We have observed the typical sales cycle whenever new tech becomes in vogue,” says Silk. “Remember CRM Technology back in 2000? The same thing is happening all over again, slick companies selling slick-looking tech that promises to be the panacea for marketers.”
“It’s all about triggered, real-time, personalised, one-to-one communications with customers and prospects. The reality is an expensive IT infrastructure sold into businesses with little or no on the ground support – at least in New Zealand anyway – and months and months of distraction while the build takes place.”
“Everyone seems to be at the beginning of this journey and there are very few trained practitioners in New Zealand to show the way.”
But if it’s the human element that’s missing from high-tech marketing mixes, then the solution is clearly at hand. Once again, it’s people using the tech who ultimately determine whether it’s successful.
“For me the most important thing to remember is that technology isn’t a solution,” says Graham. “You’re buying a tool, and these are complex tools that require skilled operators and creative ideas to make them work.”
“Marketers need thoughtful creative technology partners who not only understand what’s possible, but can match what matters for an audience to what their brand stands for. It’s a great time to be doing digital because the creative possibilities are only growing.”
Behavioural analytics may help marketers understand the customer better. Automation can help marketers reach them with the right message at the right time. But there’s no substitute for competent, talented humans...yet.
“It takes more people, not less, to do modern marketing,” says ASB’s Evans.
“But the skills and competencies required are far broader than a traditional marketing organisation. Data and technology literacy are crucial, but so are strong marketing skills.”
“It’s still marketing – just done differently.”
This article was originally published in the New Zealand Marketing magazine Awards Issue 2018