Technologies and Machines
So much of our lives has changed because of technology, not least of all the way people shop; from the places consumers go for information, to how they share their purchase experiences, to the manner of product browsing, and of course to where they make their actual purchase. Marketers have lost much of their power with this shift and understanding the new technological marketing landscape can be challenging. With thousands of vendors servicing marketing departments including the giants Adobe, Oracle, and SAP, a variety of startups from around the globe, and all of the medium-sized enterprises in between, successfully utilizing martech can be a daunting task.
Technologies Impacting Marketing
According to Scott Brinker, editor of marketing blog chiefmartec.com, the technologies influencing marketing departments can be broken up into six core technology categories: advertising and promotion; content and experience; social and relationships; commerce and sales; data; and management. Each of these categories, however, still contain an overwhelming number of vendors and solutions, and it’s been suggested that marketers need to manage and integrate central layers of processes and technology in order to achieve success. To do this, Brian Rickert, Senior Director of Marketing Technology & Tools, SAP, offers a ‘simplified process and technology framework’ which is made up of four core categories which build on each other and create the process and technology stack.
A Simplified Marketing Technology Framework
Rickert’s four categories include foundational, demand management, experience management, and planning and analytics. The foundational category provides the base for the other three layers and requires that marketers become familiar with who their customers are and manage communications to these customers. Demand management then hastens the customer journey through ‘collecting, analyzing, routing, and automating marketing and sales processes.’ Following with experience management delivers outstanding and personalized experiences as marketers focus on the value of individual customer interactions, and finally, planning and analytics encompass the three previous categories and enable organizations to set a baseline plan and track results. This final stage defines the structure of the marketing campaign, measures results, enables organizations to learn from customer interactions, and then adapt to best exploit relevant insights.
The Benefits of Machines in Martech
Automation has already transformed the marketing industry though often this has required human leads as the tech running these operations hasn’t yet been infused with the artificial intelligence that makes creativity possible. However, when correctly exploited, the machines behind martech processes deserve a lot of credit. Machines aren’t able to attain perfect accuracy, but considering the vast amount of information they process, their judgments tend to be appreciably reliable. While customer re-targeting is sometimes viewed as a hindrance, wherein you need only express a passing interest in a product to then have it stalk you across the web, this annoyance is either the fault of poorly managed frequency caps or is, in fact, producing positive sales results – no matter how irritating.
Additionally, machines are used to ensure suitable ads appear with relevant content. Automated page-level processing is used to determine what pages are about and content is managed accordingly. Also, thanks to advances in programmatic technology, it’s possible for marketers to target consumers shrewdly as they track audience behavior in real-time and reference interests and attractions, an action almost impossible to consider without the foundation of martech machines.
Of course, the benefits of marketing technology and machinery should come with a proviso: beware of substituting quantity for sophistication. Though assaulting captive audiences with advertising may once have produced positive results, it has also led to a severe martech challenger, adblocking. Marketers who show no concern for their customers’ comfort and create disruptive, interrupting, and speed degrading adverts aren’t doing anyone any favors, and savvy marketer needs to ensure the martech they use is non-invasive should they wish to endear themselves to customers and stay relevant.
By Jennifer Klostermann