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Content Marketing Authors: Greg Ness, Will Davis, Kevin Benedict, Pankaj Taneja, Ben Bradley

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14 Experts Weigh in on Marketing Technology Strategy

Marketing technology has exploded in the past five years, and it’s transformed marketing into a field many of us wouldn’t recognize a decade ago. In fact, with such limited reporting potential to determine the ROI of specific activities, you could argue marketing before the martech boom was more art than science.

Today, marketers find themselves in a very different position. They can instead make calculated decisions based on unprecedented levels of available data on everything from ROI to user behavior, thanks to broad adoption of marketing technology platforms.

But there’s a downside, as well: The exponential growth of marketing technology over the past several years has made it difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with all the new options available to optimize your marketing performance and reporting.

With ChiefMartec reporting nearly 5,000 martech solutions available now (compared to the 150 available six years ago), it isn’t shocking that marketers are feeling overwhelmed. That’s why we turned to the experts to learn how they see the field of marketing technology evolving — and how in the world they keep up.

Let’s hear from the experts…

 


 

Jody Costa
VP Marketing
Barcoding Inc.

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the marketing technology space, how do keep up as a marketer?
I don’t answer my phone! But seriously, I try to take the same advice we give our clients who are trying to keep up with changing mobile technology. First start with why. What is the problem? Is there actually a tech issue or is it something else? Examine the process. Most likely, there are improvements that need to be made without the introduction of new technology. Refresh yourself on your current martech stack. Are you missing any features that might fill gaps without adding new gaps? Consider the people on your team. What are their needs, working habits, etc.? And finally, once you have that all figured out, test out that new technology!

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
I am a marketer that firmly believes the saying “people buy from people”. If we lose sight of that in the swirl of new technology, we are missing our core reason for being. Marketing strategy must be built on a deep understanding of your customers as people and on their businesses’ goals. It’s not too lofty to think that marketing should be adding value to the customer just as much as any other department! Align your strategy around building those relationships, building your reputation, and delivering (proving) results. If new technology helps support those efforts, add it in!
How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement, to technology, to their content strategies?

I think the biggest change marketers face is something we all understand deeply – expectations are rising more rapidly than ever (our own included). Keeping up with rising expectations differentiates the winners from the losers and that’s changing our profession. Marketing today requires a much more seasoned understanding of customers’ needs, design requirements, sales strategies, and customer service and support goals. What’s exciting is the opportunity that marketers have to look holistically at the organization and at the customer/prospect base and choose strategies that are best for all. Again, it goes back to adding value. If we can spend and produce content based on adding value to people, we will ultimately build our brand and our referrals.

 

Michael Benedict,
VP App Store & Content
GoCanvas

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the marketing technology space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
There are certain technologies we focus on, including those related to analytics, machine learning, and SEO. We proactively assess new technologies on a regular basis, and we keep an open mind toward technology’s potential (it runs in our blood, as a SaaS company). There are several ways new tech comes to us, including recommendations from our various agencies, to our own internal research, to companies simply proactively reaching out.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
They are incredibly intertwined. What’s been most interesting is watching how our internal marketing strategy presentations center increasingly on the impact of AI, machine learning and other technologies, and how they are helping drive meaningful results. There’s a lot of education around what these marketing technologies are and how we’re using them.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
Budgets need to be rethought, as well as what defines a marketing group. I think the biggest change is that as marketing technologies increase in sophistication and capabilities, marketing teams will increasingly rely on agencies to help maximize the efficacy of these technologies, from a strategy, tactical, and analytics standpoint. Also, any given marketing discipline (email, SEO, paid, etc.) is getting increasingly complex. This has meaningful impacts on the strategy, budgeting, and staffing process, and shows no sign of letting up.

 

Shannon Walsh
Sr. Director of Marketing Technology
Right Source Marketing

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the marketing technology space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
There are thousands of technology solutions out there. Very few will actually be right for everyone, so I focus on knowing what pain points I’m actually solving for. This guides what I spend my time thinking and learning about.

Local marketing automation platform (MAP) and customer relationship management (CRM) user groups are a great way to learn more about the technology available today and how it integrates with your existing stack. First-hand experience from your peers is always a great starting point to determine what your team might be interested in researching.

On a more practical level, I have Google alerts set for terms like CRM and marketing automation that give me a daily, high-level overview of new developments in the field. I don’t always get to read them all, but it helps me keep my finger on the pulse of new developments and dive in quickly when I am ready to learn about a specific tool or area.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
Technology and what is available certainly guides strategy just in terms of our ability to pursue new avenues that didn’t previously exist. Marketers should think about our strategic planning as a partnership between where we want to go and how far we can push those boundaries based on what technology is available to us. From web personalization to AI for delivering hyper-relevant content to buyers, it isn’t hard to see the lines blurring between what drives what on the strategy/technology front.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
I think at the end of the day, marketers are increasingly focused on the broader impacts and goals they are driving toward. Instead of painstakingly breaking out budget between newer technology or doubling down on traditional content, successful marketers today are looking at ways technology and other resources can work together to deliver on the lofty goals they are being asked to accomplish across the industry.

 

Michael Fleischner
CEO
Big Fin Solutions

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
According to ChiefMartec and other sources, there are well over 5,000 different marketing technologies available to the professional marketer. Trying to acquire hands-on experience with each one is simply a fool’s errand. Every day, new providers are emerging throughout various layers of the marketing technology stack, and some are disappearing as quickly as they emerge. Instead of trying to know about every application, I recommended focusing on each layer of the marketing technology stack and what your specific needs are in relation to your marketing strategy. Often, the greatest differences in technology applications can be found based on the size of your organization, preference for different types of media, and level of sophistication needed to achieve specific outcomes.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
The good news is that each layer of the marketing technology stack brings advances in how to think about and apply traditional marketing methods. For example, developments in analytics, DSPs, and CRMs allow a much more sophisticated view of target segments and allow the right message to appear in front of the right prospects (and customers) in real time. The efficiency and reach of this technology is changing our strategies and the tactics we use to execute on them. I’m a firm believer in understanding what’s possible and then formulating a strategy that will meet your objectives. Once you’ve established your goals, you can seek out tech solutions that help you get there.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?Marketers are thinking more about leveraging technology to do more with less. I’ve noticed a trend of marketers trying to accomplish many more tasks with fewer full-time people — leveraging technology or freelancers to support their various demands. There has also been a shift in spend. Budgets are being placed into media buys and technology, not people. This can be challenging, as technology often isn’t being fully utilized inside organizations. In my opinion, more money should be spent on training and development, ensuring better use of the marketing technology companies are using to help them achieve very specific outcomes.

 

Dave Toliver
Sr. Director, Marketing Operations
Ellucian

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the marketing technology space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
It’s all very confusing, even for experienced marketers. And vendors all sound the same. I’ve had no fewer than nine vendors over the last four months pitching some flavor of account-based marketing (ABM). While some of those are new vendors, others are vendors I have known in the past to provide one solution that are now offering new elements. To keep up with it all, I request demos of technologies I find interesting. But not just any common, high-level sales demo. I ask for in-depth, technical, show-me-exactly-how-it-works demos, with a technical person who I can ask nitty-gritty questions. I know exactly what I want to accomplish at my company. You show me exactly how your technology, old or new, accomplishes that, and what explicitly sets you apart from your competitors. It makes it easier if you’ve grown up in the technology world and you know what’s actually possible, so you can sniff out the things that sound too good to be true.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
A marketing team today, versus 10-12 years ago, has to be much more technology-savvy. Marketers can’t rely on IT; they have to take it upon themselves to build knowledge of technology into their teams and marketing strategy. Being able to understand the technologies, processes, and elements of execution these new technologies afford them is one key to being able to effectively develop the methods by which marketers can execute their strategy. Technology is now driving strategy. You can no longer build an effective go-to-market campaign strategy without considering how it can be executed through marketing technologies.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
I have seen a lot of marketers and marketing teams waste money buying into the promise of what a slick demo and a sales pitch of a marketing technology can do for them because they don’t fully understand how the technology actually works in practice. The false idea that “If I buy this cool new technology, all of my marketing stuff will magically happen when I hit a couple of buttons” is alive and well. Technology takes a lot of planning and a lot of work. A piece of technology doesn’t magically write the six emails in a drip campaign, it doesn’t automatically distribute your content wherever it should go, and it doesn’t auto-pick and market to a imaginary list of people sitting around waiting to hand your sales reps money. Technology certainly makes life easier and aids in all of this, but before you jump in, you still have to go old-school and 1) know what you want to accomplish, 2) plan your go-to-market strategies, and 3) be set up to manage the technologies and processes for the indefinite future.

 

Edwin Bodensiek
Founder & CEO
Cravety

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
I stay close to many other practitioners and providers. This includes your competition and your partners. With the speed of change at full throttle, it’s virtually impossible to truly keep up. So we have to widen our view as much as possible. I just heard a great phrase at the Chief Experience Officer Exchange in Chicago: “The forefront is always moving.”

The next best thing to truly keeping up with so many new technologies and solutions in the martech space is to use the collective wisdom of your network. Ask questions. Talk shop. Collect data. Realize no one can really master it all, so stay close to as many colleagues as you can doing interesting, visionary work. Allow yourself to be taught. Let them teach you what’s happening on which platform, and above all, why.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
The relationship between the two is 100 percent dependent on you whether or not you choose to connect it. What I mean is this: You can develop what you think is a great marketing strategy, but if you’re not making a good faith effort to really stare at that always-moving forefront and try to decipher what technology offers what, you’re going to come up short. Your strategy is going to become outdated faster than you think, too.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
The biggest change in marketing today is a shifting mindset to expand our focus. I’ve been giving talks on the convergence now occurring between marketing and customer experience, and brand and culture. We’re seeing marketers look through the lens of a design thinker, deploying true end-to-end thinking. It’s no longer enough to limit design to our look and feel. In the Experience Economy, we need to expand the scope of our roles to think like a usage brand, and not just a purchase brand. It’s what our customers are craving, and if we think about it, what we want in our own lives as consumers.

All of these traditional silos are starting to melt away. We’re seeing the most savvy marketers moving beyond the sizzle to think about things like your talent brand. They’re asking new sets of questions, and they’re challenging conventional thinking and even other departments to get more involved in culture change. It’s time to get much more experiential. What was once a tap on the shoulder from the C-suite to get more experiential is about to turn into a hard shove. Customer experience is fast becoming the No. 1 business strategy for growth, and for very good reasons. It affects how we think about budget placement, technology, and content strategy. It moves us past just getting into customer minds, but into their lives. It’s also a way for marketers to future-proof their jobs!

 

Laura Bruck
VP Marketing & Solution Strategy
EZShield

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
Marketing is a science, and research is a key component of our marketing strategy. We stay up to date on martech by reading articles, attending webinars, viewing demos, and speaking to industry experts within the field. By staying well-informed, we are able to select the best martech tools to support our marketing initiatives.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
In a data-driven world, the marketing technology of today better supports our research efforts by providing valuable data and insights. By utilizing detailed analytics about our customers, we can test our efforts, assess the results and reach our target buyer more efficiently. The key is providing a personalized journey to ensure our end customer receives and engages with content that is relevant to them.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
Emerging technology has not changed the way we think. Rather, it has enhanced the marketing process. By embracing new marketing technology, we can optimize our work flow and manage our resources effectively. For instance, marketing automation platforms and varied systems of engagement make it much easier to reach larger audiences on an affordable budget.

 

Melissa Nazar
Director of Content Strategy
SnapApp

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
The honest truth? I don’t. I keep tabs on folks in our space — what’s new in interactive, specifically — but for the most part, I don’t really get into the scope of solutions available until I have an actual problem surface and start solution-building. But I’m just like most martech buyers today — there’s so much noise, and many solutions claim to be the silver bullet. How do you know where to even start? That’s why it’s so important to get in front of marketers long before they have a specific problem to solve and build trust in your brand. I know when I’m looking for solutions, I go to the names in the space that are known quantities to me, rather than skimming my inbox for the latest cold email.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
The cool part is that with all the new tech out there, the opportunities to create incredibly interesting, creative, and targeted marketing programs is almost limitless. A lot of what used to be very manual work (think back to the pre-marketing automation days!) happens with a few simple clicks now, meaning there’s so much more ability to thoughtfully segment and target the marketing we’re doing. I think that our strategies will have to move to both more engaging approaches to break through the noise and also more relevant, personalized programs so buyers see the value.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
I see the pendulum swinging away from this model of “How many leads can we send to sales this month?” As B2B marketers, we bought in to the model of creating generic content (think: every definitive industry guide you’ve ever read) and assuming a download meant that person was ready to talk to sales. Instead, I see an increased focus on quality — are you actually engaging the right people? Do the folks you’re considering leads really even want to talk to you? It’s all about building an audience that values what you’re saying and wants to hear from you. It’s less about volume of people and leads, and more about the quality.

 

Sara Ayoub
Demand Generation Marketer

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
The marketing technology space is constantly evolving, so it’s part of every marketer’s job to keep up. I am constantly scouring blogs and LinkedIn and completing searches for whatever problem I am trying to solve for. I engage with vendors that are forward-thinking, and even if I do not have the budget to invest in them today, I do what I can with what I have to test and incorporate the learned strategies to complement that technology and plan to invest in them in the future.

I also follow influencers on social media channels — just two examples to note include Ann Handley, an 18-year digital marketing veteran, author, speaker and chief content officer at MarketingProfs, and Joe Chernov, marketing influencer and chief marketing officer at InsightSquared to see what they are considering in the tech space. Every year, I try to attend at least one major conference. Some that I recommend include the Marketo Summit, ToPo, INBOUND, MozCon, or the CMO Club. If your company doesn’t have the budget to send you in person or the travel is not a good fit with your schedule, these conferences often offer free live streams of the keynote sessions at minimum. More importantly, I tap into my network to solicit their input as to how I can hone my craft. Barriers to learn and evolve are extremely low in today’s world and there are no excuses to not strive to be cutting edge.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
Your martech stack is the backbone of your marketing strategy. You can have the best strategy, but if you do not have the technology to implement that strategy, it will obviously be much harder to achieve your business goals. This doesn’t mean breaking the bank to get there, but rather creatively weaving the two together. This relationship also creates accountability. Martech eliminates the guesswork. You are now able to make educated decisions and can react intelligently to the market’s demands.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
You have to stay relevant in marketing, as strategies and technology are always evolving. As an example, I think marketers know how important customization and personalization is, but now it’s a must and should be baked into budgets, technology considerations, and content strategies — at least for A/B testing if you aren’t ready to fully commit. By leveraging a smart martech stack, you are able to think more strategically instead of being relegated to tactical marketing decisions. There’s no such thing as antiquated in marketing, because if you’re not cutting edge, you’re forgotten altogether.

 

Aaron Dun
Senior Marketing Executive

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
The number of new technologies is pretty mind numbing to be honest, to the point where it’s basically impossible to keep up, so I don’t even bother trying. I focus instead on the “point of need.” When I am faced with a new challenge or opportunity I will connect with my peers and a small network of people whose opinions I trust on how they solved a similar problem and go from there. I also try to listen more broadly for innovation from others and think about how to apply that to my company to see if we can create additional scale or efficiency if we took a similar approach. That means staying relentlessly networked and continually listening for new innovations. That approach creates a more valuable two-way exchange, rather than just reading the latest “landscape report.”

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
I strongly believe that technology itself is a driver of nothing. So many times, people get trapped by building a strategy around a technology instead of the other way around. But the technology advances of the day do provide us with an opportunity to look for ways to create efficiency and drive scale that can be better enabled through tech.

For example, as we think about driving a better customer experience or engaging our prospects differently, there may be new avenues to explore that were not open to us before. We might be able to apply technology to drive a 10x return, where only a 3x return was previously achievable. But without an understanding of the overall business goals/strategy, marketing’s role in driving that strategy, and the levers you will pull to achieve the goals, any new technology will be wasted.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
I think we are in the middle of a pretty dramatic shift in how buyers want to engage with companies. Whether you “blame the millennials” as seems to be popular today (though I think that is an unsophisticated and tone-deaf argument), or merely recognize that buyer habits are changing, marketing needs to take a leadership role in articulating this change, and then steering the company through it. I believe it starts by fundamentally rethinking the foundation of our work. We need to stop paying lip service to the customer experience, and start actually living that model.

To start with, we need to get a lot more sophisticated about what we measure in marketing, moving away from pure volume metrics to focus on the measurements of efficient growth instead. In its simplest form, conversion rates and sales funnel flow matter far more than top of the funnel lead inputs. When we focus solely on the inputs, we create misalignment with sales. But when we instead examine sales efficiency in the context of conversion rates, marketing is able to focus on the most efficient sources of leads, in turn freeing sales from chasing poor quality leads. Oftentimes, this approach leads to sharply decreasing the volume of leads marketing is sending, but the resultant increases in sales and marketing efficiency leads to a much higher conversion throughput and accelerated sales performance.

 

Lisa Kenney
Sr. Demand Generation
Marketing Manager, Blackbaud

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
When I have a need for a new piece of technology to leverage within my marketing strategy, I tend to immerse myself in the solution and understand how it works. It’s important for me to understand the connection to my existing tech stack with any new solution. The more I know, the better I can optimize new tools for my campaigns.

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
New technology allows us to optimize our marketing strategies. You can see more, do more, and automate so much more with the right tools. With a well-connected tech stack, you learn how to leverage each tool within your campaigns and in concert with your other technology. Though all of the tools help me do better at my job, new marketing technology also provides a better experience for the customers and prospects that I am working to touch through many different channels. Offering a better experience increases trust and engagement!

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
With new tools, we can focus beyond our CRM data and access richer data than ever before. Today, marketers can segment and personalize communications based on both engagement and intent! It’s a really great time to be a marketer — and specifically, a marketer who embraces technology. This tech-focused mindset will help you not only stay ahead of the curve, but push the boundaries of what is possible for marketers. New technology also begets new reporting and opportunities for deeper insight, so you can actually prove the ROI of your technology investment and allocate budget to it. And conversely, with the right tech stack, you can see performance of your touches and more effectively determine where to optimize spend in your marketing budget.

 

Ian Walsh
SVP, Marketing
CARTO

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the marketing technology space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
Even though the technology is new, I recommend an old-school approach to keeping up. Connect with your peers in similar organizations and find out who is tackling the same challenges, and if and how they are investing in tech. Seek out or set up local networking, happy hours, or breakfasts, and look for ways to keep a dialogue alive virtually, like with a Slack group.

Important: Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t have all the answers yourself. More important: Don’t trust anyone who claims to get everything right all the time!

If you can justify the time and expense, go to one of the big marketing tech-focused conferences, even if you aren’t aligned directly to the host organization. I like to max out exhibit hall time by getting as many three-minute overviews as I can, and rolling up the themes and highlights from across those conversations. Then during the networking time, I seek out non-vendor attendees, and ask them what is top of mind for them. If any of the highlights from talking to vendors aligns with the end-user priorities, there’s probably something there.

Good shows to try include Marketo Marketing Nation (martech-focused), Content Marketing World (spans B2B and B2C), and Gartner (formerly CEB) Sales and Marketing Summit (strategy and alignment with sales).

What is the relationship between this newly-available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
I like to tell my team that technology innovations should inform our strategy but should not drive it. Even the most disruptive martech innovations have changed how we do things, but not what we do. Take account-based marketing (ABM) software — it’s all the rage right now, and rightfully so, as it makes it much easier to identify, target, and engage the organizations that are likely to make the best customers. So should you undertake ABM now because the technology has come so far recently? Probably not. You should go after ABM if, and only if, you and your sales team agree that you should focus on a smaller number of target accounts and de-prioritize raw inbound leads. From there you can determine specific technology needs.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today impacting the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
The rapid pace of change in B2B marketing has created a lot of inward focus — on technology, budgets, organizational structure, etc. But you can’t lose sight of our buyers; they are getting more and more sophisticated and empowered. B2B buyers can learn more on their own; they no longer rely on vendor sales reps to educate them on potential solutions to their problems. So it’s more important than ever for marketing to engage early and throughout the buyer’s journey. Marketing technology can help with this but only if your message and content is on point. Buyers are inundated with content and have a higher threshold for quality than ever before. Don’t make a bad first (and therefore last!) impression by putting forth anything but your very best effort for content marketing. This means making it valuable to the reader, insightful, and disruptive.

 

Evan Carroll
Keynote Speaker and Author

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
The effective marketer is the curious marketer. I believe marketing today requires both active and passive research. That is, actively learning via articles, videos, webinars and live events, and passively being an astute consumer of marketing — always watching out for excellent examples and asking the question, “How’d they do that?”

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
Technology alone won’t solve marketing problems. Our problems of yesterday are the same ones we face today: How do you put the right message in front of the right person at the right time? What technology can do is help you implement a strategy that’s more precise and more personalized while optimizing for peak performance. In short, let technology do what technology does best so that people can do what people do best — which is thinking of just the right strategy to move the proverbial needle.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
The biggest change in thinking for marketers is getting okay with not being in control. We’re used to picking budgets, messages, and audience segments and planning every detail of our campaigns. Increasingly, we will build a strategy and associated assets and then allow our technology systems to do the work of putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. We have to embrace our “lane” as strategists and allow our technology to do what it does best.

 

Jeremy Wood
VP Product Marketing
Hootsuite

 

 

 

 

With so many new technologies and solutions entering the martech space, how do you keep up as a marketer?
Fundamentally, I think a few rules continue to apply: Look at your business, goals, and objectives, and find the solution(s) that make the most sense to achieve those outcomes. I don’t want to pretend that it’s necessarily that simple, but often, we as marketers end up with duplicative technologies or cobble together disparate systems to solve for one-off use cases.

The problem there is we don’t tend to remove them afterwards, so even when there might be a real need for some of these point solutions, the “tech debt” that builds up is very real. If we can be prescriptive about what our end goals and objectives are, what the environment we need to function in (i.e., on-premise vs. cloud, mobile-first vs. desktop, a few users vs. organization-wide licenses), it will make the selection process that much easier!

What is the relationship between this newly available technology and how we build our marketing strategy today?
I think we have access to some incredible tools that marketers only dreamed of just a few years ago. I think one of the biggest advancements has been around data — not just the collection of it but the usability of it to be better marketers and essentially provide a better customer experience. The huge wave of “customer-obsessed” businesses (which, by the way, is FANTASTIC), has put pressure on technology to enable this value.

So how do you offer the best customer experience? Well, you do that by knowing your customer, understanding what they want, where they want it, and when they want it, and reducing points of friction along the entire customer journey. We know customers now want to interact with brands via social including buying, support, and beyond. If that’s the way customers want to engage with a brand, then that brand needs to be there and responsive! The latest technology is helping businesses “be there” for their customers. This is just one example, but I think it’s one of the most important ones.

How do you see all the changes in marketing today changing the way marketers think, from budget placement to technology to content strategies?
I think it’s a lot to do with my previous response. Customers have more options than ever today, from where they do research, find reviews, purchase, get support, and advocate (either positively or negatively!). It used to be that customers would go into a store, look around, and make a decision. If they didn’t like their purchase or their experience, they may have (or often not) called or emailed the vendor, but that’s it. Today, customers are more empowered than ever to do all these steps in multiple ways — both online and offline — through traditional channels or cutting-edge ones.

If there’s ever been an Era of the Customer, it is now. And as marketers, we need to respect that and leverage technology to meet this new customer journey. I think all of this is shaping budgets (i.e., putting more budget into channels such as social as it becomes more of a multi-touch channel) and evolving one’s content strategy to be more personalized and unique to the buyer. We can’t get away with mass “generic” content anymore — unique, personalized, and meaningful customer experiences is where we need to be putting our time and energy!

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that finding a way to keep up with the rapidly evolving field of marketing technology is critical for long-term success. These tips from marketing experts can simplify the process of sifting through the noise, so you can get you to the ROI you need.

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Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.