Don’t let the marketing technology landscape cloud your key objectives

The rapid growth of the mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy indus­try – as dis­played in 2015’s edi­tion of the Mar­ket­ing Tech­nol­o­gy Land­scape Super­graph­ic – is astound­ing. Near­ly 2,000 ven­dors are now oper­at­ing world­wide across 43 cat­e­gories, almost dou­ble the num­bers in last year’s chart. This is clear­ly reflec­tive of the increas­ing inter­est of tech com­pa­nies in the pos­si­bil­i­ties that the mar­ket­ing indus­try offers, and is a promis­ing out­look for the future.

As the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing indus­try comes of age, with so much choice across so many cat­e­gories it could be easy to feel over­whelmed by the mul­ti­tude of avail­able tools. Mar­keters may feel com­pelled to tick off every cat­e­go­ry in this graph­ic, and spend their time (and bud­get) on increas­ing­ly spe­cialised tools.

How­ev­er, this trend runs the risk of los­ing focus on what should be most impor­tant: their cus­tomers’ expe­ri­ence of their brand.

Hav­ing tech­nol­o­gy and exper­tise in all 43 of these cat­e­gories would, real­is­ti­cal­ly, be pro­hib­i­tive­ly expen­sive and time-con­sum­ing. A marketer’s remit is ulti­mate­ly to dri­ve their brand’s val­ue and improve cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, using tech­nol­o­gy as an aid rather than a hin­drance – after all, who has the time to eval­u­ate and inte­grate all these tools?

Using dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tools like Adobe’s Mar­ket­ing Cloud, is a cen­tral, valu­able part of what mar­keters do – they allow us to test, to take risks and to learn. As mar­keters become increas­ing­ly tech-savvy, with ever-grow­ing toolk­its, what we must bear in mind is that it’s real­ly all about how this tech­nol­o­gy is applied.

To be suc­cess­ful, mar­keters must rise above the minu­ti­ae of point prob­lems which are eas­i­ly solved by yet anoth­er new uten­sil, as this can only lead to more time spent inte­grat­ing and eval­u­at­ing tech­nol­o­gy, and less time deci­pher­ing the real issues cus­tomers face. What mar­keters need is one plat­form that oper­ates across many cat­e­gories, and gen­er­al­ist skills to encour­age strate­gic thinking.

As the trend for more and more spe­cial­i­sa­tion increas­es, we must take a step back and realise that what is tru­ly essen­tial is the abil­i­ty to utilise core mar­ket­ing prin­ci­ples in the dig­i­tal age. The future is in core skills and blend­ed, inte­grat­ed technology.

This graph­ic is a use­ful tool, but we must avoid focus­ing sole­ly on the easy prob­lems. The chal­lenge is always strate­gic, and the ulti­mate aim must always be to give our cus­tomers a great expe­ri­ence, that is cohe­sive across all platforms.