A funny thing happened on the way to martech ubiquity

Article from B2B Marketing US Benchmark Report 2021

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 Tech is great, but it should never be used as a substitute for human ingenuity and ideas. 

In the last two decades, the explosion of smart devices and technology has been incredible, and there is no aspect of our lives that technology has not touched. In many instances, this is a good thing, as technology can be the catalyst for making all manner of items, processes and services better and more efficient. 

However, there is a fallacy being peddled about marketing technology. The idea that simply adding technology platforms to your integrated campaigns will incite significant and positive changes in performance. That’s right – it’s a lie and you’ve likely fallen for it hook, line and sinker. That’s OK. We all have. 

In speaking to our partners and team in the US, they report that there continues to be a steady march towards technology adoption in all facets of communications. Increasingly, we are being asked to help manage projects like sales marketing alignment, martech optimization and sales transformation, but, what clients seem to be forsaking (or taking for granted) is creativity – ensuring their campaigns appeal to their audience’s logic and emotions. 

Martech, adtech, salestech and commstech have created a world in which many businesses and agencies believe they can hire unskilled labor to manage their marketing and sales to an acceptable automation level that is generally stable, predictable and can satisfy the needs of many agencies and businesses. The unintended consequence is that we are putting too much faith in technology, and we are losing the key driver to a campaign’s success: creativity. By becoming too reliant on technology, rather than maximizing the embedded wisdom in our heads and hearts, we are missing the opportunities to truly connect on an emotional and logical level. 

Keeping up with technology advancements is critical to a business’ success. Technology helps us better understand complex buyer habits and journeys. It helps us manage an increasingly complex ecosystem that businesses must deploy to manage their operations. Not possessing a mastery of how these systems work or understanding the impact it has on our behaviors and the value it adds to the customer experience can be catastrophic to a business. 

Agencies, and the businesses and marketing teams they empower, must remember that, while technology is critical to what we do, it comes with limitations. It is incumbent upon the people who incorporate these technologies and use them for campaigns, to harness the empathy and emotional intelligence of humans just as much as the databases and algorithms of the platforms. 

If we continue to over-rely on technology and substitute quality creative for streamlined automation, we are destined to code ourselves into an endless cycle of insufficient campaigns that fail to hit their mark and further the business, sales, and marketing goals of our clients. Worse, we will continue to erode the faith that a true creative marketing agency can have an impact on a company’s bottom line.


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