“Technology is just a tool.”
This is a popular refrain in discussions around marketing technology. Marketers invoke it as a way to emphasize themarketing over the technology. And IT invokes it as a way to categorize marketing technology as the same as any other kind of technology. Since marketing and IT areboth a little uneasy about theexplosion of marketing software, it’s a nice bromide.
I agree thattechnology is just a tool.
But there are two implications of that statement. The first, which is what’s usually meant by it, is thattechnology by itself doesn’t produce brilliant marketing.
Just because you go out and buy the latest-and-greatest marketing automation system, doesn’t mean that it will suddenly improve your marketing. If you don’t have a compelling vision that you’re driving towards — or intuition about the pieces that are required to execute to that vision — the best tools in the world aren’t going to help. Themarketing applied to marketing technologyis more important.
That’s completely true in my opinion. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I’m skeptical of IT playing too dominant of a role in the management of marketing technology — they might understand the technical mechanics of the tools, but not have any real sense of how that relates to marketing, branding, and customer experiences.
But there’s another implication of this technology-as-a-tool meme that’s just as important, but less frequently acknowledged. As any craftsman will tell you:you need the right tool for the right job — and know how to wield it proficiently.