Marketing is a creative endeavor, so it is no surprise that creative “right brain” people are drawn to it. The hurdle we need to get over is what tools these creative marketers use to do their jobs. Just as animators have moved from pen to computer graphics, and cooks from campfires to convection ovens, marketing organizations and individuals need to embrace the usefulness—the necessity even—of marketing technologies (martech).
Traditionally we’ve had a clear divide between the techies (IT) and the creatives (marketing). The techies have the specific expertise to integrate and implement technologies while the creatives brainstorm campaign ideas, blog topics, and website designs. That just isn’t practical anymore. Marketing and marketers need aptitude with a variety of applications because the ever-growing martech stack is intimately related to the creative process, not to mention the results of those projects.
We’re not suggesting that your marketing program manager needs a degree in computer science or that they should be managing servers and writing code. That is still the purview of the IT department. What is imperative is to staff your marketing department with people who embrace rather than fear technological innovation and leverage that technology to reach goals.
CMO’s are clearly on board with this, continuing to allocate 27% of their budgets to technology.
Why? Because they are looking at revenue and return on investment, not how many blogs were posted, case studies written, or campaigns launched. The benefits of technology are profound. Two are worth noting here:
- Scale. To increase marketing output without an equivalent increase in marketing staff and budget—whether it be campaigns or the number of sales representatives served—you need to work smarter not harder. Applications that allow for sophisticated searches, self-service, and automation of tactical processes multiply productivity.
- Intelligence. Marketing activities need to show ROI. Technology that automatically tracks usage and responses, and ties those to revenue objectives enables marketer to hone their programs quickly. That information informs strategy and creative approaches while keeping the programs attuned to CxO goals.
The gap is in the skills and mindset of some marketers. Frequently we encounter customer reference program managers who have an undeniable passion for customer marketing but are disinterested in or uneasy with the technology that can transform their job from tactical to strategic and quantify their success. It’s important to staff marketing departments with sufficient technical aptitude and passion. Big picture thinkers who see the connection between martech technologies will be the most valuable and rewarded of the bunch. Those who ignore—or worse reject—the martech tools at their disposal have a limited shelf life.