As marketing technology (martech) rises in prominence and begins to mature within marketing operations, marketing leaders would do well to borrow some lessons from the IT operations.
A decade or so ago, IT was frequently criticized for being too focused on functional silos. Technologists specializing in applications, databases and networks, for example, each had tools to manage performance within their particular specialty silo. However, no one had a view into how these components rolled up to deliver a service, like email or CRM.
So while IT could report a database was down, the business didn’t understand what that meant, and as a result, lost confidence in IT. All the business new was that a service, like email was down (again) and that every moment it continued to be cost money. IT was out of alignment with the business and that was the driving force behind concepts like IT service management.
For all the benefits of marketing technology – speed, insight, amplification – it seems to me the martech is in precisely the same spot IT operations was ten years ago. Indeed, there’s an opportunity for martech vendors with an API strategy and a data visualization layer on top. The business cares more about the service marketing is providing, while marketing is reporting up KPIs from the functional siloes.
To that end, martech is the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links. The three articles below examine a part of the vast martech landscape most important to PR pros, views of PR from a PR pro within a large martech vendor and finally a look at the future – what the touchless web might mean for technology in the marketing space.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing in my careers, it’s that there is no such thing as one size fits all. That’s also quite true in martech as well where claims of “all-in-one” dance with edges of limitations and vernacular. In a contributed piece for Marketing Land, which often offers a daily dose of martech news, Travis Wright notes:
“Influencer marketing is a ‘hot mess,’ according The Wall Street Journal. I tend to agree, as it’s a challenge to build the ideal marketing technology stack. Currently, with influencer marketing technology, there isn’t one solution that comprehensively covers all areas. From discovery to engagement to tracking and reporting, there are many different solutions, but they don’t always fit together.”
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A few years back, Joe Ciarallo was a reporter for the industry trade publication PRNewser – and I a public relations director for martech vendor vying for Joe’s attention. Today, and by way of acquisition, he’s the PR director for Salesforce, which certainly one of the more prominent martech vendors in the space. So I took a special interest in his thoughts conveyed in the Marketing Cloudcast, a podcast by Salesforce, when he appeared recently as a guest:
“No matter your space, you can bet that there’s a blogger, YouTuber, Instagrammer, prolific LinkedIn writer, or other influencer who wields authority with the audience you seek. The concept is still relatively new, so come up with an early strategy to dominate influencer relations. This will be an increasing responsibility of the PR pro.”
It’s worth pointing out after listening to two episodes of the Marketing Cloudcast, including a fantastic interview with Rebecca Lieb, I’ve added the program to my collection of podcast subscriptions.
Mobile technology might be the culprit behind multi-tasking, but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. Instead of typing in queries and commands on a keyboard, we may well increasingly be giving our phones voice command.
This means we’ll be able to interact with the web without physically touching a device. As we look at that horizon, I wonder: what happens to marketing in a touchless web? It’s a question that makes the nascent Amazon Dash button seem quite quaint.
eMarketer research into personal assistant technology might off a glimpse:
“According to the survey, the majority (64.5%) of AI users said they used AI assistants to ask general questions, followed by getting directions while driving (39.7%) and making calls (25.2%). Other research confirms, though, that few mobile phone owners in the US actually use a voice-controlled personal assistant regularly.”
However, the report also notes:
“But personal assistants could be getting more popular. This year, voice-activated search is on the rise, and personal assistants can be spoken to not just via mobile, but also in the car. And the technology is always getting smarter through the support of the growing internet of things (IoT).”
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Does your PR firm speak tech? More than just being able to speak knowledgeably about technology, marketing and PR firms need to be able to use it effectively to drive client results. Contact us today to set up a hassle-free time to discuss what a boutique firm specializing in B2B technology can do for your marketing efforts.
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