Every once in awhile, I like to stop thinking about work - don’t tell my boss. Actually, what I mean is that I try to stop thinking about work within the context of the tools I use on a day-to-day basis. Things are changing so fast in digital marketing that I feel compelled to keep up with what’s going on in the marketplace. As it turns out, what I really like about digital marketing is the “wild west” aspect of it all.
A Google search for “digital marketing tools” revealed 12.2M results. I don’t mean to imply that there are that many tools, but the availability of online marketing tools is as complex as it is rich. To use Jungle Disk as an example, we’re a small company that was recently spun out of Rackspace. We have a great product, we’re profitable, we have strong expertise and we have a solid customer base. Now, a big part of our strategy will be growth and digital marketing. Because we’re small and focused, we have to use our budget wisely. With the high volume of tools out there, it can be daunting trying to find the right tools for our specific needs. Currently, we use fourteen different tools on a regular basis. It seems like a lot for a small company so I decided to do a little research to help me understand if we really needed all 14, or if we’re missing the latest and greatest SaaS offering that’s a game changer for companies like us.
As it turns out, this is not going to be explained or solved in just one blog post, so I am going to use this as an opportunity to start a “series.” In the series, I will publish my findings and conclusions. Hopefully, the series will fuel a conversation where you will also share your conclusions on the best digital marketing tools and how to manage them all.
As I start this journey, the first resource I found to be useful was an article published in Forbes, “IDC Predicts CMOs Will Drive $32.3B In Marketing Technology Spending by 2018.”The part that I found really interesting was their “Marketing Technology Map” that lays out four categories of marketing technology spending:
Within each category, they are subdivided into useful sub-categories that reflect the available tools. For me, this seems like a good starting point to get organized and align the tools we are using with this map. If I am feeling even more ambitious I might even map that along with a marketing funnel to paint a clearer picture of what we using and the value our digital marketing efforts are providing.
Now I think I understand what they mean by Chief Marketing Technologist. This is definitely going to be a journey. Please join me!