Technology: A Great Tool, but Terrible Master for Sales & Marketing

From the way people communicate to how they capture and share photos to how they communicate, technology has infiltrated every aspect of modern life. The business world is no exception, especially when it comes to sales and marketing.

As Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek explains: 

I think that technology can be a fantastic tool, and it makes a terrible master. So it is important, I think, to develop core competencies that are not technology-dependent and then use technology to pour jet fuel on the things that are working and can work.” 

Other big names in business productivity are beginning to agree with Ferriss, prompting changes in how sales and marketing departments worldwide rely upon and use technology every day.

The Problem of Data Overload

Although employees in many industries have expressed frustration with their employer’s over-reliance on data, nowhere is this more prevalent than sales and marketing. Advances in technology have made it possible for sales and marketing professionals to obtain detail about customer trends and behaviors in minute detail. They then use these analytics to make sales and plan marketing campaigns. As Tim Ferriss alludes to above, technology has become the master in many organizations at the expense of employee creativity.

The clients of marketing agencies are noticing this change as well. They are beginning to complain that a fixation on analytics has left marketing teams without the creativity they need to deliver effective campaigns based on their own passion and imagination. While data can help sales and marketing teams feel more in control, sometimes a situation calls for greater adaptability only available through the creative process. It’s up to the sales and marketing industries, then, to strike a healthier balance between analytics and creativity to ensure the best possible outcome for clients.

Companies Invest in Technology Stacks without Fully Understanding How to Use Them

The availability of technology to help understand customers better and close more deals can be intoxicating. It can also be confusing, especially considering that much of the technology used in sales and marketing today didn’t exist even 10 years ago. When younger people take on big roles in organizations making them responsible for purchasing technology, they often don’t know how to use it because they simply haven’t been in their careers long enough.

The problem with investing in too much technology is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to use it to its full functionality. It’s common for businesses to invest in items for technology stacks and then end up using only one or two of the numerous features. The biggest reason for this is they just don’t have the time to study and learn everything the technology can do.

What is the Solution?

Technology can be a wonderful investment when used correctly and company leadership still allows creativity to flourish. One solution is for sales and marketing professionals to stay on top of technology trends by attending conferences, reading about them, and networking with other professionals who use the same technologies. Perhaps more importantly, management must stop thinking that technology will solve all their problems. This will only lead to unnecessary purchases, high frustration levels, and a loss of creativity that may never return.