Technology In Marketing

And What To Watch Out For As An Entrepreneur

by Arturo F Munoz

I make a living simplifying technology in marketing for businesses that want to use both, technology and marketing, to make more money by improving their interactions with their customers. Technology has empowered many marketers to communicate economically and more readily with their chosen audience. But it has also made it easier for marketers to do much damage, by broadcasting tons of email spam, tons of pap, tons of lame and annoying promotions.
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In the marketing world it’s been known for a long time that the average time that a chief marketing officer lasts in a corporation is about 23 months. Forbes came up this year with a newer finding. Marketing officers are now lasting up to 43 months before jumping ship or getting the boot. The trade-off for this improvement in longevity seems to have been a loss of trust.

Recently the The Fournaise Marketing Group came up with a study in which they discovered that 80% of chief executive officers admit that they do not really trust and are not very impressed by their chief marketing officers. So while the most senior marketing managers might be keeping post twice as long as 5 years ago, they’re taken less seriously by their superiors. Why might this be?

In my experience marketers have rushed to technology as savior in the chaos of economic turmoil and globalization. But technology can also kill you.

Hoping against all hope to reach customers with unsolicited emails, phone calls, pings, pricks and pokes, marketers have learned the hard way that customers who resent constant interruptions are now in greater control of the conversation thanks to (what else?) newer technology.

Email spam blockers and anti-spam legislation, voice mail boxes and do not call lists, tweet identity validation services and contact blocking features in social media platforms have enabled customers and prospects to silence a marketer’s attempt at reaching anyone who does not want to be bothered by unsolicited promotions.

So what has technology enabled? An onslaught of cheaper interruptions to customers that costs a company its credibility, where even the lowliest of Summer interns can send out a useless email to tens of thousands of clients with the click of a button simply because it’s possible?

Is this what technology in marketing is for?


Technology In Marketing Means Techniques That Build Trust

The Fournaise study indicated also that 71% of chief executives think that the focus that marketing has placed on tools, such as marketing automation and customer relationship management platforms, has turned into an obsession. Like kids with new toys marketers are hooked on the newest and flashiest play thing in the market. Meanwhile the bottom line suffers. This is because marketers have failed to understand what technology really is.

Although in most marketing circles it is understood that technology alone fails to produce results unless the correct set of steps or processes are first in place to exploit it, only too few marketers understand the significance of this concept. Knowing that they have to produce the right kind of reading material or content, the right type of campaign offers and the right sort of strategies to impact the right audience, they nevertheless continue to misuse technology. It’s as if they have no concept of what technology really is.

I think we're living in a time when we still think of technology as mechanics, meaning machinery, that is, as if technology were the application of mathematics to deal with motion and the forces that produce motion, the way it was done back in the age of the steam locomotive. This is a dated perspective going back to the early 19th-Century and still with us well into the 21st-Century. It's also ridiculous because it is a perspective that culminated with the Industrial Revolution, that has been over for well over a century.
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In a knowledge economy such as ours technology is more like the classical perspective that the Greek held for it. It's the root word from which we get the word technique.

There is a technique (tekhnikos), a method, a skill or system thereof (tekhnologia) to doing anything. In marketing it is called the craft of persuading or salesmanship. This is what we should understand is truly lacking today when we speak of technology in the context of marketing.


Unlike the Lord of The Rings, where one ring was forged to rule all other rings, marketers ought not expect one method to rule all methods, i.e. one technique of persuasion to rule all instances of persuading a customer. Doing so is poor technology in marketing.

So let's not speak of technology as if it were gears in a conveyor belt that can carry any technique a marketer can lay on it inside a box. Let's understand what technology really is. It is a technique or a system of techniques that constitute the craft of salesmanship, and let’s own up to the poor craftsmanship of so many marketers in Corporate America today.

Technology in marketing is the same as methodology in persuading someone to buy from you. The tool that you use in this methodology of persuasion is not nearly as important as the logic of your approach in persuading your customer to buy from you. What matters most in the art of persuasion is developing trust. If your customer won’t trust you, then you will never succeed in persuading this person to buy from you. So work on developing trust. Use tools that will help you build up your credibility rather than undermine it. Use technology in marketing to attract and not alienate your customers.




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