Imagine just five years ago if someone told you that you could soon dispatch disappearing videos from smartphone to smartphone like the ease of sending a text. Or that videos in your News Feed would play without having to start them. It might have sounded like futuristic marketing talk, and it was—it just arrived sooner than anyone expected.
Now, marketers are beginning to use innovative content technology to produce immersive, 360-degree video and employ robots that can write like humans.
Brand marketers have sensed the need for effective technology and are purchasing solutions faster than ever. According to Skyword’s new research report, in partnership with Researchscape International, “A Study in Brand Transformation,” 50 percent of enterprise marketers said the number of technology providers they work with has increased in the past year, while only 4 percent said it has decreased. On top of this, 78 percent of those surveyed indicated that they work with three or more technology providers, with more than 20 percent working with more than 11 technology providers.
When it comes to technology, brands’ budgets are getting deeper.
As companies look to transform their marketing departments for scalable brand storytelling in 2016, content technology investments appear to take place early on in the transformation process. Fifty-eight percent of companies have adopted new technology in the past year, including social media monitoring and measurement, design, analytics, and content marketing software. Marketers are increasingly relying on these tech investments to create the infrastructure for brand publishing and to change marketing practices to fit shifting behaviors of the consumer—a consumer that is hungry for stunning visual content and honest, original storytelling.
The only way marketers will be able to transform their departments for success in 2016 is by making the right technology investments to allow for sustainable brand storytelling and effective content distribution. Here’s the breakdown from the research of where marketers are currently investing in tech.
Looking at these two graphs from the report, misalignment between tech and human capital investments is immediately apparent. Fifty-two percent of businesses are investing in design software, but only 39 percent of businesses employ graphic designers. Similarly, 51 percent invest in social media monitoring, but only 33 percent have social media marketers in-house. Thirty-nine percent of marketing departments invest in content software, yet only 28 percent have a content marketer on their staff.
Though outsourcing these roles makes sense for certain campaigns (if your brand only needs design work a few times a year, why hire a full-time designer?), it means that marketers are not taking full advantage of their content technology investments by not hiring internal specialists to maximize the technology’s potential power. It also means they’re wasting money investing in tech they don’t use or use only some of the time.
Think about it: 24 percent of marketers report using video production technology, yet 49 percent produce video content. Who is producing that content and on what software? The answer, in most cases, is that brands are pushing that work to agencies and video production companies. But if the idea is capitalize on the massive rise of video content for, well, forever, shouldn’t brands be hiring their own video production leads?
As marketing teams prove ROI to leadership in 2016, driven by innovative, original brand storytelling, these relatively low percentages of internal employees—content marketers, editors, and video producers—will rise. Brands won’t be able to afford not to hire them.
What does this mean? When restructuring marketing teams, hire with technology investments in mind, and seek out the internal experts who will be able to maximize your effectiveness of your tech solutions. As we found through our research, “Firms that reorganized marketing in the past year were also more likely to have adopted new technology within the last three months (24 percent vs. the 9 percent that didn’t reorganize).” This indicates a confidence in those brands that were reorganizing and investing in new tech that their technology investments are aligned with the right personnel. Companies that are transforming are investing in the necessary software to support this evolving approach to the market.
As Malcolm X once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” We don’t know exactly what the future will hold, but we do know that the path to digital marketing success is paved with new content technology—make sure the you find the people who can steer your brand in the right direction.
Visit our moving story, “What Is Marketing Transformation, Really?” and explore the chromosome-esque data visualization.
Download the full marketing transformation report here.