Many, many years ago I was an analyst at a Newspaper. Each week I compiled data from across our production and distribution systems and worked to find where there was time or money to be saved. It was a challenging job but I had good leadership and for the decade I worked there, we reduced our operating budget each year.
It was an incredibly rewarding job. I was personally responsible for a multi-million dollar budget – so finding waste didn't simply allow the company to save money, it also allowed me to spend money where it was needed most. It was fulfilling to provide employees with the tools and technologies they needed to make their lives easier.
Finding opportunity in the system almost always led us to connections in the system, but not in the distinct processes themselves. Most nights, the presses ran perfect, the insertion equipment was flawless, the trucks ran fine, and carriers worked hard to get the paper to your door. In between, though, conveyors jammed, lines failed, pallets fell over, truck loaders failed, and traffic stopped the carriers.
With a couple decades of marketing analysis now behind me, the opportunities haven't changed. At my work, the sites work great, the newsletters go out okay, the analytics is fine, the blog is doing fantastic, the calls-to-action are getting clicked, and leads are being added to Salesforce.
However, all the connection points in between are lacking. The newsletter isn't sync'd up with the site nor the analytics. The analytics catches most of the stats, but not some of the vital information from the site or blog. The blog attracts lots of traffic, but tracking folks from the blog to the corporate site gets lost. And within Salesforce, we're not tracking the keywords that brought them, the articles they read, nor the CTA they clicked on. The connections are broken.
And they're not easy to fix!
Our Marketing team knows what needs done, they simply lack the resources to get it all seamlessly working right now. I don't believe this is different with any other company… all of us are struggling with inefficiencies due to how our systems integrate and automate. It's been a passion of mine for many years, yet I'm not sure that any great developments have hit the market.
As I look to the future of Marketing Technology, I don't believe the opportunities lie in the mediums themselves… I believe they lie in the connections between them.