Technology and Marketing
A fundamental part of marketing is a thirst and ability to stay up to date with the modern world… to use a terrible cliché to “keep your finger on the pulse”. If you’re not interested in how individuals, your society or for that matter the rest of the world is developing, then you run the risk of losing touch with your audience, of missing the mark and falling behind.
In this day and age, keeping up to date is directly linked with technology. The rise of technology has revolutionised the world, changing how organisations do business and how we, as individuals, interact with each other and engage with the world at large. As marketers we have a duty to those that we work with (whether they’re internal stakeholders, or paying customers) to stay up to date with technology to be able to remain effective. Technology and marketing are inextricably linked.
As we’ve said elsewhere on the site, at Square1 we believe that as well as being a key part in defining your brand and your message, our role as marketers is to use the right channels, the right canvases to portray your message to your target audiences. If we don’t know what canvases are available, or understand the tools needed to paint your picture onto them, how can we hope to positively portray “Brand You” to the right audience? Even if we, as individual marketers, aren’t particularly au fait with using any one of these particular art forms we have to know they exist and acknowledge the audiences that they serve to be able to make informed, strategic decisions.
Thankfully part of the reason technology is now so prevalent is that it has become infinitely more accessible to the general public, and not just in a “consuming” capacity. Anyone with a computer (or tablet/smartphone for that matter) and the inclination, can create their own website in just a few minutes, without any prior knowledge of web design. Sure, it might not look very good, be particularly exciting to visit, or for that matter get any traffic, but the fact remains that it’s an easily achievable objective for anyone with an internet browser to build an online presence. The continual development of consumer-friendly smartphones and tablets, as well as the apps and websites used on them, has given people accessible technology capable of “creating” as well as “consuming”; to become digital artists in a plethora of ways.
The increasing accessibility of technology extends to us marketers too; our toolkit continues to expand and we have to be ready to pick up the next new tool, feel its weight in our hand and give it a test swing. It might not be a tool we feel will connect with that ever-allusive group of people we call our target market, or help achieve the results we’re after… but we have to at least take the time to acknowledge that it’s there and understand its purpose.
Elsewhere on the site, we’ve broken down our services into three categories Consult, Create, Communicate. At every one of these stages, an understanding and appreciation of modern technology is a prerequisite:
- How can we offer you consultation if we don’t understand the fundamental environment you are in, including your position in a competitive online marketplace?
- We cannot create anything beyond a page of handwritten notes and sketches if we don’t interact with or understand technology in the right ways (and that’s disregarding the technology of the ballpoint pen!)
- And aside from the face-to-face or pen-to-paper approach, we can’t have confidence in effectively communicating to anyone in this modern world without giving thought to the technological landscape that they utilise as part of their day to day lives.
The bottom line is that technology cannot and should not define us or our values… but, if we’d like anyone else to know about them, technology can provide the right platform. It’s an exciting, ever-changing beast that brings with it a range of challenges that we as marketing professionals have to face.
It’s easier today than ever before for brands to portray themselves in the wrong ways, to damage or destroy reputations with a few clicks of a mouse or stokes on a keyboard – whether through a website, a blog post/comment, social media, text message, email or anything else. We’ve all heard stories of brands that have damaged themselves by their actions (or in some cases their lack of action). As such it’s more important than ever to ensure your message is clear, consistent and importantly, internally understood to avoid these jarring or damaging experiences for your audience. Some may see the solution as avoiding technology they don’t understand for as long as possible. But in the long run this blinkered approach is simply not sustainable; growing audience expectation and competitors who are unafraid to take carefully, strategically planned action in the area of technology will leave non-movers in the dust.
Of course, the alternative can be daunting, but that’s where organisations like Square1 can help…