A Brief History Of Marketing Technology
If we took a look at the history of marketing technology, we will see that marketing and technology always went hand-in-hand. Right now, there are exactly 5381 marketing technology solutions out there, a 40% jump from last year. But there was a time when there was only a handful of such solutions. There was a time when marketing technology was in its infancy.
If you start tracing the history of marketing technology, you will land up in the 1980s first. This was the era of the first PCs or personal computers. Computers had just become capable of storing data. In fact, it was around this time that marketers started to abandon their offline marketing techniques and opted for database marketing. By using database marketing, marketers were able to keep an electronic database of their customers and leads.
Database marketing was the brainchild of Robert and Kate Kestenbaum, which became quite popular immediately.
By 1986, another company that went by the name ACT! rolled out the first database marketing software. This resembled a Rolodex, and the only difference was that this was digital. On top of that, it could store large volumes of information, unlike a traditional Rolodex.
Digital databases paved the way for modern marketing techniques as we know it. It allowed marketers to track their prospects like never before. Even though the process was manual back then, but it sowed the seed of greater things to come.
The Period That Followed
The popularity of personal computers and database marketing led to the revolutionary growth of marketing technology in the 90s. One does not even need to glance at the history of marketing automation to guess what was coming round the corner. CRM. It was right about now when CRM or Customer Relationship Management platforms were launched. Back then, it was also known as SFA or Sales Force Automation. Early innovators of CRM were Brock Control Systems, Unica and Siebel Systems.
Later during this period, new vendors like Oracle, SAP, and Baan entered the market and brought about massive changes. This forced a lot of the existing vendors to expand their range of offerings. However, by this time most marketers had started using CRM. But, what they realized was that they were data rich but information poor. They did not know how to use all the data collected to their advantage.
All this changed though, with the advent of Salesforce.com, the first SaaS (Software as a Service) company.
The New Millennium
With the dot-com boom at its highest, it was inevitable that someday the bubble would burst. CRM companies took a major blow. Many of them shut down while some were absorbed by larger corporations. The bigger players in the field of marketing technology took this opportunity to rethink their strategies.
Moreover, the relationship between buyers and sellers were changing and the Internet had a big role to play. Around 2007, the world of marketing technology had a new platform to offer, marketing automation. When you see the history of marketing technology, you will realize that this was a long time coming.
But this too was not enough. Why? Because by this time social media networks had started emerging. And, no one had any clue that they would go on to become important marketing channels. Newer platforms emerged to meet the demands of channels like mobile, social media, search engine, etc.
Right now, marketing technology is making great progress. New platforms are emerging every day. In fact, advanced and innovative features are becoming part of marketing technology in order to keep up with the fast pace of technological advancements.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence could soon become a part of every marketing automation platform. If the history of marketing technology is to be considered, one can say that this has the potential to change the landscape of marketing technology as we know it, again. Marketing Technology is exhibiting a lot of potential right now and it is only a matter of time before something new comes along. Till then, happy marketing!
Also Read: A Brief History of Marketing Automation