In reading the predictions articles for the marketing industry in 2018, most of them focus on the increasing centrality of technology in the field. From the advent of marketing automation platforms like Eloqua and Marketo, the booming fields of geo-fencing, AI, and personalization, the promise has been, and remains, that martech will enable us to deliver measureable ROI and repeatable results.

However, Mark W. Schaefer, a globally recognized blogger, speaker, and consultant in the field of marketing recently opined on LinkedIn that marketing technology “is sucking the life out of the…profession.” This bold statements seems like the beginning of a scandal, because it bucks the industry standard and forces us to ask some scary questions about where we are in our field, our industry, and most of all, our ability to deliver success to our organization.

Like many articles with bold headlines, Schaefer’s article in the end comes to a tame conclusion, but the thought process he takes us through is valuable.  As we start on a new year looking ahead to delivering on our new plans, it’s good to really contemplate why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Why are we using that tool? Why are we deploying pop-up ads?

Here’s the beginning of Schaefer’s article…

“In the medical profession, technology is being used to cure disease, significantly improving life expectancy nearly everywhere in the world.

In the automotive industry, we are at the dawn of nearly miraculous connected, self-driving vehicles.

And in physics, technology is being applied to unlock the very secrets of our universe.

In my own beloved profession of marketing, the primary application of technology is to find increasingly sophisticated ways to annoy people.

And this, my friends, is the central professional issue of our day.

Marketing has lost its way.”

And you can finish reading it on LinkedIn here.

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