There will be no such role as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) within the next 5 years. At the very least the title should be changed to include the letter T for Technology because that’s where everything in marketing is heading. The second out of 10 trend I see happening throughout 2013 is the increase use of technology across marketing roles including social media managers, as well as media buyers, paid search specialists, strategists & creatives.
Fundamentally for your business to expand you must optimise then automate a process – this will then give you more time to focus on other activities to grow your business. It’s important to optimise your process before automating it because you don’t want to be automating the wrong process and once it is automated it usually becomes a lot harder to make changes (cue lean principles & strategies). Once your process has been automated it’s important to constantly check review and also optimise these processes. Even a large company like eBay spent time to analyse their processes which eventually saved them millions per year.
If you’re not already in the know about how technology has widened the scope of your everyday marketing manager then you must read on.
With the example roles that I mentioned above here’s how technology has evolved their day to day activities:
Social Media Managers – in my opinion social media managers stand to benefit the most from technology as it can be a very time consuming role. Almost everything that occurs in social media can be random because it’s hard to predict what humans do so using a computer to be your community manage could be detrimental. Luckily for us there are tools that help save time by ‘listening to’ or monitoring the community such as Sprout Social and Sysomos, while other web tools such as HootSuite, Tweetdeck and Bufferapp allow scheduling of posts so that you don’t have to be at your computer. Depending on which app you’re also able to post to multiple platforms at times that your community engages with you the most!
Media Buyers & Advertisers – traditionally the method of buying media real estate in the digital world meant organising in advance to ensure that your ad was shown at the required time on the appropriate website. This can also be time consuming and if you needed some ads to show up instantly that would probably not be happening. With the advancements of technology ad real estate on websites are traded like commodities using demand-side platforms (DSP). Real time bidding for displaying online ads takes place within the ad exchanges, and by utilizing a DSP, marketers can manage their bids for the banners and the pricing for the data that they are layering on to target their audiences.
Paid Search Specialists – Similar in functionality to DSP’s there are applications that allow members of a paid search team to set attributes that are critical to the success of a campaign (Google Adwords for example) where it will be included in an algorithm so that the best converting keyword is bid on, or the maximum number of impressions are shown to the target audience. Once again the purpose of these types of tools are to save time so that it can be reinvested into analysing other parts of the campaign or how to best adjust it accordingly using the data captured. An example of such said software is Marin.
Analysts & Strategists - now that almost everything is available digitally it means that almost everything can be tracked and recorded. What this means that there’s a plethora of data available for marketers to analyse, gain insights from and devise how they should adapt their marketing campaigns. For example data collected could include age, sex, geographic location, dietary intake, social data, income levels & economic conditions. Based off this information a trend could be spotted that Japanese food is now becoming popular in a particular location among both male and females. For a food & beverage company this could be information that gets them ahead of the competition if they acted on it by introducing Japanese inspired food & beverages. Oh and that story about eBay you can find here.
Creative – this one is probably the one I’m most excited about. Technology not only helps save time and increase efficiency but it also helps people get creative! Think about it, the more time you have, the more time you can spend getting your creative juices flowing! On a more serious note, the advancements in technology have resulted in some awesome campaigns being run. One of the most notable campaigns of 2012 belonged to Nike for their Nike+ Fuelband – so successful that it won one of the top awards at the yearly Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Adoption of technology and being able to understand the limits, as well as pushing the boundaries is what makes me tingle with excitement.
Another piece of technology used in marketing I like is 3D projection mapping and an example video below.
OK so now that you’ve seen some examples of technology aiding marketers wouldn’t you agree that marketing is no longer just about marketing in the traditional sense? Without knowledge of what technologies are available for leverage or how it can be used would severely limit their marketing abilities. I don’t know what I would be naming the new position but it would definitely be a marry of the CMO & CTO. With more responsibilities under their belt and more to be knowledgeable about, don’t their wages ought to increase?