This legitimate question from a client we were recommending marketing strategies to more than 10 years ago gave us all a good-natured chuckle at the time – and it’s still a running joke in their office today.
And while it may be funny, it does point to the serious fact that a degree of knowledge is needed to be able to stay across, make sense of and successfully embrace technologies, like email marketing platform Mailchimp.
Digital technologies, while brilliantly designed and extremely good in the hands of those who know how to use them, are not always quite as simple to navigate as is suggested.
Technologists & digital platforms
When it comes to technologists and which digital platforms they prefer to use, it’s personal. Some like the features of one better than another or opt for a particular style. Experts in the use of these technologies understand their nuances.
They also keep abreast of their evolution to get the best out of them. For example, it’s becoming more complex a task to stay across the way Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and other platforms operate, especially from a business perspective. There’s more to know now when thinking about which one should be used for what purpose and what you should pay for in each domain and what you shouldn’t.
Then there’s SEO, making sense of web traffic and Google analytics, and social media management platforms. The list goes on! And that’s not even mentioning CRM, which can be very frustrating to implement.
When it comes to e-newsletters, many of our clients are unsubscribing from the ones that land in their inbox, often because they’re simply too busy or not relevant enough to them. There’s a lot to be said for newsletters and many people love this form of communication but it’s essential to carefully consider if they’re going to get the right response as they do take some investment.
The response a business gets from these platforms is heavily influenced by how many people are using the medium. There are many companies making videos and sharing them on LinkedIn and target audiences can get overwhelmed, meaning there may be little cut through, no matter how good or effective the technology is.
In a nutshell, using and knowing how to get the best bang for buck from each technology (and which one to use) is becoming more specialised, and if a business doesn’t understand the software, it’s harder to make it work for them.
Even the best marketers can’t be across all the details of this space, so drawing on specialists is vital to get traction.
And while technology can be efficient, it can also be inefficient. Once you get it working, its great but it can take a lot of time to learn to use it, make sense of it all and understand how to use it all in a coordinated way – and most clients simply don’t have the time.
There are always new technologies on the horizon too, and enlisting specialist help can make it easier to stay keep on top of that.
What technology hasn’t changed
While technology has changed, a lot hasn’t. Good marketers have always looked at a business through the lens of its target audiences and thoughtfully considered the mediums available to best engage with these audiences.
Back in the day it may have been more focused on free to air TV, radio, billboards, print news and magazines, and less on the digital realm, but a marketer would still have to look at them all, contemplate where the target audiences could be found and then come up with a strategy.
Much of the buzz about digital technologies comes from the idea that they’re more measurable forms of marketing, however, that’s not everything – and the fundamental marketing principles of old still apply.
Who’s driving your marketing?
It’s paramount there’s a brain looking holistically at a business’ marketing.
Technologists, who are consumed by digital tech as they thrive on it and know it, often fall into the trap of thinking the only way a company can go forward is by using these innovations.
Technologists aren’t marketers and vice versa. Increasingly, marketers need to learn how to use these marketing technologies – because they don’t want their clients to miss out on the benefits of them – but technologists just don’t jump into the marketing world and suddenly become marketers.
Stay with the fundamentals
The fundamental principles of good marketing apply now more than ever.
Getting lost in a barrage of tech may mean a business fails to remember there are other critical ways to engage with clients, especially when it comes to business-to-business marketing.
So, just how vital are good old fashioned customer relationships in 2023?
We talk about that in our next blog series, which is coming soon….so stay tuned.