Marketing is, in many ways, a creative industry. The wording of an email can significantly impact clickthrough rates, campaigns should be visually appealing, social media needs to marry the two - a good marketing team must have an understanding of all things creative, a diverse role that demands a variety of disciplines. The rapidly developing technological landscape has added further complexity to the role, though, and it’s important that marketing also have a firm handle on the role of tech in customer engagement.
As it stands, only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates, and for every $92 spent acquiring new customers, only $1 is spent converting them. This is why marketing needs to diversify its approach and work more closely with technology to improve the customer experience. Whether its on a website or through an app, UX is no longer solely an issue for the dev team - marketing must have an input. Consistency of experience necessitates that email blasts be in line with the website’s CTAs, video content align with the landing page, and so on. 65% of companies said that generating traffic and leads was among their top marketing challenges - technology and digital optimization can provide the answer.
Yet, only 33% of marketing budgets are diverted toward it. Arun Kumar, for Adweek, writes: ‘There exists a fundamental, philosophical disconnect between the marketing/advertising and technology worlds.’ There shouldn’t be. Technology offers marketers new channels in which to engage audiences along with new methods and new systems for analyzing the success of campaigns. A marketing team could, for example, produce a piece of 360 degree video content promoting their product, analyze the success of the campaign through data analytics and then predict the success of subsequent campaigns. The marketer must be, in part, a data scientist to establish and fine tune the campaigns that work while abandoning those that don’t.
We asked a number of executives from leading digital companies about the changing nature of the workforce and the need for marketing to have a sound technological understanding. The response, generally, was that marketing does need to marry with technology more than it currently does, and that organizations should look to hire marketing staff with a sound digital understanding as a priority. Job roles themselves are set to become more broad, more focused on technology and more fluid. Rigidly defined roles are inflexible, and companies that allow their workforce to engage with the customer as and when they see it adding value will thrive.
Essentially, the more understanding a marketing department has of the customer journey on digital, the more effective it’ll be in optimizing it. Data on customer engagement doesn’t belong in silos; marketing should have access to it, be able to interpret it and take action accordingly. Further than this, though, it’s technology-focused marketing that sees the best return on investment. The channels that find the best ROI, according to Econsultancy, are email marketing, SEO, and content marketing - all digital.
There are, also, a number of new mediums on which marketers should be present. The rapid pace of technological change means that investing entirely in Snapchat marketing, for example, is a risky move. Even if Snapchat is an ideal platform for your brand’s content, and even if its user demographic fits your target audience perfectly, it is impossible to say with any certainty that it will be as popular among that audience in two or three years’ time. In this respect, marketing teams need to get to grips with and be on top of any emerging trends in social media to ensure they’re in the right places at the right time. Picking the right tech to reach audiences on externally is just as important as using technology internally to inform marketing decisions, and the best marketing teams will exploit different channels.
Given that marketers are often a company’s first point of contact with a potential new customer, it’s important the team is on top of changes in consumer behavior and expectation. With the proper use of technology, not only can marketing teams be everywhere their customer is, but they can analyze their efforts to perform more successfully in future. Marketing is a creative role and this needn’t change - backed by technology, though, this creativity can be more effectively channelled.