By John Rampton
When it comes to company roadmaps for marketing, part of the journey to engage with customers still relies on the art of marketing. In reality, it’s still emotions and human connections that drive much of the impact marketing efforts have on an audience.
Yet, marketing needs technology to reach the right audience at the right time. That’s the intersection between the two where companies need to drive toward to meet their goals for 2019 and beyond.
From Good to Better
One way to think about it is to think about any road trip you’ve ever taken. In the days before GPS in our vehicles and preceding our dependence on smartphones, foldable maps were used to determine direction and guide us on journey. While they were good, they didn’t tell us much except for roads.
Now, fast forward to GPS, which not only gives us specific directions, but it also can reroute us for a quicker, more efficient trip. We can use these navigation devices to personalize the journey with places of interest along the way. Overall, technology enhances the experience and gets us where we want to go.
Marketing’s Technology Makeover
Like our physical journeys, technology has done something similar for marketing in terms of improving the process for higher levels of engagement. Marketers have a much more direct route to their intended audience with significantly more information about each segment. The result is a faster, more efficient, and accurate marketing journey, including the ability to deliver cross-channel marketing strategies. Less effort and time are spent to get a significantly higher level of results.
This marketing makeover includes a digital transformation with technology like analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, chatbots, geolocation, augmented and virtual reality, automation and more. All this technology is yielding results in terms of personalized marketing and engaged audiences. It’s become so important that there is even a term for it now: Martech.
It sounds so promising, but many marketers are frozen like a deer in the headlights unsure of what to do with all this technology. They are at a crossroads between the traditional marketing that’s served them fairly well until recently and the road ahead which appears to be complex and crowded with all types of technology.
Which Way to Go?
At this point, companies need to move forward with their digital transformations, adopting their marketing strategies to new channels and changing audience expectations.
Although there is a significant amount of technology now available for marketing, it does not mean you have to pick up all of it along the journey. Instead, you should be focused on the destination and understand what is necessary for reaching that destination.
Here’s what can guide you as a marketing profession when you are stuck at the intersection of marketing and technology:
- Attending Martech conferences provide a way to better understand this intersection and hear from experts on strategies for integrating the right technology that aligns with your marketing objectives. Industry leaders in marketing and technology converge to provide the best information and updates, which can shape how you invest in Martech.
- Testing apps, tools, and platforms gives you and your marketing team a better understanding of what marketing and technology can do when they partner on processes and tactics. For example, it may be worth trying voice-assisted marketing or experiential marketing to determine if it would address customer expectations about their experience with your brand. It’s also worth spending the time to read the material that each Martech company develops because this information details the value proposition and how you might use it.
- Putting yourself in the shoes of the target prospects and existing customers by shopping online and using mobile platforms can give you a better perspective on what they want and why. You’ll be more likely to understand how to deliver that for them, including through mobile marketing, as well as have a better basis for the type of Martech you need to integrate into your marketing strategy.
- Evaluating your overall marketing goals should also direct what technology you use. For example, it may be that you want to combine marketing efforts to be consistent and efficient with messaging across channels or you are focused on personalizing the experience and need to collect and analyze more data to achieve that.
Challenges to Overcome
Even with these actions, there can still be roadblocks that are standing in the way of a truly integrated Martech environment. You’ll need to know how to overcome the lack of an effective Martech strategy by spending more time building out a detailed plan that aligns each marketing objective with a particular technology.
Removing inefficiencies, increasing the ROI, and driving greater consistency in data and messaging through Martech investments will also address the challenge of limited buy-in from executives who may not understand how or why to undertake this digital transformation.
Between testing, researching, and aligning, you’ll be able to move past the intersection of marketing and technology, driving a clear path toward a digital marketing strategy that gets you to the right audience destination.
Learn more about Oracle Marketing Cloud and how the right Martech can better connect you to the data you need and the customers you are targeting with “A Perfect Circle: How to Connect to the Buyer of Now.”
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