Technology evolves rapidly, and can change characteristics of society from national security to our daily lives. The strategic role of IoT aims to understand how technology and innovation is transforming the world we live in.
Technology such as the web, mobile phones, social media, and customer relationship management systems greatly affect modern marketing. Tech helps businesses grow and prosper, create relationships, strengthen the effectiveness of organizations, allows people to learn about one another, and greatly affects the way companies communicate with prospective customers. Every marketer is starting to view technology as an important factor when it comes to development and growth.
When Claude Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising" in 1923, tracking marketing campaigns-- and measuring how much money they brought in-- was not the norm. Yet Hopkins, now considered to be one of the founding figures of modern advertising, insisted that ads should be measured.
"One must compare them, one by one, on a salesman's basis, and hold them responsible for cost and result."
Almost 100 years later, tracking results is an inherent part of modern marketing. For 87% of B2B marketers, measuring results is a top priority.
The main reason for this is the increased availability of powerful technology. Tech like analytics tools, CRM databases, and heat maps make it easy to track and interpret consumer behavior and use that data to create stronger marketing campaigns.
The role of technology in modern marketing isn't optional-- it's essential. So let's examine some of the key ways tech has influenced the marketing industry and how it can help you create better marketing campaigns that bring in more customers.
Uncovering the real reasons customers buy
Before tech and big data, the only way to really learn how people interacted with your ads and marketing materials was to ask them. This approach doesn't yield the most accurate results, because while a customer could tell you that they bought your product after seeing an ad on TV, the ad is only the last piece of the puzzle.
Thanks to marketing tech, we can now see and measure how people interact with your site, content, and ads to discover which pieces of content lead to the conversion. For the first time, we can track all the steps of the customer journey and uncover the real reasons they buy.
This behavior tracking makes marketing tech invaluable to businesses because it eliminates guesswork and helps prove ROI on various marketing initiatives that influence the conversion.
Luxury goods level service for everyday businesses
Before technology shouldered its way into modern marketing, personalized customer service was exclusive to expensive luxury goods or your local corner store.
Thanks to comprehensive and affordable CRM software, as well as our propensity to exchange our name and email addresses for potentially valuable information, marketers now know a lot more about their prospects.
Personalization is affordable for most brands because a lot of the heavy lifting-- like remembering preferences or the last purchase-- can be outsourced to algorithms.
This makes it easy to send personalized ads, emails, and content that directly appeals to the customer and creates a more enjoyable experience with your brand.
Tech helped marketing break out of its creative silo
Before tech got involved, marketing lived firmly in the creative field. While it did serve as a sales tool, measurable results were often secondary to the creativity of the campaign.
The ease of using tracking tools today has turned marketing into something that's inching closer to a science. Modern marketers use data to understand their customer and craft striking (and creative) campaigns that appeal to specific segments.
Especially in the conversion optimization corner, marketers develop hypothesis about customer behavior and test them against specific results. And all this is based on the customers’ known preferences instead of guesswork. This has allowed marketing to drive sales and claim a role of extreme importance in businesses of all sizes.
Measuring results in real time
Imagine sending a direct mail letter to a prospect 20 years ago. You had no way of knowing whether the customer read (or even opened) the letter. So when it came to improving on it, it was difficult to know what worked. You had to guess.
Today, when you send a marketing email you can track its open and click through rates. You can study the behavior of those who clicked through on your landing or sales page.
From there, based on what users do you can send a secondary segmented email that's based on specific behavior triggers. And if a customer goes as far as to put an item in their cart, you can send an abandoned cart email.
So when it comes to improving your email campaign, you know exactly where to start because you know what worked and what didn’t.
This ability to "see" how customers are treating our marketing emails makes it easy to improve them. You can run split tests and get statistically significant answers showing what works best.
The power of real time feedback
Before tech got involved, marketing campaigns were finished products. Today they are much closer to Minimal Viable Products (MVPs). Your team gets them to as good as they can be and then improve them based on customer behavior tracking.
We can study things like:
- Email open and click through rates
- Sales page conversions
- Landing page conversions
- Paid ads click-through and conversion rates
- Organic social media post click-through and conversion rates
- Dwell time on various pages of your blog posts
This makes it easy to rapidly make data-based changes when a campaign is under-performing instead of waiting until the end.
Technology and marketing are intertwined
Modern marketing and technology are inseparable. Smart marketers rely on the data that our tools provide-- it's what allows us to create targeted campaigns aimed at specific customer segments instead of using a spray and pray approach.
Today's data-driven marketers can use technology to prove ROI on key campaigns. Instead of relying on soft proof to convince executives on the need to invest in a specific type of campaign-- like re-doing the email on-boarding sequence or running a new Facebook ad campaign for the upcoming product launch-- marketers can use conclusive proof from previous campaigns to clearly demonstrate the need.
Technology is definitely an important and strategic tool to increase your overall efficiency and stay on top of the competitors. Through the use of the Internet, consumers have gained access to multitudes of data from around the world; data that is timeless, critical and verifiable. With just a click of a button consumers can gain meaningful insights about companies and their products. They can compare products, find lower prices, read reviews and even communicate with other users thru forums about product quality and buyer satisfaction.
Tech revolutionized marketing-- and it’s not done. Advances in AI and new interactive tech like VR and AR will continue to impact how we run campaigns. That’s why it’s vital to create a marketing stack that uses modern tech to its full potential and to measure marketing’s impact on sales.
The evolution of marketing from the past years will find that technology started as a minor role player, and evolved into the star of the show.