Why You Should Never Tell Marketers They Can’t Use A Tool

Telling someone they can’t use a tool as they want to use it is like telling them you won’t fix their car because it’s raining outside. Or you won’t let them have the cake you promised because your team lost the big game. 

More often than not, the reason someone wants to use something isn’t arbitrary or incidental it’s important to their job, and if they can’t get what they need from one place, they’ll find another way to make it work.

OpenAI’s marketer reveals why you’re using ChatGPT wrong
1. Empowerment through Tools: Restricting marketers from using tools can hinder their creativity and productivity. Encouraging tool usage empowers them to explore innovative approaches.
2. Unlocking Efficiency: Tools streamline tasks and processes, enabling marketers to work more efficiently and focus on strategic aspects of their campaigns.
3. Adaptation to Trends: Marketing tools often align with industry trends. Embracing these tools allows marketers to adapt to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.
4. Competitive Edge: Enabling marketers with tools provides a competitive edge by enabling them to gather insights, analyze data, and make informed decisions faster.
5. Skill Enhancement: Utilizing tools encourages skill development as marketers learn to navigate new technologies, enhancing their overall expertise.

Speak To The Individual, Not To The Group

Words are powerful. Speak to people like they’re individuals, not a member of a group. If you want someone to feel understood and seen, speak to them as an individual first. Here’s how:

Use their name. Don’t just say “Bob,” say “Bob.” When someone specifically identifies themselves as Bob, it helps show that you’re listening and paying attention and that makes them more likely to engage with you in the future.

Use their title and department if appropriate (e.g., “Jane Doe, Director of Marketing”). 

This is especially important if they call themselves by their job title rather than by name it shows that you understand the scope of their tasks within your organization or client team, which can help build rapport quickly! 

It also lets me know whether or not I should expect this person’s participation in future meetings or discussions; if we have different roles within our departmental hierarchy than I might need some time before inviting them back again (but don’t worry! 

That doesn’t mean there won’t be other opportunities).

Be specific about what problem(s) they’re trying solve at work right now (“what” vs “why”). Asking this question allows me enough context so that I can tailor my responses appropriately without wasting anyone’s time with off-topic queries (“Why does everyone hate Fridays?”).

Building an effective social media presence is a crucial aspect of modern marketing. Learn how to leverage platforms for marketing research with our guide on using social media for marketing research.

Define A Clear Set Of Criteria That Defines When You Will Tell Them “No”

As marketers, we’re always trying to figure out what’s next. The perpetual question of “how do I get more followers?” or “how do I get more conversions on my landing page?” can be overwhelming and paralyzing especially when you’re starting from scratch.

The best thing you can do is slow down and think about the problem before diving into a solution. Before even thinking about how many people follow your account, ask yourself: What would success look like?

Success comes in many forms; it could mean getting more engaged followers, driving up sales numbers or adding a new skill that will help take your career to the next level. 

Whatever success means to you (and it may change over time), make sure that goal is clear before getting started on any tool or action plan.

Never Tell Them No, Tell Them Why And Give Them Work-Arounds

The key is to never tell a marketer they can’t use a tool. Instead, do the following:

Give them a way to make it work. If the tool isn’t yet available or isn’t compatible with their current system, try offering a workaround that allows them to utilize the functionality of the tool in some other way either manually or through an alternative solution you’ve found.

Give them a way to make it work better. Rather than restricting yourself solely within your own organization’s infrastructure.

Extend yourself outside of your company walls and offer suggestions for how you could integrate this new technology with other tools you already use in order for it to function more efficiently overall (and save money).

Give them a way to make it work more efficiently and effectively for example: “Instead of spending $X on this one feature over time,” suggest another solution that will accomplish the same goal but cost much less.” 

Or alternatively say something like “Let me show you how we did this at my previous job; maybe there are some things here that’ll help us out?”

In the world of marketing, having access to the right tools can make all the difference. Discover lesser-known yet powerful resources with our list of top 10 marketing research tools you haven’t heard of.

Focus On Making The Tool More Usable

When you find a tool that’s not being used by your team, it’s important to remember that the tool itself is not the problem. The problem is usually how it was presented to your team and how much time was invested in actually making sure people understood how it worked.

When we were working with an agency who had spent a lot of money on this particular tool, we asked them if there were any other tools they had tried but hadn’t implemented yet because they weren’t sure what users needed from those tools. 

One of their answers was something along the lines of: “Well…we tried something else once too, but no one uses it anymore because it’s too complicated.” 

When we dug deeper into why no one used this particular tool anymore, we found out that no one knew what the point or benefit of using it was because no one ever provided any training on how to use these new tools properly (and without training).

Chances are good that people will just ignore them entirely rather than figuring out how best apply them within their own workflows!

Frame What They Are Trying To Use It For In Terms They Understand

Framing the problem in terms they understand

The easiest way to frame a problem is by using the same vocabulary that a marketer uses. Do they talk about ROI and customer acquisition costs? Then you should be talking about those things too. 

Marketers tend to use a lot of numbers, so it’s easy to get lost in those details if you don’t have any context around what they mean. If your marketing department doesn’t have time for long conversations with you or doesn’t have a clear sense of their own interests and goals.

Then try putting together reports that include all relevant statistics and data points (but only the good ones!). That way, when you ask them if they want this report from your team, it will be obvious why it matters.

You also need to understand how marketers think about problems because different departments within an organization might view them differently (and therefore look at them from different angles). 

Sales might care more about how much revenue was brought in than whether or not someone completed an event registration form through email; marketing might care more about how many people clicked through on an ad banner; 

Engineering could be looking at page load times as well as bounce rates and so on down dozens of other rabbit holes depending on who’s asking the question! 

Make sure everyone knows what kind of information each department needs before making decisions based on these reports so everyone can get aligned moving forward!

Data is the backbone of informed decisions in marketing. Uncover insights on finding and utilizing marketing data effectively to drive successful campaigns and strategies.

Provide Training

Training is one of the best ways to help your team get up to speed on a new tool. The more time you spend training, the more people can learn how to use the tool effectively. 

As you train, you will also build trust with each person in your organization and empower them to use tools that are right for their needs.

Training is also one of the best ways to get better at something yourself! 

If there’s something you want to do better or faster than everyone else in your organization, training on that skill is a great way to build confidence and gain an edge over peers who aren’t investing their time into learning new skills.

Does It Actually Improve The Business Or Just Look Good?

This is a key question to ask when you’re considering bringing in a new tool. This isn’t about whether the tool will be fun and exciting for your team (though that’s an added bonus!). 

It’s about whether it will actually make a difference in how you do business and what problems it solves.

If someone says “I want to use this new social media tool because we need better analytics,” then that’s not going to fly with me as an analyst. 

Analytics are important, but they’re also very easy to get wrong and they don’t necessarily correlate with revenue growth or customer satisfaction anyway! 

We can spend our time much more effectively by looking at how customers use our product through qualitative research and then making changes based on those findings rather than investing in analytics software right away.

Identifying the right market is a key step towards marketing success. Dive into our article on finding the market that demands your product and discover how to connect with potential customers who need your offerings.

Align Your Goals With Theirs Support Their Objectives Whenever Possible

The next step is to align your goals with theirs. You want to support their objectives whenever possible, so it’s important that you focus on what they want to achieve and not just what you want to sell them. 

In other words, be a partner and not just a vendor; be a consultant rather than just another vendor who wants to sell something. You can help marketers achieve the results they desire by working together as a team.

But only if you’re willing to put their needs ahead of yours, which means putting aside any one-size-fits-all solutions and proposing practical solutions based on your marketer’s unique needs.

It’s also important for marketers themselves (or whoever does the buying) not only understand that this isn’t about replacing old technology with new tech.

But rather finding ways in which existing tools can work better together through integration into new technologies (for example: integrating Marketo’s email platform with Salesforce).

Don’t Over-Promise

One of the most common mistakes marketers make when it comes to using marketing tools is that they over-promise.

They promise a tool will solve all their problems and suddenly their email list will grow by 1000% overnight (no, it won’t). They promise that a tool will be a silver bullet for conversion optimization and launch them into unicorn status (it won’t). 

They promise a tool will make them more efficient and productive at work (it won’t) or even better yet, they promise your product will change the lives of your customers forever!

Build Trust Be Predictable, Repeatable, And Stick To What You Say You’ll Do. Show Up! Communicate Often

A few things about trust:

Be Consistent And Reliable

Show up! Communicate often. Make it easy for the other person to do business with you by sticking to what you say you’ll do. 

Don’t promise things that you can’t deliver, and don’t over-promise so much that it ends up hurting your credibility and reputation later on in the relationship.

Be Transparent, Honest, And Patient

Listen to what they’re saying listen without getting defensive or argumentative (even when they’re being difficult). 

Understand where they are coming from as human beings because chances are good that if they’ve worked with someone else before who wasn’t very good at this stuff, then maybe some bad feelings might linger? 

I mean…it’s not like everyone is perfect all the time either! It takes time for trust-building between two parties who have never met each other before; 

Give yourself time while also showing how important their business is by always communicating clearly with them throughout every step of this process so nothing gets lost along the way…

Empathize With Their Problems, Always Acknowledging That I Understand What They Are Saying

In any conversation with a marketer, always empathize with their problems and concerns. Talk about how hard the problem is to solve and why it’s so important to them. Always acknowledge that you understand what they are saying. You can do this in many ways:

Show that you understand their problem by stating it in your own words before giving a suggestion. For example, “You want to increase conversions on your landing page, but you’re not sure how.”

Show that you understand their concerns by acknowledging the things they are worried about or concerned about when making an executive decision (i.e., “I understand there are risks involved”).

Show that you understand their needs by asking questions like “What do we need to do?” or “Why is it so important?” 

They will tell you what they need from the product/feature itself and this will give more context for why they’re asking for something specific instead of just listing off all possible features/options available out there today.”

Advocate For Them Up The Chain When Needed (Or Help Them Advocate For Themselves). Always Represent Their Needs Well And Accurately

Sometimes, the best way to represent the user advocate’s needs is to be able to offer solutions and alternatives. If they’re trying to use a tool that isn’t working for them, you should know how to convince people up the chain that there are better options out there. 

You want them telling their bosses things like: “There’s an awesome new tool I’ve been using and it would be great for [use case].”

You don’t have all of these answers immediately that’s why it’s important for you, as an advocate for our users.

To keep an open line of communication between yourself and other stakeholders in your company or organization who can help move things forward from their end when needed.

Continuous learning is pivotal in the dynamic field of marketing research. Enhance your skills with our curated list of 16 free e-courses for market researchers, ensuring you stay updated on the latest tools and techniques.

Do Your Homework Before Dismissing A Tool

The first step to deciding whether a tool is a good fit for your business is knowing the tool and its benefits. Don’t just rely on online reviews, but understand what the product does and how it can help you achieve your goals.

Once you’ve done this, do some homework to understand how the tool will affect your business’s culture, budget, and user experience. To do this effectively:

  • Talk with peers within other departments who have used similar tools in other industries or organizations.
  • Talk with current customers of the product (if possible) about their experience using it at their own companies.


To sum up, the key is to speak to the individual, not to the group. Define a clear set of criteria that defines when you will tell them “no” and NEVER tell them no, tell them why and give them workarounds. 

Focus on making the tool more usable by framing what they are trying to use it for in terms they understand. Provide training and make sure it actually improves the business or just looks good and aligns your goals with theirs and supports their objectives whenever possible. 

Don’t over-promise, build trust be predictable, repeatable, and stick to what you say you’ll do. Show up! Communicate often. 

Empathize with their problems, always acknowledging that I understand what they are saying and advocate for them up the chain when needed (or help them advocate for themselves). Always represent their needs well and accurately.”

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to explore related to marketing tools, challenges, and controversies:

AI Content Tools: Are They Stupid or Smart? Learn about the potential and challenges of using AI-powered tools in content creation and marketing strategies.

Navigating Marketing Challenges in the Digital Age Discover insights into common marketing challenges faced by businesses in the digital landscape and strategies to overcome them.

AI Controversies Marketers and Brands Should Avoid Delve into the ethical considerations and controversies surrounding the use of AI in marketing, along with recommendations for brands.


What are AI-powered content tools?

AI-powered content tools are software applications that utilize artificial intelligence to assist in various aspects of content creation, such as generating text, suggesting topics, and optimizing content for SEO.

How can businesses tackle marketing challenges?

Businesses can tackle marketing challenges by adopting a strategic approach that involves understanding their target audience, staying updated with industry trends, utilizing data-driven insights, and leveraging diverse marketing channels.

What are some common controversies related to AI in marketing?

Common AI-related controversies in marketing revolve around data privacy, algorithm bias, job displacement, and the potential for AI-generated content to lack authenticity and human touch.

What benefits can AI bring to content creation?

AI can enhance content creation by automating repetitive tasks, offering data-driven insights, improving content personalization, and increasing the efficiency of content production workflows.

How can marketers maintain ethical practices in AI adoption?

Marketers can maintain ethical practices in AI adoption by being transparent about AI use, ensuring data privacy compliance, addressing algorithmic biases, and focusing on creating value for users while minimizing potential harm.