Technology Brings Marketing Challenges

Though the technology boom has helped some marketers perform better through the use of email and Web campaigns, these advancements are also starting to bring about many challenges for marketers, Kent Allen, research director at Aberdeen Group, says in a new report. One major problem with technology is that it will make marketing even more intrusive, Allen says in the report. This includes email spam, pop-up ads, and prerecorded ads played while customers are on hold. "Smart marketers must resist the temptation to pursue aggressive tactics that generate short-term returns, but risk long-term damage to customer loyalty and brands," he says. Another challenge marketers face centers around the fact that new technologies like analytics can help marketers better target their audiences. Thus, Allen says, they have no excuse for reaching an inappropriate audience. Allen gives the example of alcohol companies running ads during times where many minors will see the ads. According to Allen, forward-thinking marketers will shift towards more targeted, interactive marketing campaigns to reach the appropriate audience more effectively. Allen notes in the report that more and more consumers are using ad-blocking software. "Marketers should note that research has found that online audiences believe that a limited number of pop-ups are an acceptable trade-off for easy access to relevant content," he says. "However, the spammers are out there. Short-sighted marketers will continue to try the patience of the online audience by inundating it with both email blasts and pop-ups." One big change that Allen says technology will bring about is the potential demise of list rentals and other forms of customer contact that fail to establish a dialogue between the company and the customer. "Innovative companies are moving from a sole focus on data management-intensive transactional CRM to a more customer communication-intensive model that facilitates a bidirectional relationship with the customer," Allen says in the report. "The Internet is a crucial tool in this evolution. Email blasts to a rented list, however, are not a part of the picture." Finally, Allen says that though many companies have adopted e-marketing tools on a large scale, performance metrics for online campaigns need to be as serious a concern as a traditional campaign: "Of course, many marketers fail to measure not only online marketing campaigns, but also other offline initiatives. What cannot be measured can only be imagined."
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