Technology’s Influence on Marketing
The introduction of technology has dramatically changed the way we do business. From how we communicate to how we see our product or service is completely different from just 20 years ago. One area that is constantly changing due to technology’s influence is marketing. How, when, and where we market as well as how we develop our marketing strategy is growing increasingly more complex.
The introduction of the radio and TV in the 20s and 50s created new mediums to market your product on. You could now reach millions of people across the US and even use the show you advertised on to target a certain demographic or audience. You broadcast your marketing message out to whoever was listening, hoping it’d attract more people and convert them into customers. Now, with the age of the internet and the Internet of Things, a completely new medium has been introduced and as we’ve seen and continue to see, it is a living, breathing, growing beast that has taken on a mind of its own and makes “broadcasting” your message much more complex.
Digital marketing has become a necessity for growing organization and it differs greatly from traditional marketing. There are new platforms such as social media to engage on (engage, not broadcast) and new tools to help develop strategies and collect data. The ability to collect mass amounts of data allows a company to make better, more strategic decisions, but the question is, how do you turn that data into information and actually make it useful?
To address that question, a new role has emerged over the last couple years, the Marketing Technologist.
Role of a Marketing Technologist
The marketing technologist bridges IT and marketing. They are “part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader” – HBR
Data Collector: As a marketing technologist, I compile data through various analytic tools on our and our competitor’s digital marketing. Then I take that data and sift through the noise to pull out the important, insightful statistics.
Strategist: I play an important role in the development of our marketing strategy and am the voice for digital marketing. I have to justify why we need to take money from other marketing budgets and invest in digital marketing and how.
Technology Expert: Keeping up-to-date on new and current technologies is important for marketing technologists. I constantly compare new technology and tools to what we are using now. I evaluate and choose which technology providers we go with and even develop custom tools for our marketing team.
Marketing technologists wear many different hats throughout the day to do the various parts of their job, then we throw all of them on to make sure our marketing technology aligns with our business goals. It can be a challenging role because it is constantly changing. Like I said, the internet is its own beast that is unpredictable so you need to be able to adapt. For some, this is great because you don’t feel like you’re doing the same thing day in and day out.
It can be easy to get excited about new technology and want to push for your company to adopt it but it is just as important, if not more so, to also have an understanding of when or even if a particular technology should be invested in. Understanding your business’s strategy and goals is key to evaluating whether a particular tool will truly benefit the company.
Characteristics of a Strong Marketing Technologists
There are no official “Marketing Technology” degree out there, at least when I was in school so how do you know who would do well in such a role?
Personally, my background is in Information Systems (IS) which at my university was within the business school so as I learned about how technology better enables an organization, I learned about accounting, marketing, finance, and business strategy. This has truly enabled me to be strong marketing technology, but I was lucky! I happened to choose a path that set me up for success.
For those not on such a direct path, certain characteristics can indicate a strong marketing technologist.
- Interest in technology and learning about new technology
- Able to handle and evaluate data
- Belief in cross department functionality
- Strong problem solving skills
- Background in business or marketing
- Ability to present and back up opinions and decisions
- Works well with change
As technology changes so does our business and marketing. Having a person dedicated to watching these trends and understanding them can put you ahead of your competitors and allow you to compete with a competitive advantage. As the world changes and grows, your organization needs to change and grow with it. Fighting it will only end in failure.
How could a marketing technologist better enable your organization? Let me know in the comments below.