10 Tips for Evaluating and Negotiating a MarTech or AdTech AI Vendor Agreement

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10 Tips for Evaluating and Negotiating a MarTech or AdTech AI Vendor Agreement

By William A. Lederer, Chairman and CEO, iSOCRATES®

When agreeing to work with a MarTech and AdTech AI vendor, you’ll need to sign a vendor agreement. It’ll ensure that you get what you’re paying for and avoid deception. However, the contract will only be effective and favorable for your company if you evaluate and negotiate the agreement properly. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.


1. Be Clear About the Pricing

Make sure you understand the different tiers by user type and functionality. How much data can you push through? You might think you’re an average user, but they may consider you a power user, leaving you paying twice as much in some cases. The typical starting point is read-only, but some users may need editing, developer, or architect capabilities; the pricing will break down based on the various tiers. In certain cases, the pricing may depend on how many users you have. It could also be priced based on CPUs or ad servers; the more the computing requirements, the more they’ll charge you. Will you be doing more ad hoc projects with small data sizes, or work that requires a lot of computing power?

2. Find Out What Kind of Support They Offer

How much do they charge for support? Some vendors charge more for professional services than they do for the software itself. The timeliness of the support should also be included in the contract. When you submit a ticket, can you live with waiting 24 to 48 hours for help? You may need to pay more for better support. If the vendor’s employees don’t put their phone numbers in their email signatures, that could be a red flag that they won’t be ultra-responsive when providing support.

3. Clarify Your Cloud Computing Needs

Cloud technology—including bandwidth, storage, and computing—can be expensive, so make sure you understand the pricing. Will the AI data be on the cloud environment you prefer? For example, will it work on Azure, AWS, or a private cloud?

4. Determine What They Mean by “Big Data”

The vendor may claim to offer big data capabilities, but in reality, they may only provide small data options. Make sure the contract is clear and that you understand what they mean by big data.

5. Avoid Long-Lasting Contracts

The length of the contract is essential. Your needs might change considerably in 5 years; in general, avoid contracts that last more than 3 years. You can always sign a new one.

6. Make Sure the Features Are in the Contract

Some tools may take away features after you sign on. Make sure all the features you expect to have are in the contract. They might, for example, come out with an update that takes away the ability to reskin your visualizations with your brand’s look and feel. They could also claim to have a mobile app that you find out costs extra after you sign on.

7. Edit the Contract as Necessary

Just because the vendor sends you a non-editable PDF contract doesn’t mean you need to sign it as is. Make sure you can edit it.

8. Have the Vendor Spell Out How Integrations Work

How widely available are the integrations and adaptors? Can you share the data in and out of the platform? If any elements are missing, it could take a long time to get them engineered, QA’d, and implemented.

9. Find Out if the Vendor Has a Clear Product Roadmap

Can the vendor articulate the product roadmap and the timing associated with it? If not, that’s a red flag.

10. Confirm What Types of Managed Services Are Offered

If the vendor claims to offer managed services, make sure you’re clear about what that means. Do they manage everything from support and development to setting up each part of the system? A vendor may claim that they can handle everything in-house, but they may actually need considerable outside help.

If you’re interested in learning more about MADTechAI vendor contracts and how to choose the right platform for your needs, download our latest whitepaper.


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