Dress to impress

As my paternity leave comes to an end it's time for me to switch back into 'work mode'. In many ways it will be good to get back to the routine just as I have become a pro at school runs, laying the breakfast table and swimming lessons! Obviously, I'm going to miss the family - especially our new addition! Even though he's our fourth child it doesn't take away the sense of wonder at a new little human being born into the world. Having to handle the delivery myself may have something to do with it but seeing a perfectly formed little boy enter the world is the most amazing thing you can witness.

Having had a quick glance at my emails it's definitely going to take me the best part of a week to get through them. Just sifting through the amount of sales emails promoting their latest 'unique' marketing technology product is a morning's work! I've tweeted before an excellent 'supergraphic' by Scott Brinker which categorises 3,874 different marketing solutions on one slide. This demonstrates just how many potential sales approaches I could get from different companies - an 87% increase on last year! I have even contemplated putting it up on my wall and crossing them off after each approach. Take a look below:

This could make potentially overwhelming reading as to work my way through all these would be a mammoth task in a constantly changing landscape. It also means my work phone is likely to be ringing hotter than ever as more sales people hunt me down via my LinkedIn profile. You can also see that there does not seem to be one platform that does everything that is required. Meaning no two marketing departments are likely to be using the same tools.

Fundamentally, all marketing campaign platforms are all quite similar just with their own small eccentricities or slightly easier to use interface. At Kier, we use Dotmailer which is an excellent platform for our email sends but I've used Pure360 in a previous role and the differences are negligible. The former has a great user friendly interface but the latter has excellent workflow options.

We are currently in the market for a new social media monitoring platform and this problem is showed in the pitches in which I have been present. It seems the platforms either specialise in scheduling and account management or analysis and reporting. Not having a platform that can powerfully achieve both means you have to be clear about your brief.

There's also the danger that I may have become hardened to the capabilities of these platforms. I'm yet to see anything that differentiates or impresses me. The longer I work in digital marketing the more I expect a technology platform to do. In a previous role we worked with an agency who had built a bespoke brand monitoring platform - some of the insight was therefore completely unique. Yet, knowing the capabilities of the platforms I was always challenging them to go one better. Eventually they managed to impress me but it wasn't easy - it's a good job we had such a good working relationship!

I've written before about constantly heightening expectations when it comes to technology. Our internal focus was to try to build a self service platform containing everything for our marketing community. Yet there is a danger here best described in the excellent Cantonese phrase which translates as "Equipped with knives all over, yet none is sharp"(周身刀,無張利). Whilst one company is busy trying to produce an all-round technology platform they will be losing ground on their competitors in one aspect. The ever increasing popularity of digital not only is showed in the amount of platforms but also in the rate they are evolving.

As our jobs get ever more complex we are all destined to become more demanding. I look forward to the day when a new platform or product impresses me in the way something like Google Analytics did over ten years ago. Or maybe, after witnessing the birth of my four children I'm going to be impossible to impress ever again!

PS: If you want the database of the above 'supergraphic' then you can download it here. I find it useful for recording notes on all  the platforms with which I've come into contact.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment