It’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing stream of technological advances in business.
If you added up all the marketing technology software and subscriptions you use in your business, you’d probably be surprised by the number. Let’s look at what some of them might be…
You have your shopping cart, your website and all the various plugins or apps you use on it, your project management systems, your bookkeeping software, your graphic design software, your content management systems, social media posting software, conference call and webinar systems, note apps, and chat tools… and we’re probably still missing quite a few.
These tools are invaluable time-savers.
Or are they?
Honestly, it’s debatable, and here’s an example of why: Within each of the tools we mentioned above, it’s very likely that you have marketing technology systems that…
- Duplicate each other
- Aren’t cutting it
- Are so complicated that you don’t even use them, at least not to their full capacity
- Aren’t integrated, and are therefore tedious time-wasters
What happens is, over the years, we add additional pieces of software and gadgets into our businesses to help us with our current level of marketing growth. We might add some new pieces of software for a certain purpose, not even realizing that the software we currently have already has that capability. And even if it doesn’t, we now have additional marketing tech to keep up with.
And when we add that new software, we might have every intention of doing away with some older software, but we never get around to it. Hence, we end up with numerous different systems that aren’t integrating with each other, and it’s utter chaos—multisystem chaos, that is.
This predicament begs the question, is the influx of new technology benefiting business growth and development or is it causing a loss of productivity?
Is too much time being drained from the business day as we strive to learn new marketing tools and measure their benefits?
Let’s answer those questions by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of marketing technology in today’s business landscape.
Advantages of Technology for Business
Technology is one of the best things that has happened to the business world. It has the power to speed processes, increase revenues, and make work life easier. Here are some of the most important benefits of technology for business.
As long as the technology is being used correctly, it makes a business run more efficiently. For example, software can be used to better collect and interpret data so that we can more efficiently access what we need. Customer relationship management software provides client info, buying history, and propensity patterns that makes us more effective at managing customer relationships. With conference technology, we can hold meetings online instead of flying everyone into corporate headquarters.
Automation of Processes
With the right technology, businesses can cut labor and other costs through automation. Examples include using automated processes to keep in touch with clients and prospects, tracking deliveries, analyzing data, holding web-based training programs, managing social media, and handling bookkeeping.
Better Communication with Customers
With the use of marketing technology, we can improve our communications with customers so that we ensure better customer service. For instance, we can use technology to respond quickly to customer needs and issues and to gain a better understanding of our customers so that we can give them the products and services they really want.
Hacked information can lead to a loss in productivity and it can drain company funds, not to mention the public scrutiny involved. With the right technology, businesses can keep company and consumer information safe and protect financial data and proprietary information that supports competitive advantages.
It can be difficult to manage large teams, but technology definitely makes it easier. Certain technologies allow managers to monitor customer service calls for lag times and issues, track drivers through GSP, improve sales figures, and get a handle on potential sales and leads.
Disadvantages of Using Technology in Business
Though technology provides us with numerous benefits in business, it can also lead to other issues that can reduce productivity and hinder the very things technology is there to improve. That’s why it is important to also look at the disadvantages of marketing technology.
Yes, technology can be a money-saver, but when you consider the initial cost of the technology and the ongoing updates, as well as training expenses, the costs associated with fixing technology when it breaks down, and the loss of productivity that can result, it can certainly add up.
Though we’ve listed security in the benefits section of this article, it also deserves its place in the disadvantages as well. This is because hackers and cybercrime only exist as a result of technology.
Data breaches, malware, DoS attacks, and social engineering are just a few of the issues at hand, and it’s not just large corporations that suffer. According to SmallBizTrends.com, 43% of all cyberattacks are targeted at small business. It is estimated that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million.
Siloed Data Issues
It’s not uncommon for companies to use 25-50 pieces of software and technology to perform their daily marketing tasks, and in most cases, these systems don’t integrate with each other.
Different systems and pieces of software that don’t work together cause businesses to have to input information over and over again into each piece of software. Then, there’s the larger problem of not being able to see all the data in one place.
Maybe your shopping cart doesn’t integrate with your email marketing software, so you can’t capitalize on automatically getting people on to your list when they make a purchase. Plus, you probably have different customer information on several different systems, so you can’t get a full 360° view of your customer.
Technology certainly plays its part in frustrating customers. If your email software, for example, isn’t able to track which of your subscribers have made certain purchases, then it’s easy to create angry customers who receive emails offering big discounts on products after they just paid full price. With the right software, you could have made sure they didn’t receive that email. On the other hand, it’s easy to frustrate subscribers when they receive the same emails over and over from you even after they have already taken action on that email.
It Can Be a Distraction
These days, we have so many different types of technology that are vying for our attention, including email, social media, instant messages, texts, and even online games and videos. Not only is it hard to keep up, but also it’s just as easy to get distracted. According to attentive.com, email alone takes up 13 hours of a person’s time per week.
So Much Tech, You Don’t Know What You Have
Most companies are utilizing so much technology that they can’t even keep track of what they have. And in many cases, companies have different pieces of software that can perform the same tasks, so they could get rid of some of them, but they don’t have the time to really learn the ins and outs of each piece of software. This is as true for small businesses as it is for large businesses.
It’s easy to be dazzled by the latest and greatest apps, software, and gadgets, but when it comes to marketing technology, less is often more. By selecting the right technologies and eliminating the ones that are actually draining your time, you can enjoy the benefits of tech without the side effects of multisystem chaos. In Part 2 of this article, we’ll help you do just that!