This chart probably makes the point best:  Marketing Technology has EXPLODED over the past five years.

marketing_technology_jan2015

In 2011, the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog identified 100 Marketing Technology firms.  As of January this year, that number approached 1900.  Little doubt it will have passed the 2000 mark by the time January rolls around again.

So what does this mean for future-proofing your agency?

It means your firm needs to be like a Chimpanzee, in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex industry.

The Chimpanzee is a creature with a strong ability to learn.  Chimpanzees can even devise ways to use tools.

In terms of your agency and the pace of marketing technology development, your firm needs to be proactive in continuously studying, learning and applying new tools and technology to build both YOUR business and YOUR CLIENTS’ businesses.

This is not to say you have to go out and study up on all 1,876 marketing technology offerings that the Chief Marketing Technologist identified in January 2015.  Rather consider animal traits we have already presented:

  • The Honey Bee: be selectively specialized. Understand which marketing technologies support your specialization and acquire them.
  • The Ant: curate and contract. How many marketing technologies apply within your area of specialization?  Do you need them all NOW?  Do you need the expertise with them in-house, or can you strategically align with a firm that possesses the expertise in the technologies that will benefit your business or your clients’ businesses?

 

Chimpanzees are very good students.  It turns out they are teachers as well. 

chimp

Encourage your team to be proactive students of marketing technology.  As they learn, empower them to share the knowledge they’ve developed with others in your organization.

Even if the entire staff does not need to use new technologies hands-on, it’s important that they understand the implications of evolving marketing technology.

Our industry has entered a phase of continuous and increasingly rapid change.

One thing is certain for future-proofing your agency: you need to be an active student.

Always be learning.

BE THE CHIMPANZEE.

Mark Sneider
Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.