By Tempest Wright, Staff Writer/Illustrator – May 13, 2021
The Marriage of Marketing and Technology
In the age of information, marketing as a whole is powered by technology, leaving the two irrevocably intertwined. Marketing technology, with its corner of the marketing industry referred to as a martech, blends the functions and strategies of each into one tool. As an industry, martech has grown by 470% in less than a decade, according to Leadspace. Globally, martech surpassed $191 billion USD in value. However, marketing and technology have always been intricately intertwined since before martech became its own sector. The main types of marketing technology include digital advertising, analytics, content management, customer relationship management (CRM), and social media. Furthermore, marketing technology comprises any initiative, effort, or tool that utilizes technology to achieve brand goals and milestones. Thus, all marketers use a variety of marketing technologies on a daily basis to ensure success.
Digital advertising, as implied by the name, are ads found across the internet such as Google and Facebook ads, web banners, and web crawlers via search engine optimization (SEO). Marketing analytics allow marketers to measure the success of their initiatives, including digital advertising. Google Analytics, for example, is one tool by which efforts are appraised. Customer relationship management, or CRM, governs the quality of the relationship between brand and consumer. For example, Apple utilizes CRM by designing all their devices to be used in sync with one another. Apple’s phones, computers, and tablets share data via the user’s Apple ID, and implement targeted marketing by tracking user preferences across platforms. Similarly, Amazon customizes user experiences, creates tailored ads based off of consumer data, and makes one-click purchases possible, creating a seamless online retail experience. Finally, digital content management and social media tools (such as Later and TweetDeck) streamline the creation and distribution of brand materials online.
The implementation of marketing technology yields several benefits. First, technology helps marketers do their jobs efficiently. Data collection combined with artificial intelligence makes it possible for marketers to effortlessly run analytics that measure the performance of their campaigns. This allows brands to determine what efforts are worth the investment and what should be reimagined or eliminated altogether. In the event of initiating development, social media networking creates a subtle way for marketers to grow their brand. Platforms such as LinkedIn allow businesses to expand their connections and scout beneficial partnerships and employment opportunities. Similarly, SEO is a type of marketing technology that boosts reach. SEO strategies push brand media to the top of Google search results, for example, and increase brand visibility and web traffic. Finally, tools such as Marketo enable marketers to automate emails, mobile marketing, digital ads, and social media engagement across platforms. Automation services are so valuable as a marketing tool that Adobe paid $4.75 billion to acquire Marketo, Inc.
While marketing technology is invaluable, it isn’t immune to error. The most prominent challenge of marketing technology that brands face is the misuse of personal data. As technology develops, consumers grow more conscious of their digital footprint. It’s not uncommon for individuals to routinely clear the cache and cookies in their browsers, limit the amount of information they share online, disable all geotagging, and download adblockers. Additionally, even with the prevalence and convenience of online shopping, many consumers opt to buy goods in-person as opposed to entering their personal information at an online checkout.
However, even with its shortcomings, marketing technology will only progress further. From the first database marketing system in the 1980s to the internet (and its accompanying services and devices) as we currently know it, the martech industry shows no signs of stopping. Where there is technology, there is marketing. Consequently, the marketers that harmonize the two are likely to find the most success.
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