A friend once told me that selling to marketers was so much easier than selling to salespeople because sellers solve problems with people, marketers solve problems with technology. As someone who has founded two MarTech companies – I took this to heart.
That same friend told me that when it comes to marketing, you don’t have to be faster than the bear chasing you, just faster than the other campers. The bear, in this analogy is the buyers’ ephemeral attention span and the campers are your competition.
Over the past 20 years there have been so many trends that we have all followed trying to capture our buyer’s attention. Companies like Gartner share new techniques, Scott Brinker creates new segments within the MarTech Landscape, and Blue-Chip tech companies buy and bundle the market. As a result, there is a self-fulfilling lifecycle that is created for marketing technologies
Innovation: Necessity is the mother of invention. Email, Mobile, Search, and Social have changed the way people interact with the world and marketers take note.
Automation: Once a technology takes hold, early adopters look for ways to automate the process. Email service providers become Marketing automation platforms – eventually turning into Marketing clouds.
Optimization: Eventually the automation is ineffective or too expensive, so others come into perfect it. The concept of Account-Based Marketing is born of trying to do more with less.
Fatigue: The over saturation of this form of marketing has passed a point of annoyance and the buyers tune out. What once worked is now obsolete.
Legislation: Communities demand that politicians to do something to limit their exposure to this form of advertising. Think CAN-SPAM, CASL, GDPR, and the new CCPA.
This process may seem email centric but there are many examples of other medians following this lifecycle. Digital Advertisers are limiting their personalization based on data collection practices. LinkedIn Invitations have become automated with little value in the invite. Push notifications from mobile apps are producing less reactions. Automated dialers have all but turned off the possibility of getting someone to answer your call directly.
But – there are new technologies being innovated to capture the buyer’s attention. We just have to ensure we are faster than the other campers when we use them.