How do technology and marketing fit together, and should current technologies drive marketing practices?
At yesterday’s MITX FutureM Boston Conference, BostInno’s Walter Frick moderated as uTest’s CMO Matt Johnston and the CTO of Gazelle Benjamin Katz went back and forth on the subject of how tech and marketing should mesh. Walter Frick has posted a great piece on BostInno from his perspective as the debate’s moderator.
You can’t deny that technology has had a drastic effect on marketing. The way we market today using software and technical platforms is vastly different from a few years ago. There are a growing number of tools, tracking mechanisms, places for syndication and ways to reach users because of technology and its rapid evolution. Not only that, but all big businesses today have an online presence and interact with their customers intensively through the Internet.
During the panel, Matt Johnston explained that marketing needs to have more skin in the game when it comes to being tech-savvy. Letting technically fluent (but not necessary technical) people own more of the IT stack could make for an improved business flow.
Ben Katz emphasized that while marketing might have some good technical insights (into user experience, for example), companies need to seek out the experts. He added that the same goes for IT. If you don’t have the expertise to build certain software in-house like a mobile app, seek out the experts outside of your company and learn from them.
During the panel (thanks to pollster Rich Weiss) we were able to poll the attendees on their thoughts about tech and marketing. Here are some of the highlights:
While it is not necessarily “required”, it truly helps to be a modern digital marketer. So, if you’re a marketing professional and you want to be more tech-savvy – what can you do? There are dozens of resources, whitepapers, presentations and online courses out there to keep you up to speed depending on how in-depth you want to get. Matt recommended Code Academy as a great resource for digging into the basics of HTML, Java, etc. Understanding code and the basics of web can be extremely helpful to a modern marketer. It all depends on how immersed in the tech world you want to get. Ben added the importance of understanding the solutions people are providing. Explore how other sites interact with each other, listen to vendor pitches, and observe what is going on the industry.
What do you think- do you have to be technical to be a marketer? Let us know in the comments section.
FutureM attendees- Stop by uTest’s table to share your thoughts about tech and marketing, learn about in-the-wild testing and enter to win an iPad.