Marketing Technology – if you’re not confused yet?

Steve MacAlpine —  January 22, 2014

“If you’re not confused you’re not paying attention…”

Tom Peters

Chiefmartec

If you are a marketer today you need technology…that’s a given…the problem is making the right choice and remembering what is really important.

Scott Brinkler from Chief Marketing Technologist has put another Marketing Technology Landscape graphic together and it’s being widely discussed. This is of course a constantly changing landscape and Scott’s graphic illustrates the challenge of making the right choice facing marketing decision makers.

There are 947 marketing software vendors in 43 categories around six major classes.

  1. Internet services such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter that underlie today’s marketing environment.
  2. Infrastructure such as databases, big data management, cloud computing, and software development tools.
  3. Marketing Backbone Platforms such as CRM, marketing automation, WCM, and e-commerce engines.
  4. Marketing Middleware such as DMPs, CDPs, tag management, cloud connectors, user management, and API services.
  5. Marketing Experiences – more specialised technologies that directly affect prospects and customers across their lifecycle, such as advertising, email, social media, SEO, content marketing, A/B testing, marketing apps – the “front-office” of modern marketing.
  6. Marketing Operations – the tools and data for managing the “back-office” of marketing, such as analytics, MRM, DAM, and agile marketing management.

So what does every marketer really need in today’s marketplace?

  • a CRM
  • a core web content/experience system
  • basic marketing automation (campaigns and customer journey management)
  • and an e-commerce engine, if that’s your business model

You might use different vendors to meet these objectives or turn to vendors who are ‘packaging’ this functionality. This logic is behind the flurry of acquisitions eg Oracle recently acquired Eloqua and Compendium and Salesforce acquired Exact Target, Buddy Media, Pardot and Radian 6.

The major players are spending big to offer a comprehensive technology suite to their customer base and are investing heavily in promotion to get new customers. I’m bombarded with offerings via social, email, whitepapers, webinar invitations and targeted ads of course… all offering the ‘best solution.’

My POV…

Too often I see companies that invest in new technology and then never use what they have to it’s full potential.

The latest ‘bright shiny’ marketing technology will not magically connect you with your audience.

Your audience doesn’t care about which technology you use, they only care about what’s in it for them.

No matter which platforms/technologies you choose… the basics still apply.

There’s no ‘magic bullet’…..

Brand stories are what drive interactions with our customers !

1. What is the story telling my target customer?

2. Why does my target customer care about this story?

3. What sort of emotions does my story evoke?

4. How does my story connect to the emotional needs of my target customer?

5. How will that story incite action on behalf of my brand, product, and service

 

you can access a hi res pdf of the graphic here 

Steve MacAlpine

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Brand and digital strategist - founder of Social Insights.