Virtually every Ad Technology CEO I know is conspiring to kill off the marketers. That means the Ad Agency execs. The Media Planners. The Inhouse Marketers. All fair game. They should all lose their jobs and hand over the reins to the Technologists. After all, which of them went to MIT? Certainly not those guys!
Why? The conventional wisdom down Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley seems to be that the traditional marketing roles that revolve around ‘Strategy Development’, ‘Media Planning’, ‘Creative Direction’ etc are antiquated, and they should be simply replaced by DSP technology, Yield Management, Dynamic Creative Optimization technology, and so on.
Truth be told, no amount of technology can generate profits from nothing. Technology is a tool that humans can use to make magic happen – but it’s still just a tool!
It will always be a human, a ‘marketer’, who will absorb everything there is to know about a business, and formulate the strategy to attract the right customer. This marketer could be the owner of the business, or the in-house marketer, or those ‘agency guys’ – but the strategic imperative will always lie in the hands of a human being.
What we, the technologists, need to do, is to bridge this ridiculous, unhelpful divide, by making this technology accessible to the marketers, instead of trying to replace them. Hide all the complexity we’ve introduced to advertising in the last 10 years, and go back to the basics of solving the core customer acquisition and retention problems.
See, the genius of iPad, Steve Jobs’ beautiful creation, is not that it screams technology – but that the technology barely registers; all you remember is the beauty, the utility, the function.
And so it should with the product you’re building. Did you help Mark advertise the Evolux bulb to only the 20 people that spent time looking it over, but left before buying – or were you too busy selling your hyper-targeted retargeting solution with automated creative optimization and data feed integration instead?