by Katrin Ribant

Why marketing technology will make or break careers

Apr 25, 2016
AnalyticsBig DataBusiness Intelligence

Today's marketers should pay attention to fully understand today's complex MarTech environment, or prepare to suffer the consequences.

marketing automation
Credit: Thinkstock

Marketing technology is undergoing a revolution, largely driven by data. Because the growth of data and its ensuing complexity are challenging today’s businesses trying to make sense of it, the MarTech community is living in very exciting times.

But to really understand why marketing technology is important, I think you need to have the full context.

Across all industries, every business is feeling the impact of data. Because of its explosion and the relatively new accessibility to capture, process, analyze and act on it, today’s cutting-edge businesses are able to do things once thought impossible. This is due to the collapse of pricing for computing power and the use of parallel processing via the cloud, which has put tremendous power in any data literate businesses’ hands. Standing still is no longer an option. Leveraging data assets is the new status quo.

Whether an organization is operating as a B2B or B2C, one thing is certain: Your customer’s behavior and expectations are changing due to the pervasiveness of digital media and social networking. This means that today’s consumer expects a more personalized, one-to-one experience when interacting with a brand. Though it has always been the marketer’s dream to serve up segment of one marketing treatments, it’s becoming a reality in today’s MarTech environment due to technology.

There’s just one little hang up: It’s really, really hard to do — though not impossible.

If a one-to-one experience wasn’t already difficult enough to achieve, it gets even more complicated. That’s because today’s customers are anticipating that their interactions with businesses will be seamless across all channels and touchpoints, and that when they do decide to address a brand, their voice will be heard.

This has led to many boardroom discussions where marketing leaders are tasked with enriching the customer experience and taking action on deliverables that fall outside the scope of the traditional marketing role. CMOs should not be surprised in the coming years when their careers morph and marketing starts to own the Customer Service and Sales departments.

But with great power comes even greater responsibility, which is why marketers will need effective measurement to address the increasing level of accountability required of the department.

In a day and age where the MarTech space is rife with a unique solution for every component of the marketing department’s technology stack, and all-new data sources come online daily, it has gotten overwhelming very quick. THINK: Have you ever stopped and thought about how difficult it is for marketers to send a coherent message to their customers across all of the touchpoints they have decided to use to interact with the brand? It is critical to note that consumers are more empowered than ever and today’s marketing professionals have to adapt to the reality that today’s customers may choose to interact with your brand on channels that may not be under the marketing department’s purview.

To crystallize how gnarly the MarTech beast is, take a look at the 2016 MarTech landscape put together by Scott Brinker.

MarTech-Landscape-2016-Scott-Brinker Scott Brinker

The 2016 MarTech Landscape by Scott Brinker

If the visual didn’t cross your eyes, understand that there is significant growth happening in this arena. According to Brinker, after de-duplicating the logos included in landscape, he estimates that year-over-year there’s been an approximate 87 percent increase in vendors operating within the space.

This complexity means that you will need to devote a significant amount of investment, time, expertise and cross-department collaboration to deliver on a marketing strategy that’s cost effective. If you don’t, there’s a high likelihood that you will waste a boatload of money and, even worse, time, all the while being held accountable by management. In other words, you’re actually determining your career’s success or fate.

And that’s why understanding marketing technology is critical to your career.