Tips to Retire MarTech Tools without Hindering Operations

    Tips to Retire MarTech Tools without Hindering Operations

    Regular MarTech stack auditing is a part of every organization’s process. It enables them to identify tools that must be retired. Therefore, businesses need thorough planning and a solid approach to retire MarTech tools fully.

    Reasons for MarTech tool retirement might include the following:

    • Duplicate tools performing the same operations
    • Added functionalities in the stack that makes the tool redundant
    • Underutilization of the tool does not justify the cost.

    As per a recent report by MarTech,” Replacement Survey 2022“, 53% of businesses replaced a commercial application because it had better features, while 14% said they replaced tools because they were expensive to maintain. Here are five essential tips marketers must consider while implementing the process of MarTech tool retirement.

    Determine Process Dependencies and System Integrations

    Businesses must determine how the processes and other systems rely on the tool. It enables them to plan the tool retirement carefully to prevent operational hindrances. At the same time, this is more challenging for businesses if they do not have valid documentation. Insightful documentation, for example, might contain data about how other systems use API calls or data exports from the tool that the businesses are unaware of.

    Also Read: Role of Personalization in the Current MarTech Stack

    In the same report by MarTech, 54% of businesses said integration capabilities were a factor. Companies must communicate with the teams who use the tool regularly. Moreover, finding the individuals involved during the tool’s initial implementation might help businesses gain complete knowledge about the downstream effects of the tool’s retirement.

    Evaluate Data Migration Requirements

    Businesses must account for data migration as a part of the retirement process since they have mandatory data retention periods. They must efficiently document what data requires migration and decide its location for storage.

    Suppose businesses move data from one identical platform to another, like a marketing automation system. In that case, they must migrate the data efficiently from the old tool to the new one.

    Businesses must build insightful documentation to help the teams to understand best data migration practices. What if companies are retiring a tool but won’t replace it? Where will they store the data? In such cases, businesses must work with the IT team to devise a solid plan to decide how the accessible data should be and who among them can access it.

    If the data is to be rarely accessed, it is enough to store it in a database so that someone in the IT team can extract it when required. However, if marketers need to access historical data regularly, they will require a robust and user-friendly solution.

    Determine the Right Retirement Time and Create a Project Plan

    After assessing the MarTech stack, businesses must determine the right time to retire the tool. They can consider multiple factors like the completion of a project, the end of a fiscal year, or the end of a contract. Identifying the right retirement time ensures that the retirement operations do not affect the internal processes.

    Once businesses set a target retirement date, they can build a project plan. Considering the abovementioned challenges regarding affected systems and data migration practices, companies will have all the data they need to develop a solid project plan to work back from the target retirement date.

    What if the project work to migrate data or decouple systems will push marketers past their target date? If the target data is as per the contract, businesses could negotiate with the vendor to extend the contract and request time to execute the plan entirely.

    Build a Plan of Communication

    Communication is critical during MarTech tool retirement. Businesses must actively loop in employees, external customers, or agency partners. They must give them proper notice and communicate the reasons for the tool’s retirement. Businesses must also share the devised plan regarding data migration to a new tool and the support they need during the transition.

    If companies decide to retire one tool and replace it with another, they must actively communicate the benefits of the new tool. Moreover, they must share a proactive training plan allowing users to understand how the companies will offer support to learn the new tool.

    Marketers must try to have the tools overlap for a specific period. It offers users a soft landing and encourages them to learn new tools. At times when the retiring tool is irreplaceable, businesses must communicate the features and functionality to the users. It allows them to work around and build a plan to address the needs that can be met via other tools or processes.

    Also Read: Efficient Ways to Simplify the Martech Stack

    Retire the MarTech Tools

    Once businesses have migrated the data from the old tool and trained and educated the employees on the working of the new tool, they must plan to retire these tools. Businesses must use the period after retirement to communicate the processes and win with the stakeholders. They must share about-

    • The adoption user rate for the new tool
    • Sales win or positive client experiences or feedback
    • Number of days since the retirement of the old tool, its errors, or disruptions to internal operations
    • Cost-saving investments from retiring the tool

    Businesses can use these above key pointers to communicate and remind the stakeholders why they decided to retire the tool.

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