The issue with Rip and Replacing your Marketing Technology

Businesses are constantly sucked in by new marketing technology, but are failing to recognise the hidden costs of their rip and replace approach.

There are certainly good reasons to consider changing your MarTech provider – you’re introducing new capability (to address the latest hot topic), you want to lower costs, consolidate your vendors, or maybe you’re just unhappy with your current provider. But it’s worth taking a moment to consider the often-overlooked side effects of making the switch.

The true cost of change

What you gain when you change your MarTech is at best badly quantified, at worst not quantifiable at all. To quantify the gain from a technology change, some vendors will have a snazzy ROI spreadsheet which will invariably justify the change, but without being slightly cynical about the validity of such a tool, it is extremely difficult to estimate the delta between two ways of doing something. Often the change will require stopping using one to start the other, so the gain cannot be truly measured even after go-live. Furthermore, it is easy to overlook things that the legacy solution might have been good (or even better) at doing anyway.

This leads into the cost of change and the time it takes to gather requirements, project manage, test, fix or train users. A lot of this change management has a high hidden cost, and poor adoption could lead to the gain not even getting realised.

Real-life complexity removes all the fun

We all know that new solutions always look better at first, but limitations quickly appear after implementation. In practice, solutions are often selected for usability reasons (marketers are naturally always looking for easier ways of doing things) but the real-life implementation rarely lives up to expectations (I could write an essay on why ‘super-powerful’ and ‘simple-to-use’ are rarely compatible). It always looks better during the demo, because it’s a demo! Real-life complexity has a way of removing all the fun by introducing limitations, access rights, manual approvals, all of which appear long after the switch, planting the seeds for the next reasons to change technology. Of course there is a better way, which we’ll cover in the coming weeks.


Stuart Russell
Client Services Director