It probably goes without saying that technological advancement is the hallmark of the modern age. Even in the last decade, the advancement of technology’s influence on society has been staggering.
The photos below are from the announcement of a new Pope in 2005 versus the same scenario as it played out in 2013. See if you notice anything different:
How the world has changed: St. Peter’s Square in 2005 and 2013
While technology is clearly influencing our daily lives, it is also turning the marketing landscape on its head. There are more vendors out there than ever, with the oft-cited ChiefMarTec supergraphic listing almost 4,000.
The rise of technology is creating a data stream far larger than at any point in history. With smart phones, the Internet, and countless other information highways, the potential for marketing is at an all-time high.
In today’s digital world, marketing is a technology conversation. Effectively choosing, implementing and integrating technology has a huge impact on marketing effectiveness, in turn.
So what do marketers need to successfully negotiate the complicated technology landscape, and overcome challenges related to this technology revolution in marketing? The Digital BrainFest 2016 panel Marketing Innovation: Is Technology the Answer for CMOs? addressed those key questions. Here are top takeaways from the panel’s discussion.
Mastering Martech to Drive Today’s Marketing Organizations
Today’s mobile device-equipped consumer, however, is both easier to reach and tougher to pinpoint. The demand has shifted dramatically. Because there is so much data, the challenge is to make sure it is used effectively.
It’s not all about technology and data, after all. You also need the right people to sift through and analyze the data, as one speaker explained. To understand the data is to understand the audience.
That said, “Marketing today is technology,” as our own Dennis Middleton explained. Says Dennis, “There is no marketing without technology,” because technology now drives the marketing organization.
Marketing orgs are also becoming less siloed by channels. Device proliferation means talking to the same person, but in a range of contexts. And, noted the panel, it’s important to recognize that customers behave differently during the various phases of their transactional journey.
As the panelists discussed, using technology can improve customer experience and relations. Dennis Middleton told the Digital BrainFest audience, “Customer-centricity is the new thing. [Companies] want to center on the customer, and address them.”
Technology makes this easier than ever. It enables companies to provide relevancy and personalization, tailoring the customer journey and creating one-on-one interactions. Hand-in-hand with customer-centricity is addressability. As the panel explained, addressability enables that one-on-one, personalized marketing at ever-increasing speed.
As we presented at Digital BrainFest 2016, we see four keys to driving innovation with technology:
1. Managing the changing environment
2. Integrating disparate technologies into a unified stack
3. Maximizing existing technology investments
4. Balancing structure and agility
In doing all of these, marketers will be better able to handle the ever-changing technological landscape. According Gartner, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO does by 2017. If trends on the technological front continue, that’s easy to believe. Marketers’ role now is to adapt to these changes and ensure that they are doing all that they can to be effective as the industry continues to change.
Part of that adaptation means figuring out how to work with IT as well with technology. One key question the panel addressed is whether marketing groups should collaborate with IT, or “shadow” it. A solution from one panelist: follow a partnership model of marketers with an IT background and understand the business.
Digital BrainFest 2016 isn’t the first time Infinitive Executive Dennis Middleton has said that today, marketing is technology. To learn how to get the most out of your martech assets, watch this video to hear Dennis’ advice.
Continue to check out the Digital BrainFest 2016 Highlights page for additional recaps, videos and takeaways from this year’s event.