The number of software companies that serve the marketing department is exploding. Technology spending in marketing as a percent of total marketing spend has quickly risen from 1% to 10%.
Small wonder that Scott Brinker, CTO of Ion Interactive and blogger at chiefmartec.com, has received a strong response to the MarTech conference he started last year. About 1,000 people attended this year’s conference in San Francisco along with 70 vendors in the exhibition hall.
With all this new technology to support marketing processes, it would be easy to start believing that technology can fix marketing production problems. The hard truth is that although marketing technology can automate your existing processes, it cannot improve them. That’s something only you can do.
Thus, of all the presentations that were posted from the MarTech conference, the two that caught my eye were from Corey Craig of Dell and Chris Goward of Wider Funnel. They shared their ideas on how they go about solving production problems in marketing using scientific methods.
- Corey Craig: Observe what’s happening and develop a theory that corresponds with your observations.
- Chris Goward: Make a change in what is happening, and learn from the result.
Observe what’s happening and develop a theory
Corey Craig talked about how she uses the “observe and develop a theory” method. She looks at what her customers are doing online and develops a theory of why they are doing it.
Corey then breaks the experience down into components and nurtures customer intent with relevant content.
Corey hypothesizes a theory of intent based on customer experience and then lets that theory drive her technology decisions.
Make a change and learn from the result
The other approach to problem solving is to try something and see what happens. The title of Chris Goward‘s talk was “You Should Test That!” so it’s not hard to guess which method he likes to use.
Chris’s approach is based on the assumption that many customer responses are impossible to predict. He advocates small design modifications based on frequent tests.
But how do you know what to test? What changes on a site will enhance the experience for customers and improve sales production?
Chris uses a customer framework that helps him to ask questions about the forces that act on customers. He then uses these questions to devise new tests.
Corey talked about approaching problem-solving by making observations and developing a theory, while Chris approached it through testing and learning from the result. In both cases they solved marketing production problems first and automated their solutions with technology second.