The Availability Of Marketing Tools Has Created A Glut Of Marketers Imitating Marketing
Marketers would be forgiven for not understanding we’re in the middle of a Marketing Rebellion, that neither formal marketing education, nor self-taught, ‘tech-first’ marketers were apprized of. Clients should take note: managing marketing tools is not ‘marketing’. Not by a long shot.
As George Lucas used to say about filmmaking technology he created: “The typewriter didn’t create more great writers.” It allowed mediocre writers to submit more elegant and ‘professional’ manuscripts, actually muddying the waters and requiring greater discernment for agents, editors and publishers.
We couldn’t agree more, and the same is true about marketing technology: access to powerful tools has made it harder for the untrained eye to discern who actually understands marketing, particularly in the last decade.
Access to powerful web development, SEO, analytics, monitoring, tracking, tagging, reporting, automation, emailing, integration, and CRM tools has not created more good marketers.
These advances have saturated the market with more people who believe that managing these tools is ‘marketing’; they have it easier for a tech-first or novice marketer to jump in and, effectively, pantomime marketing.
And to the untrained eye, they are marketing – without understanding buyers are self-interested; without knowing buyers research and trust objective-value content; with no awareness buyers are information-overloaded, skeptical, stingy with their time, distrusting of advertising, and seek privacy; with no inkling that buyers simply want buyer-centric content (help) during their Buyer Journey; with no comprehension of how little interest people have in ads.
The technology has outpaced the psychology.
We’ve written in other posts about the limitations of marketing stacks. Marketing stacks are the floor, not the ceiling. They help mitigate loss and churn; they don’t create wins. Ideally, you want the technology, and to animate it with great, buyer-centric, content.
Many marketers conflate managing a marketing ‘tech stack’ with marketing.
What Marketing Stacks Can't Do
- Help you determine your unique sales proposition;
- Help you winnow your messaging down to meme-like simplicity;
- Intuit new platforms your customers gather – new ‘attention markets’;
- Create an inspired campaign;
- Develop a new product that gets unearned media;
- Anticipate or even recognize strategic or tactical moves of your competition;
- Tell you when to simplify your product;
- Tell you when to pivot;
- Tell you when to cut bait on your startup and work on a new company;
- Tell you which market signals matter;
- Help you create content;
- Determine why some content is popular or successful;
- Tell you that you need to fix your product;
- Tell you that you need to fix your workplace culture;
- Build or manage itself;
- Tell you when technology presents an opportunity cost;
- Tell you when to retire assets.
To wit, it’s like the difference between having AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti or Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel of a McLaren, or your cousin.
It’s not about the car (the marketing tech) if the driver is an amateur. But pair a supercar with a great driver (marketer), and it’s game-changing.
While losses are averted by smartly-assembled technology chains and stacks, you can’t create wins without actually marketing.
- This means web design that’s not turnkey.
- It means inspired content that helps rather than interrupts leads.
- It means understanding individual human behavior (the laws of self-interest).
- And anymore, it means conducting your business like a ‘small business in a small town’, where reputation and good manners are everything.
And ideally, you want to have both the technological and the psychological understanding, even if one is far more determinative for marketing outcomes than the other.