23 Marketing Technologies We're Thankful For

by Michelle McGinnis on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 in Digital Marketing

Thanksgiving often puts us in a grateful mood. And if you're in marketing, you have plenty to be thankful for.

As technology has advanced marketers have reaped the benefits. In fact, the road to modern marketing has been paved with new technologies. As a result, marketers have far more opportunities to reach a larger set of buyers, find their niche and actually see the results.

So we've decided to take some time out and name 23 of the technologies marketers should say thanks for. Here goes!

1. The Internet
Maybe it's not top of mind, but the Internet truly changed the game, giving buyers control. That opened up new territory for marketers and they've been increasingly digitally savvy.

2. CRM
Managing customers and opportunities can get messy. Thanks to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the number of spreadsheets and updates is more fresh, automated and less painful.

3. Search Engines
Some of us remember when you could first type in a couple words in Google and get instant access to the world's knowledge. It re-shaped modern marketing and opened a new, more efficient form of advertising.

4. Online Chat
Let's see, a customer can get on your website, click a button and make an instant connection. What's not to love.

5. Online Surveys
Getting a view of customer sentiment, market feedback and gauging interest was once a time-consuming process. Now you can fire out a survey and get a quick responses back.

6. Email
Do we even have to give you a reason? Email changed the world, and marketing, for the better. It was instant messaging before instant messaging was a thing. And email marketing remains remarkably high.

7. Virtual Events
Event marketing works. We know this. But you don't always have to jump on a plane and stand in front of a booth. Virtual events are connecting more people than ever.

8. Social Media
Reach millions of potential customers and influencers, hear what people are saying about you and your customers, connect directly with those who have an interest your brand - clearly social media is a boon for marketers.

9. Online Video
We're no longer dominated by commercials. With the birth of online video hosting, marketers can move on the fly and truly put out some creative content.

10. Gamification
We all want engagement and gamification enables us to reward our community for doing just that. It's human nature to want to 'win', and gamification helps make marketing more fun for consumers.

11. Blogging
You're reading one right now. Blogs made publishing far more accessible to the masses and to brands. Those organizations who get it right can be leaders in their industry without a lot of pomp and circumstance.

12. Smartphones
Hard to believe that not long ago mobile phones were, well, phones. Now, the smartphone is how many of us search, explore and even purchase. Many marketers are still exploring how to tap into the riches of mobile, but clearly smartphones are open up new territory.

13. Webinars
In-person events are not going away, but webinars are making the reach and speed of your thought leadership extend further than ever.

14. Web Analytics
If the Web opened a novel ways of reaching and engaging buyers, than Web analytics have made measuring and improving those efforts easier. It's hard to imagine a world without that kind of instantaneous metrics.

15. Apps
There was once a time when the Internet was just like the wild west. With the advent of the apps, the experience became more filtered and easier to navigate. For marketers, this has made it easier to communicate and focus the buyer.

16. Content Management Systems
"Content is king" has become a familiar refrain in marketing. But the king can feel unruly. Content management systems are making it easier to tame the beast, keeping teams on the same page and putting assets in the right place.

17. Location-Based Ads
With the advent of mobile, directing advertising to consumers based on where they are right that moment has become possible. This long-held dream of marketers is finally true. And the rewards are just being discovered.

18. The Cloud
You can't go anywhere without hearing about cloud computing. The cloud has made marketing faster, simpler and been key in birthing many of the technologies listed here. There's very few elements of modern marketing that doesn't owe a debt to the cloud.

19. Ad-Tech
The old methods of buying and selling ads was painful, slow and not all that efficient. Programmatic ad-tech companies and the advancement of Real-Time Bidding have made the process smarter and more targeted.

20. Augmented Reality
Literally changing our world. Augmented reality make it possible to create a social layer over your print ads, billboards, etc.

21. Tablets
Didn't we cover this with smartphones? Not really. In just a few short years, tablets have boomed, changing the way we access the Web and giving marketers new means of interacting with customers.

22. Private Social Networks
If we're thankful for social media, we're also grateful for the private version of social media. These allow marketers to communicate across the organization, discover insight and ideas, and do it all instantly.

23. Marketing Automation
We're biased, but we love the way marketing automation ties it all together for modern marketers. The ability to automate communications and ensure accuracy in delivering the right message to the right person at the right time - you got to love that.

What technologies are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments.

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