Become a Marketing Technology Futurist, Now

Marie Jacobsen

Onward is an exclusive content series authored by broadhead’s thought leaders, highlighting their unique perspectives on adapting, adjusting and pushing forward.

Written by Marie Jacobsen | SVP, Technology + Data

We were ready. We consistently evaluated the tools and technology needed to get our work done – and serve clients – in the most efficient manner. We weren’t shy about testing new technologies. We didn’t fear failure. We feared not accomplishing the mission for clients. This is the mentality that made our own move to work from home seamless. It’s the same mentality we’re using to help clients embrace the expanded role of technology in everyday customer relationships.

Technology change is ever-present but its pace of adoption during COVID-19 is unprecedented, leading to the big question. As marketers, how can we take advantage of consumer’s increased reliance on digital to live, work and consume? Start by looking inward.

When looking at your technology arsenal, how prepared are you to meet your customers’ demands? What do you need to adapt, change and test ensure your business is in a better place today than yesterday? In other words, what do you need to do now to transform your marketing technology so you’re ready for the future? In many ways, it’s imperative to approach your marketing technology the way futurists approach the world – and as Wikipedia describes it, futurists “Systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present.”

With a futurist mindset driving this work, the following five principles outline our approach on how to amp up your marketing technology:

Start with a baseline: What’s working and what’s not? This is not just a technology review. It’s talking to your team about their pain points, what’s causing them and what could make them better. A set of interviews across your organization will provide a wealth of information.

Complete a technology audit: Assess your current technology and toolset. During the first month of COVID-19, we reviewed all of our systems and subscriptions. We quickly identified overlap as well as outdated and unused tools that needed to be canceled.

Evaluate your marketing stack: Companies have made significant investments in their marketing technology, but how well are they talking to one another? Is it elevating the customers’ experience? Are there gaps and overlaps that can be identified? Are you using each of your tools to their fullest potential?

Make your data work harder: There is a wealth of data in your company and your toolset. Now is the time to evaluate how well you are using your data, and to experiment new and different ways to reach your customers. You’ve most likely invested in a CRM platform, but has it been implemented in a manner that truly benefits your customers? How can you re-tool it to work harder?

Challenge the status quo: Just because you feel as though things are working properly or because you hear from your team that everything is fine — challenge them, push them and encourage them to test new ideas and platforms. Many offer free trials which can spark new ideas and opportunities. Now is the time to take advantage of tools that allow you to reach customers in new ways.

As challenging as these times are, they are giving us a moment to assess where we are and adopt new technologies or revitalize what we are already doing. Being a marketing technology futurist takes discipline, but it pays off when you can continue to nurture relationships with your customers and expand what’s possible in the future. Take this opportunity to do the work — it will be worth it.