

Once the analytics software has been installed, it works by default. This by-default situation is very common. The analytics software just stay there for most of the time and then the marketers will never get the information at their fingertips. It isn’t quite like a scene which we can connect insights to results.

Managing a dashboard is a full-time job. How many marketing decisions are made without analyzing the data? How many top 10 of the list we will keep reporting? Why can’t we dedicate a person to measure the marketing performance, dig into the things that we don’t know instead of reporting the same thing that we know we know? What is missing? What is the obstacles that keep us from practicing our marketing automation?

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