The universe of marketing technology is continuing to expand, providing marketers with ever-new and exciting ways to create, communicate, connect, and sell. In fact, in 2014, marketing tech was a $20 billion industry, according to IDC, so there is no question about marketers' willingness to jump in and invest.

And why not? Install some software, click a button or two, and presto! A new and improved brand with better marketing performance, right?

Unfortunately, that is rarely the case... Yet it is the all-too-common misconception many marketers have about adoption of new marketing technology. And, often, the result is painful implementation, limited effectiveness, and a poor return on investment.

To maximize your marketing technology investment and achieve the results that you and your customers expect, take the following three actions.

1. Focus first on outcomes

New marketing technology is cool and hip and sexy. And when it's billed as the next greatest thing that every marketer needs, it can be easy to feel the pressure to act and to jump right in.

But successful marketers fight that urge, and instead focus first on the outcomes they want, not the technology that may or may not deliver them.

Make sure you know what your customers really want and need, understand what has to happen to deepen their relationship with your brand, and be clear about the specific business problems you need to solve. When you have clarity on those things, you can start to assess whether a particular technology application is designed to deliver the outcomes you need and want.

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image of Jeff Sierra

Jeff Sierra, a marketing strategist and technologist, is president and CMO of Mind Fuel, a provider of marketing strategy and business planning solutions.

LinkedIn: Jeff Sierra