Even 10 years ago marketing technology was in most cases easy to understand and in some just a nice to have. But as this recent infographic from Luma Partners illustrates, the complexities facing the modern/contemporary/21st century B2B marketer. Today, technology is the heart of B2B marketing and data is its blood. Understanding of these two areas (technology+data) is no longer "someone else's problem", e.g. IT or business development. Put more strongly technology is no longer an enabler for marketing, it is what we do.
B2B brands that are successful in the next few years will have embraced this and made fundamental shifts in how they do their marketing. They will have made sense of the technology jungle and have learnt from their B2C cousins, using data to:
This too will require a new breed of B2B marketer. Let's face it, there are far too few career marketers in B2B Marketing. Most either fall into marketing from other "support" functions or, quite frankly, fall out of sales. No bad thing per se, but we need to freshen the skill set to survive & thrive. Tomorrow's marketer will need to be more comfortable in Google Analytics than in planning an event or mapping out the lead waterfall than briefing a design agency. Its a totally different skillset. Its about testing hypotheses, interpreting data, building test environments and driving conclusions. Its not about communications its about the ability to handle big data, building data-driven insights and implementing technology-led interactions.
Our put in other words we need more data geeks - marketing scientists if you will. As my father ( a career engineer) once said, many scientists follow the arts as a hobby but far fewer artists follow science. Which is why I argue that for tomorrow's marketers we should be looking to science graduates than arts students.
Oh, and if you're needing to get up to speed on all this technology marketing stuff I highly recommend reading Rene Power's Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing