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To clear confusions about marketing technology, use this guide

Marketing technology can be confusing because there is too much. A marketer with a Swiss-based sports federation recently told your Clicademist that she had to learn to use Figma, Miro, and Notion in the past few weeks, thanks to her new agency’s preferences. She confessed being an Office 365 user, she had not heard of any of these productivity tools weeks before.

The famous Marketing Technology Landscape infographics at its 2020 edition, has been struggling to be more informative than intimidating. All people can see is an agglomeration of logos to represent 8,000 plus technologies.

The problems of marketing technology

The rapidly growing multitude is one of the problems. Categorising the technology items as in the diagram below helps. But deep diving in even the smallest group of 601 Management solutions would not be practical.

Martech Category Growth 2019-2020
Marketing technology solutions 2020 categorised by chiefmartec.com. Click here for source.

The bigger problem lies in the interconnections between the technologies that every marketer deals with daily. There are at least three levels of connections. On the macro level are the technologies that come into our world. Next are the technologies as products and services provided by various companies and the competitors. On the operational level are the marketing technologies.

Your Clicademist uses the infographic below to demonstrate these relationships. The two moons stand for the marketing technologies in question.

There are three levels of interconnected relationships between technologies in marketing.

But imagine a star system with 8,000 and growing number of moons? No infographic can draw this massive scale of interconnections. We need a simpler solution to understand the relationships better.

Impacts of technology in marketing

Thankfully, we found the solution from the academians. George Day of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in a 2018 writing listed several technological forces that transform marketing. Three of those are particularly useful to guide people through the marketing technology maize.

We found a pattern of the marketing technology landscape by focusing on the impacts and leaving aside the issue of multitude. Let us examine these three impacts.

First, new ways of understanding and connecting with customers

Technology expanded marketers’ connections with consumers and clients. Social media alone have enabled such connectivity on a massive scale. The connectivity in turn has enabled data exchange. The data result in analytics to generate customer insights. The Clicademy data dashboard is such a prototype example.

Technology has also created more marketing touchpoints for businesses to engage with customers. These touchpoints provide connections for marketers to use some of those 8,000 technological solutions to engage customers with advertising and promotion, content and experience, and social relationships.

Second, advances in decision tools

Data and management categories of the marketing technology solutions embody this type of impacts. Marketing managers have always relied on data to make choices and solve problems. The differences today are the amount of data, the process of analysis, and the growing reliance on data.

Marketers also increasingly rely on technology to make and implement decisions. Human beings delegate this responsibility to computers. Automation is set to further disrupt the marketing industry in the days to come.

Third, new capabilities and competitors

This type of impacts is most exciting. A few years ago nobody would imagine the Apple Inc. to challenge BMW and Mercedes in the business of driverless cars. The creator of Amazon is compet IMG against the creator of some electric cars in an outer space race.

Technology brings new products and services to change companies’ business scopes as well as how people work. The cloud computing technology has brought about the three new tools which the Swiss sports federation manager has to work with. Those productivity tools are also commercial SaaS products.

Seeing these three impacts guides us to understand the myriad of technology in marketing. The first two have resulted in the marketing technology stacks used by the practitioners. These martech stacks are only to keep growing with the unstoppable third impact.