Bill Binch, Marketo Managing Director

When Marketo sold its first software in 2008, there were probably fewer than 50 technology products in the world that really focused on the marketer. By 2011, when Scott Brinker published the first of his now famous LUMAscapes, there were still only 150 logos on the chart.

The recently released 2017 edition contains over 5000 company names. Not only is marketing technology increasingly occupying the mindshare of the marketer, it is also a growing part of their budget. As Brinker points out in his accompanying commentary, marketers should prepare for a world in which they spend more on technology than on advertising. In fact we are almost there.

The last ten years has delivered a a huge expansion in the diversity of the marketing technology landscape. That is a serious challenge for marketers everywhere.

Furthermore, the emergence of this extraordinary ecosystem has coincided with a fundamental reappraisal of the role of marketers and the marketing department.

Long gone are the days when marketing was disparaged as the colouring-in department. Today, CMOs sit at the heart of enterprise decision-making.

But with that comes very high expectations. The leaders of sales, finance, product, HR and others on the executive team come to their leadership meetings armed with the commercial data that the CEO needs to guide the business. The same is expected now for the CMO.

But while sales has benefited by CRM for years, finance has had ERP and HR has learning management systems, marketers are only just catching up.

Luckily, marketing technology can make the difference. Now, when marketers make campaign decisions about the most effective channels, they are equipped with much better data to justify their decisions.

Those channels themselves are also changing. The onus lies heavily upon the leaders in fields such as television, radio, publishing and outdoor to work with brands and use technology to deliver the most outstanding experiences their services can offer.

Customer Experience

CEOs also expect their marketing leaders to own the customer experience, and to drive the company’s engagement with digital technology.

The one-way conversation that characterised advertising in the past is over.

Brands need to listen, learn, and engage. Listen to how people are responding. Learn how people are consuming. Use that knowledge to build genuinely engaging experiences that drive loyalty and improve the life time value of the customer.