I heard it for the first time today; I googled it, and of course, I was late to the party. There was a conference, and of course, you cannot have a conference without having a term. But yes, I will probably try to go to the MarTech conference next year.
My retail instincts kick in quickly when trying to analyze the depth of a trend. Maybe this is because “MarTech” sounds like the brand Marmot, and I expect to see a gopher pop out, or maybe it is because it is so clearly a made-up buzzword. I am not a fan of made-up buzzwords, and I am skeptical about anything that attempts to sound catchy. MarTech sounds a bit like a pretender, like the Five Fingers shoes that were trendy a while back. The story made some sense — barefoot running seemed within the boundaries of reasonability, and people bought it (actually, people bought a lot of it). But then we woke up and individual toed shoes were no longer interesting.
I get that feeling with this made-up term — MarTech. It sounds goofy, and I wonder if we are going to wake up and realize that it is a stupid word. Marketing strategies have their trends as well — first content marketing, then inbound/outbound; at some point print came and went. So maybe this, too, will make a run and then fade away. After all, made-up words sound funky and weird, right up to the point when they become “google,” entering the lexicon of the day and rolling off the tongue easier than Facebook, FedEx, Snapchat, and Tweet. This clearly indicates room for acceptance. For every Five Fingers, there is a Apartments.com, Apartment Finder or Rent.com which breaks past the one-hit brand wonder and becomes a brand with durability and staying power.
Can MarTech break through and become a durable term? I do not know. Figuring out the predilections of the American public, particularly marketers, is beyond my paygrade. But while I cannot predict the durability of the term MarTech, I can predict the long durability of marketing and the equally long durability of marketing over the Internet when it comes to apartment searching. The integration of marketing and tech — marketing digitally on, with, and through the Internet — is here to stay when someone is looking for a new residence.
Marketing and technology are blending in new and different ways. The term in many ways merely reiterates that selling is about sending the right message (marketing) over the right medium (technology). Thus, MarTech incorporates some fundamental truths about selling, messaging, and branding that will be true as long as capitalism is our economic system. MarTech encompasses and refines content marketing, which at its core means pushing content targeted to customers in new social media channels. MarTech encompasses and refines inbound and outbound marketing as well. Technology is making the conversation more seamless. Whether a customer is inbound or a message is outbound is moot; whether a method is content marketing versus branding versus messaging versus advertising is also moot.
Fundamentally, MarTech is another term for selling through different mediums with different messages. It is about having conversations digitally, in whatever evolutions follow. MarTech is blending and innovating market strategies with the latest technology. We may come up with a less goofy term for it, but I am pretty sure that as long as we are selling we are going to be “MarTeching” to be successful. Surely we can come up with something else—Digital Conversation, Techsell, iProcessing, anything?