The Past, Present, and Future of Marketing Technology

From a distance, the modern marketing organization can look more like a tech department than a hub of creativity and ideas. CMOs today face the challenge to manage brand strategy and voice efforts under the same roof as data operations and analytics–while encountering pressure from the executive team to adopt data-driven solutions. How can CMOs build marketing strategies that align with a changing technology landscape?

I believe that three technologies will dominate marketing:

  • Marketing Automation
  • Content Management Solutions
  • Predictive Marketing Software

1

How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Platform

Marketing Automation is the incumbent technology solution in the modern marketing suite. For most organizations, marketing automation is the first major technology investment. However, Adage reports that only 16% of B2B companies use marketing automation. We collected some expertise from marketing automation expert, Viktor Nagornyy, about why marketing automation is relevant for brands, and how they can choose the right solution.

 

“Many marketers and business owners are excited about marketing automation and what it promises to do for them. The excitement clouds their judgment, and they don’t do their due diligence when they decide to sign up with an expensive marketing automation platform.“

 

“The problem is not the platform they choose, but the lack of resources and commitment to make it pay for itself. Marketing automation is not the same as marketing autopilot. You can’t set it and forget it. Yes, you can automate activities but you need to monitor it and make necessary changes to improve your open rates, clickthrough rates, conversion rates, and closing rates.“

 

Content management solutions are the marketing technology that seems to get the most buzz these days. The evidence is growing that companies large and small are doubling down on content marketing, social media, and digital strategy, and as this trend grows over the next decade, brands will need the right tools to manage this new marketing capacity.Even leading brands are moving away from traditional advertising to focus on social media marketing, which requires huge increases in the volume of content produced, and, subsequently, in the tools needed to manage.

When given the choice between expensive television and print ads that require months to produce or social media marketing machines that deliver precise targeting and measurement metrics, brands are overwhelmingly moving towards the latter. As brands increase focus on marketing strategies that involve high content output, media agencies are also changing to accommodate brand-sponsored content.

If given the choice between sponsoring an enriching piece of journalism or a rich media display ad, who would choose the ad? As media outlets make it easier for brands to publish content, brands will continue to develop skilled in-house content teams.

All signs point to the rise of importance in content management systems within the modern marketing department.

2

If yesterday’s marketers flocked to marketing automation and today’s marketers clamor for content management solutions, we predict that tomorrow’s marketers will crave predictive marketing software.

It’s no surprise that marketers are hungry for predictive marketing solutions. The ability to actually predict who will buy your products and services eliminates a majority of the marketing grunt work. If you can predict who will buy your products–and why–you don’t have to buy lead lists; you don’t have to test market segments; you don’t have to run broadly targeted campaigns with boring messages.

New data technologies have improved the quality of information that comprises each customer segment, so where marketers used to look at basic firmographic data, such as industry classification and zip code, data signals are now dynamic, and include business characteristics such as web presence and online reputation. Technology can then take marketing data one step further to predict which signals correlate with purchase behavior and account health. Predictive software enables precision marketing for modern marketers looking to diverge from traditional methods, and if the popularity of marketing automation and content management solutions is anything to go by, modern marketers aren’t looking for ways to grow their traditional marketing operations.

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