An Urgent Need for Simplicity

Our world is awash in complexity. But nowhere is that trend more evident than in digital marketing. A rising chorus of concern points to an urgent need for innovation to help marketers stem the tide of complication.

A large part of the problem is the sheer mass of marketing technology available today, which now numbers some 2,267 companies, according to VentureBeat. And the list is growing fast notes VentureBeat’s Jon Cifuentes, who reports some $3 billion in marketing tech fundings, acquisitions and IPOs in Q1 2015 alone.

Each new player adds a layer of complexity [that’s] turning digital advertising into a “black box,” observes Collective CEO Joe Apprendi, who decries the attendant lack of transparency.

The explosion in digital marketing is overwhelming marketers, who are struggling to integrate much-needed tools into a cohesive solution that plays nice together.

While 65% of U.S. marketing professionals agree that aggregating different data sources is a top priority, an equal number reports that integrating all this new tech is a challenge for their organization.

The task of seamlessly blending all this growing complexity is overwhelming, as evidenced by Signal’s finding that just 6% of marketers worldwide have a single view of customers and prospects across all devices and touchpoints, while one-third have nothing in place.

Despite the fact that nearly half of marketers plan to boost their digital investments this year, a whopping nine out of 10 of those same respondents do not yet know what works, says Forrester Research.

Worse, a staggering 70% of respondents surveyed by DNN Software admit that marketing has become more challenging despite all the technology solutions available today.

If you think that things are bad now, imagine the scenario in a few years when, as Gartner predicts, the CMO will be spending more on IT than the CIO.

If this industry doesn’t radically reinvent its thinking about innovation and the user experience, 2017 may well turn out to be the year of living dangerously.