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Does Marketing Technology Need Its Own Digital Transformation?

5 minute read

Industries change and have to adapt, whether or not the increasing use of artificial intelligence in marketing means there is a need for a new digital transformation in companies, in their marketing and in marketers. After all, isn’t it essential for marketers to consider where MarTech is going next?

The term ‘digital transformation’ is now 13 years old, having been allegedly first coined by Cap Gemini and MIT in 2011. Then it was about using technology to radically improve performance, or the reach of a business. However, to many others it was also about reducing the use of paper. From a marketing perspective, it’s also about connecting with customers and to a certain extent its also about portraying an environmentally friendly brand image by cutting waste.

WhatFix writes: “While every digital transformation initiative will have its own specific goals, the primary purpose of any digital transformation is to improve your current processes. Digital transformation is necessary because companies must evolve to remain competitive. If you aren’t evolving, you’re falling behind.”

The ROI challenge

The trouble is that Bain & Company finds that only 8% of global companies have been able “their targeted business outcomes from their investments in digital technology.” Yet analysts at Gartner, says Graham Turner in his Digit News article, ‘Should Marketing Direct Disruption, or Adapt to it?’, are calling for the marketing function to be:

“…redesigned to direct disruption, rather than adapting to it, according to Gartner. There are three essential elements CMOs must consider when redesigning the marketing function to direct disruption.” A key factor that tends to set leaders apart is the amount of money they spend on transforming themselves, perhaps to cause disruption or to follow the latest marketing trends. The trouble is that could be fixing what ain’t broke, particularly when it comes to new technology.

Generative AI in marketing

The same applies to generative AI in marketing. Like with many other technologies there is usually a hype cycle, and in this case it has two sides: it will dramatically change marketing to the point that it could make marketers redundant, or it’s an opportunity for them to upskill as a necessity.

No matter which viewpoint is correct, the old age of ‘People, process, and technology’ must surely still apply – particularly when tech like Gen AI can’t be as good at emotional nuance as any human marketer can. Yet it can still be a considerably invaluable tool. However, marketers should also try to connect with customers by also applying their own creativity. They may also want to consider ‘digitally transforming’ their skills by embracing the use of generative AI.

Transforming insurance

One of the industries that has been undergoing its own digital transformation in recent years is insurance. In ‘CX Trends Set to Transform the Insurance Industry in 2024’, Sandra Haworth – Marketing Director at Cirrus Connects, says:

“In 2024, the insurance industry faces a dual challenge: meeting the digital-first demands of modern consumers while overcoming challenges from an increasingly regulated and competitive market. Despite these hurdles, there are huge opportunities for insurers willing to adapt to the change and leverage technology to improve CX.” With it there is a turn to digital proliferation.

Discover more to consider how digital transformation, upskilling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation could lead to marketing technology needing its own transformation. Will it change you as a marketer, and how will it impact your company? Join the conversation. Read on and get in touch to contribute your thoughts to the next edition of Engage MarTech.

Graham Jarvis - Editor

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