My work in recent years has been based on helping small businesses utilize technology along with marketing ideas to better their experience/clients. It has looked like taking “tools” and enacting them (website, systems, and services). What the client may not even know is they are paying me for is my ability to “converge” the issues they have with the tech tools I know about/have aptitude to manipulate to create their solution.
A friend put me onto an article pitching a book called “Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology” by RazerFish’s Ray Velez, Global CTO (co-authored with CEO Bob Lord). In the interview piece, the author talks about some good concepts when considering our technological evolution and how due to this we as marketers are positioned to assist companies in a far greater way than perhaps ever before. Read it.
The author is quoted near the middle-end of the article addresses small businesses use of marketing technology:
“The bad news [for small businesses] is that there may not be enough resources to fund tech experiences that break through. Budget constraints often lead small business to rely on off-the-shelf solutions that while cost-efficient may not get the job done. Happily, customer-centricity is a universal truth that works for businesses of all your sizes. Your customer will lead the way.”
This quote speaks to where I have been working. Due to budgets many people I run into – entrepreneurs, small business, medium business, individuals, non-profits – cannot fully implement technology to their advantage. Most any business issue they have can be resolved by a software, hardware component, or some combo of them. However, they do not have the foresight to see it or, even if they do, the resources to develop a solution to fit their needs.
The good news is the ever expanding proliferation of excellent commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) which can solve many (say 80%) of a sticky business problems – marketing based or otherwise. The issue it knowing about the tools, understanding their capabilities (or lack there of), perceiving the true business problem at hand, and know how to mash them all together to lead to a solution. Oh, and don’t forget to train users to use the tool(s) effectively.
My traditional focus has been on considering issues + tools = solutions. I review the problem at hand (usually related to marketing), match COTS (often a combo), implement to solve the client’s problem, and then train to make it work for those using the tools day-to-day. This is what it is to be a marketing technologist.