Marketing technology has evolved at such an astonishing pace over the past decade that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it. Just look at the explosive growth of the martec landscape in less than a decade, illustrated in the chart below from the website Chiefmartec.com:
In an environment of such rapid change, it is also relatively easy to lose sight of the big picture: That for as far as technology has come, it is still people who are utilizing it to interpret data, make decisions, manage workflow, direct spending, engage with customers, and more. In short, technology’s limiting factor is most often the people who use it. Like the snarky help-desk guy likes to say, “The error has occurred between the keyboard and the chair.”
Steve Jobs once described technology as a tool to amplify human ability and behaviours. And so, if those human abilities and behaviours operate efficiently, the right digital tools can amplify a marketing team’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, there are far too many cases where a technology is adopted as a means to improve efficiency within a poorly managed team or department. In these cases, new digital tools may only cloud the issues, and add an additional expense.
It’s also worth noting that, while technology continues to change at a rapid pace, some things remain steady and sure—like Lean-Agile philosophy and frameworks. The Lean mindset was introduced in the 1980s, and though it has continued to evolve, at a fundamental level it’s remained much the same.
Thinking Efficiently with Lean-Agile
Lean-Agile is the starting point for efficient sales and marketing. It’s much more foundational than technology. In fact, it’s only when your people are trained in how to think efficiently, and when you have a culture that prioritizes waste reduction and continuous improvement, that you can really implement technology effectively.
To put it most succinctly, technology brings efficiency only insofar as your team is efficiency-minded. But it’s not going to suddenly bring efficiency to a company culture that lacks clear focus.
Whatever technology makes sense for your business is great; this isn’t a call to shutter your Facebook page or destroy your marketing automation tools. It is a reminder, however, that technological tools don’t change the central decision-making power that people hold.
And if you’d like to learn more about the frameworks and Lean-Agile principles that lead to judicious use of the latest-and-greatest tech, drop us a line; we’re always eager to chat!