Marketing and technology – bridging the gap
The impact of technology on marketing is immense! The internet, mobile phones, social media and other technological advancements have greatly affected how we do business. The way we communicate and interact with our customers is also continuously changing and improving. All this being said, marketing and technology should be a match made in heaven, but we all know that there are several challenges.
The marketers’ challenge
Customers now have very high expectations. They have a plethora of devices and channels to choose from and interact on. They have access to more information. With these issues combined, brands and marketers are faced with a difficult challenge. Whilst marketers have the opportunity to collect more detailed data, develop stronger customer relationships and, most importantly, satisfy customer needs with a personal touch; they are also faced with the real challenge of staying up to date with technological advances and the development aspect.
The business challenge
Where business struggles is the integration and communication between the marketing and technology (IT) departments; getting these departments to work together is a massive challenge. This isn’t solved by making these two departments sit next to each other or forcing internal processes, but rather to up-skill and get them to understand each others roles. Marketers must become more knowledgeable about technology, data and analytics. And those in the technology department must get more creative. In order to achieve this, companies should breed curiosity. This, in turn, breeds innovation and creativity.
The agency problem
This is all well and good but the struggle is still real. Even creative agencies still struggle to integrate traditional advertising with digital. But this is a different conversation for another time.
Hold on! Rewind…
Marketing is all about people; understanding their needs, their behaviour and motivations. Marketers use this information to find insights and create brand messages that will resonate with the audience, encouraging them to buy a specific product, build loyalty, etc. Technology is all about the data, statistics, innovation, development, systems. When combined, marketing and technology can boost your marketing efforts – communication is faster, more relevant and more broadly accessed.
Building the bridge
Although business is under pressure to take advantage of all the new marketing and technology opportunities that are constantly appearing and evolving, there is no better time to be imaginative, be adaptive, be creative, be innovative. Provide your information technology and marketing departments the skills to cross-pollinate roles in order to reach a common goal. Ensure you choose a “marketing-technologist” to lead this change. Remember, at the end of all this, there is always a winner: the business’ bottom line, the brand and the customer.