The intersection of marketing and software comes to life in London

Parallels between Marketing and Software

I’ve been thinking a lot about the parallels between marketing and software development lately. Certainly there is a tremendous amount of marketing software that marketers are applying in their profession. But the relationship between these two fields has become more entangled than that.

The illustration at the top of this post is a sketch of two models, each a Venn diagram of three overlapping spheres.

On the left is the world of marketing. Its foundation has been communications at the creative intersection of messages and media (with a nod to Marshall McLuhan). However, I believe that the digitalization of the planet has expanded that classic model with an additional sphere of “mechanisms” — how the experiences that marketers deliver to prospects and customers in the digital domain actually function and behave. The combination of all three of these produces modern customer experience (CX). It is a world directed by marketing managers.

On the right is the world of software development. It too can be thought of as the synthesis of three things: data, code, and UI. The union of those elements creates user experience (UX). It is a world directed by product managers.

There are striking parallels between these two models.

Messages are data. UI is rendered through a medium. In the digital domain, code implements mechanisms. The art of crafting delightful customer experiences is analogous to — and, in software-mediated touchpoints such as websites and mobile apps, directly equivalent to — user experience design.

Arguably, these two worlds are not merely colliding. They’re becoming one.

This union is expanding the scope of marketing and amplifying the impact of software. Within it, tremendous opportunities for cross-pollinating ideas and insights from both professions are blossoming. Beautiful new hybrids are blooming.

There’s so much to explore and discuss here, which leads me to…

MarTech Europe, which will take place in London next week, October 20-21, is a conference that is exclusively focused on the integration of these two worlds and how they’re reshaping business as we know it.

And by “integration,” I don’t just mean the technical integration of multiple technologies. Sure, that’s one of the challenges of marketing in a digital world. But in many ways, that’s the easy part. The more interesting and knotty challenges are the evolution of marketing strategy, operations, organizational structure, skill sets, and culture, given these new capabilities.

MarTech Europe will feature sessions covering all of these facets, presented by many of Europe’s top thought leaders and pioneering practitioners who are reimagining the field of marketing through the innovative use of marketing technology and “software thinking.”

I’m very much looking forward to hearing from all of these amazing speakers — and I’m so immensely grateful for their participation for two days of learning and discovery of the latest ideas combining marketing, technology, and management:

MarTech Europe 2015 Agenda

If the merging of the worlds of marketing and software fascinates you too, you still have a little time to register for next week’s event. I hope to see you there!

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