Despite more than $40 billion invested in media annually, how marketing technology affects the job of media pros is rarely discussed. Here's a look at what we should be discussing.

From a media partner perspective, the marketing tech discussion lacks a clear set of value propositions against which media partners can evaluate the potential advantages of implementing such technologies to help benefit businesses.

Moreover, many media partners have an innate aversion to their clients' implementation of new technologies just because it often requires them to change their operations, adapt their systems, and constantly chase murky expectations.

Facing Challenges

The reality is that marketers spend much time striving to align their tech investment with sales efforts and juggling available resources to score and engage prospects, acquire customers, and measure system and process effectiveness.

Though media partners work hard to provide marketing clients with the leads and data they need to make that happen, their challenge is much more about aligning program execution and client retention with profitability and efficiency.

Also, the typical marketer's technology stack doesn't highly benefit media partner efforts because it's used almost entirely for post-lead-acquisition systems and processes. So, media partners need technology solutions that facilitate front-end prospect-acquisition processes, which consist of creative syndication, lead/traffic tracking, billing, data normalization, and feedback reporting. All those tasks can consume time that could be better spent on executing campaigns and engaging clients.

Perhaps the worst gap that exists is between marketer and media partner systems.

That gap creates a window though which human error enters the equation and starts costing publishers money due to failed execution.

All media partners have been in the position of either syndicating the wrong content, obtaining the wrong company size, using an outdated banner, and other issues just because as information and assets were shipped across the great ocean dividing media from marketing, a human mistake was made.

Seeking Solutions

Finding a solution that better incorporates media partners within the marketer's cloud while reducing dependence on labor and highly manual tools (e.g., Excel spreadsheets) can be a win across the board. Media partners can then focus on better program execution that will open up time to work with their clients, optimize programs, and develop new content.

Though the needs of media partners differ from those of marketers, marketing technology holds big value for publishers, in the short and long term.

Adopting their own marketing technology and integrating with clients' tech and processes can help media companies save time and money, and become more valuable and integral to their marketing clients' businesses.

Here are some ways that can happen.

  • Elimination of many manual, tedious processes (such as reporting, campaign management, and data transfer) reduces human errors and required resources and re-focuses effort on program optimization for greater results.
  • Automated delivery of reporting delivers actionable data derived from marketing campaigns in a more timely manner, so marketing clients can engage and nurture prospects immediately after they have shown interest.
  • Integrating directly with clients' marketing and sales systems and processes help them become a more integral part of their client's workflow and business makes it harder to be replaced.
  • Closing the loop between media and marketing systems enables them to measure outcomes and optimize media investment and marketing results.

All that is not an easy switch. Media companies are going through a massive transformation, being challenged by the print-to-digital transition, declining revenues and margins, and marketing organizations that are becoming content publishers themselves.

The challenge requires a change in mindset, culture, workflow, and, in some cases, a business model. The key is for media execs to understand and embrace marketing technology to deepen their client relationships, enhance their business, and deliver more value to marketers.

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Scott Vaughan is the CMO of Integrate, a cloud-based, closed-loop marketing software provider.

LinkedIn: Scott Vaughan

Twitter: @ScottAVaughan