Advertising used to be a lot simpler.  You found the channels that provided access to your customers, and you placed ads.  The marketing team’s job was relatively straightforward.  Buy the ad space, create and place the ads.

I’m oversimplifying, but you get the point.

Today, of course, it’s far more complicated. If you want customers, prospects or visitors, you don’t just buy ads anymore. You can create your own channel, drive “organic” traffic for “free” through search, attract followers and “likes” and readers who get to know you before they choose to transact.

You don’t just send email. You measure open rates and click rates and can adjust subsequent marketing messages based on observed performance. You can customize the prospect experience based on what you know about them, not just what they’ve told you but what they’re done, where they’ve clicked, and so on.

Forty years ago, we used direct mail letters and 30-second television ads. Technology has existed in that time to help us refine and execute marketing. But today, the lines between technology and marketing have blurred.

Take Web analytics software, for example. Just a couple years ago this was predominantly the purview of the IT department. But now – thanks to companies like Optify and Hubspot – that same software is a vital part of driving traffic, qualifying prospects, and finding/closing business. That’s a marketing function. It’s attracting and manufacturing sales interest through technology.

Many companies and marketing departments still separate media, marketing and technology. Tools that can help sales & marketing do their jobs – that are replacing the need for traditional and paid advertising – are still relegated to the IT department.

This is more than just media and technology intersecting. It’s more than just technology making media more efficient. We’re living in a world where technology IS the media.

Does your marketing plan reflect this? Are you budgeting for it? Does your organization buy, use and manage the right technology to take advantage of this?