To be successful in the digital era, marketers should adopt the best new modern practices as well as rethink and refine classic approaches.

The marketing field has changed dramatically in recent years in direct response to the way technology has affected the wider practice of management. Technology now affects virtually every facet of how organizations design, plan, execute, and measure their marketing efforts. While every industry has changed — consumer products, financial services, durable goods, and others — the technology industry, by virtue of its fast-paced, innovative nature, tends to lead the charge when it comes to marketing transformation and has become the model for modern digital marketing efforts. Changes in the marketing of technology products are important not only for those marketers looking to hone their craft in that industry but also for marketers in other industries seeking to acquire new skills and practices.

With more than 30 years of experience each in the practice or study of technology product marketing, we set forth a set of principles that reflects both classic and new approaches. We illustrate these examples with several firsthand examples from Adobe, a technology marketing pioneer and enduring market leader, as well as other top technology companies such as Fitbit, Intel, Intuit, Red Hat, and Spotify.

Technology Is Just the First Step

Technology has changed everything. Fundamentally, it allows for new ways to create customer experiences, new mediums to connect with customers and other constituents, and trillions of data points to understand customer behavior and the impact of marketing programs and activities. Yet, with all that progress, we are still only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the profound impact technology will have on the future of marketing.

Even though technology is becoming only more advanced and disruptive, marketers of technology products must realize that technology is only the first step. To fully realize the potential of technology, it takes transformation across people, processes, and technology. Only by recognizing all three forces will modern marketers reap the full benefits that technology can have on marketing transformation.

There is no question that technology is critical to business success for virtually all organizations today, especially for those in the business of marketing technology itself. To thrive in this new era, it is imperative that marketers embrace developments in technology and test and adopt new advancements that fit their business — whether AI, or voice, or augmented reality — before they lose a competitive edge.