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How (and why) marketing tech fails to deliver on its promise

Matt Kapko | Jan. 22, 2016
Marketing technology promises to dramatically reduce wasted ad-spending and help marketers directly reach consumers with meaningful messages. Unfortunately, it hasn't delivered on that promise, and some marketing experts wonder if it ever will.

Many marketers set themselves up for trouble when they embrace intrusive ad targeting, according to Sorofman. "This sort of indulgent, overreaching behavior has really invited the sort of backlash we have seen with the trend toward ad blocking."

Data can be simultaneously powerful, useless and dangerous to marketers, according to Traction's Kleinberg. When marketers can't measure the appropriate data points using technology, they can end up optimizing campaign performance for tangential results and outcomes that don't serve the brand or customer, according to Kleinberg. "Data on its own does not help us — it's insight that does that. Without correct interpretation, data is meaningless and can cause paralysis at best and misguided efforts at worst."

"There is a lot of data being collected today without giving the consumer a terrific experience in return," says Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of digital marketing firm iQuanti. "Add the potential for data breaches, and the risk makes it that much more terrifying."

However, it's still a brand's responsibility to deliver experiences consumers want, according to Lieb. "Consumers have the power to go elsewhere now more than ever, and that's exactly what they will do with ever-increasing levels of transparency, trust, service, experience and pricing." 

And while ad-blockers and other subversive tech may seem like the enemy of modern marketers, they could ultimately help the industry evolve for the better, according to Kleinberg. "I don't see ad blockers as a threat, but as the wisdom of crowds at work. When consumers intentionally seek out ways to avoid ads they deem intrusive, market forces will demand that marketers find new ways to reach them."

 

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