By now it’s almost a cliché to talk about how ‘disruptive’ technologies are redefining global commerce.
There’s FinTech, RegTech, WealthTech, LegalTech, MedTech – and yes, so help us, take a deep breath, even MarTech (marketing technology, for those few still not in the know). Are you tired yet? Perhaps pining for a return to a simpler time? Not going to happen. The tech genie is out of the proverbial bottle, and it will impact us all.
MarTech platforms are designed to enhance efficiency and drive better ROI across the marketing discipline. Tried and tested solutions include MailChimp (email campaigns), HubSpot (inbound marketing) and Marketo (marketing automation). According to digital marketing experts CMSWire, MarTech platforms fall into one of the following categories:
- Advertising and promotion
- Content and experience
- Social and relationships
- Commerce and sales
And, take another breath, there are more than 5,000 on the market. That’s right: 5,000! Where to begin? How to choose? Your guess is as good as ours.
But here’s something to keep in mind, gleaned from experience with our roster of Fortune 500 clients over the past few years: You can buy the best MarTech in the world, but that investment will be wasted without the right content.
MarTech solutions generally aggregate, analyse or distribute rather than create. Quality content – or, insightful information, if you prefer – is the oil that flows through the MarTech pipes. What good is fancy piping if you don’t have high quality Texas Tea to pump?
It’s also important to remember that a lack of technology is typically not the main cause for the failure of content campaigns or publishing strategies. In our experience the following factors are more common — and difficult for MarTech alone to address.
- Content takes considerable thought and time to produce. You need to be left alone to get the job done.
This runs counter to the culture of many big organisations, where employees tasked with content production often juggle multiple and at times competing obligations, or are expected to be in meetings or on teleconferences all day long.
- Quality publishing requires an at least partially objective and journalistic mentality.
Marketing departments are often called upon to ensure content campaigns explicitly support commercial goals, or focus exclusively on the organisation’s achievements, when expert insight and credible, relevant information are far more effective generators of client loyalty and audience engagement.
- Immediate results are not guaranteed. Payoff is usually gradual following a series of quality campaigns.
This also runs counter to corporate culture, where quarterly earnings targets often drive the action, and where executives must constantly justify their budget allocations.
These are important realities to consider as you decide to allocate budgets to either MarTech or editorial campaigns. In other words, MarTech might reshape the marketing practice — but it won’t save it.