In the first segment, I suggested developing a marketing technology skills inventory before diving in to the marketing technology pool. The two most important things you need to do when developing your marketing technology skills inventory is to establish a standard for classification and measurement.
When we talk about classification, what I mean is creating standardized (pre-defined) marketing technology categories in which to segment your skills. There are many ways to approach this, but I’d recommend looking at the Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map.
As Gartner says, “…the digital landscape covers a wide, complex territory. To plan and manage technology effectively, digital marketers need to understand the inherent relationships between diverse operational areas, applications, technologies and vendors.” The Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map takes a shot at detailing the relationships between business functions, application services, and solution providers.
An article in Mashable said, “digital marketing is a discipline in flux.” I’d agree. It’s continuing to evolve, as is marketing technology, and the Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map is a great place to draw a line in the sand and say, “This is what I believe – today” (knowing full well that tomorrow, you might just change your mind, since the digital marketing and marketing technology landscape can sometimes change very quickly).
Gartner breaks the digital marketing map down by operational “neighborhoods,” application domain “tracks,” and technology “stations.” I’d recommend using the application domain sections, or “tracks,” as a starting point for developing your marketing technology classification list. Here they are, directly from the Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map:
- Ad Technology
- Marketing Management
- User Experience (UX)
- Real-time Data
- Emerging Technology
Use these as top-level marketing technology categories to classify the various marketing technology products and services you find and add to your knowledge store…and possibly your digital marketing toolkit.
For more details about each of the application domain sections of the Garter Transit Map, check out the Gartner webinar, Making Sense of the Digital Marketing Landscape.
Establishing a marketing technology skills measurement criteria is pretty subjective, and also pretty easy. The goal here is to assign a unit of measure – say a number from one to five, with one being “I have no clue” to five measured as “I’m an expert”. You can not only assign these units of measure to the application domains, you can also apply them to each marketing technology product or service you explore.
One more suggestion – be honest with yourself when assigning a measure of competency to the various application domain sections. That will help you determine where you need to work harder.
There’s a lot of chatter in the digital marketing space about marketing technology. There are ‘roadmaps‘, ‘transit maps‘, ‘platforms‘, ‘ecosystems‘, ‘frameworks’, ‘LUMAscapes‘, ‘suites’, ‘portfolios’ and much more. Cutting through the clutter and finding valuable information that can help you start building your marketing technology skills inventory can be a challenge. In the next segment, we’ll discuss how to use tools like Ghostery to discover and explore new marketing technologies.