Technology can be a blessing and curse, something marketers know only too well. False claims, exaggerated benefits and implementation nightmares have led many to embrace change slowly and with great trepidation. But there's no hiding from the future: marketers need to accept that data, technology and marketing will only get more intertwined.
The truth is, it's an exciting time to be a marketer. New technologies are delivering a better experience for marketers and customers alike.
Leading agencies are getting on board. In fact, R/GA and Verizon just partnered up to invest up to $1 million in 10 tech start-ups.
Below are just a few of the new technologies that promise to change the way you do business:
CRM Data Tools
If your business has some type of marketing strategy in place, you more than likely are familiar with data analytics and Customer Relationship Management (CRMs). Many marketers are unsure how to read, understand, and effectively utilize the data produced by these tools, and incorporate it into their marketing strategy.
As Lytics CEO James McDermott puts it, "Companies were struggling with the same problem--how do they take unstructured data and information and that make into something actionable? That's how we came up with idea to use CRM data to tailor marketing strategies."
Companies like Lytics, AgilOne, Tealium and Segment bridge the gap between unstructured data and the delivery of a personalized consumer experience. This type of technology crawls through all your tools -- whether they are used for your email, website, or sales team -- to track consumer behavior.
This creates individual customer profiles and reveals all the little details that were hidden in your data. Your business can use this information to create more personalized targeting.
Archival Video Content Creator
"These days, if something isn't on video - it basically didn't happen," says Sightworthy co-founder Aneri Shah. Sightworthy enables marketers to repurpose their archived video content to distribute new, channel-specific content faster than ever before.
"We recognized that creative teams were struggling with producing original video for social channels" Shah explains. "One of the biggest problems marketers had was that they were spending months and lots of money to create content that they would never end up using,"
By uploading existing content and answering questions like "what sentiment are you trying to invoke" and "what platform are you trying to target," your business can reduce the time and cost to produce a video. What's more, Sightworthy boosts the video's effectiveness by cutting the content so it's optimized for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
"A skill that marketers tend to lack and don't want to continue to hone is storytelling with video," notes Shah. "We pair businesses with our team of strong storytellers who focus on video editing, motion graphics."
Sightworthy also repurposes existing content to make it relevant and engaging in real-time, which is different than other sites like Viddedit and Proeditors. Instead of planning out content a year in advance, you could turn it around in a matter of days.
Many of us are familiar with virtual reality (VR) but few have taken the time to take a good look at its cousin, augmented reality (AR). No doubt VR is going to change how we take in media and communicate with each other. Meanwhile, by augmenting a social media user's reality to tailor their experience, AR is going to revolutionize how people work, shop and play.
Essentially, AR allows an overlay of virtual content on the physical world so that the two interact in real-time. This made news with the release of PokemonGo!, but big brands like Ikea, CoverGirl, and the U.S Postal Service are also incorporating AR into their marketing strategy.
"Augmented reality (AR) connects products, location and media with interactive digital experiences that drive engagement," said Rupert Deans CEO and Founder of Plattar. "AR allows people to create their own AR applications and manage their content."
Other companies competing for AR dollars include Gravity Jack, Layar, Aurasma who offer the technology through advertising and marketing agencies.
If AR sounds a bit too futuristic, consider the fact that according to a Deloitte survey 88% of mid-market companies have already implemented some form of augmented or virtual reality. The industry is rapidly growing into a trillion-dollar market with annual revenues of $692 billion expected by 2025.
Bringing Creative and the C-Suite together
While these new technologies are designed to help connect brands with their customers, they are also promoting harmony between C suites and their creative teams. The classic scenario of Creative trying to sell the C-suite on an idea without the data to back it up is becoming a thing of the past. Conversely, solid data can empower creatives to fight for their bravest flights of fancy.