Great marketing professionals develop strategies to optimize two crucial business variables: revenue and retention. Customer connections, brand storytelling, and social media interactions are key tools for achieving this goal. The problem is, marketers need to drive growth at scale, where success is measured in the millions – not hundreds.
For every one marketer, there are millions of prospective customers. That’s a significant divide. Technology bridges this gap by amplifying the reach of campaigns and targeting prospects on a highly individualized level.
“Every business today is in the IT business, regardless of what business they think they’re also in,” explains Christopher Little, marketing and dev ops leader at BMC Software. “Banks, airlines, hotels, grocery stores, auto parts, all are in the web business now. Marketing is as much about technology now as IT.”
Technology is powerful, but use it wisely. Here are three invaluable areas of advice from marketing and technology aficionados:
Technology levels the playing field for marketing
There’s a size issue in marketing. Small companies are constantly fighting to compete with big-budget advertisers. Similarly, large organizations compete with small businesses to reach customers on an individualized level. Technology shifts this balance.
“Technology makes small players look big and capable, and it helps big players look small and personal,” says Sandy Wieber, senior vice president of marketing at MidAtlantic Farm Credit. “It gives us the opportunity to make a transaction look like a relationship, giving a customer the best of both worlds: an efficient transaction with the long-term familiarity of a relationship.”
Technology reconciles personalization with scale to help companies reach extensive audiences while refining communication to an individualized level. Small companies can achieve reach, and big companies can forge personal bonds.
Successful marketing and business development leaders understand that their customers are complex. More importantly, consumers want products, services, and information that are highly targeted to their needs.
Focus on the big picture
Technology is a solution, not a substitute or quick fix for a customer acquisition problem. Marketers need to remain as analytical as possible to focus on the bigger picture of brand-to-consumer relationships.
“While technology has become a game-changer for reaching and connecting with consumers, it has also become an obstacle for businesses owners who rely upon it too much to solve all issues,” explains Shaun Walker, creative director at Hero Farm. “Technology is a tool that allows business owners to maximize the effectiveness of the business, yet many forget that it is merely one aspect of doing business.”
Remember that human connections are what matter most.
“It’s easy to get caught up in joining every social network, implementing the latest technology and running everything online. Yet at the core of it all is the person, removed of all technology, and that will never change,” Walker emphasizes.
And don’t buy into hype
A variety of marketing solutions exist for almost every need. Speak2Leads CEO Sammy James cautions leaders to avoid the allure of non-essential tools.
“It is important to not get caught in the trap of buying elegant solutions to nonexistent problems,” he says. “Technology should adapt to your reality not someone else’s vision of it. And ideally, have little or no learning curve for the people it serves. Oh yeah, it should serve you. You should not become a servant of it.”
Your solution should fit your business’s needs. Anything else is a waste of time, energy, and money.Comments