Once operating in silos, marketing and technology now work hand in hand to connect directly with consumers and make products increasingly visible. That was the takeaway from a panel of experts at “Marketing Technology: Where Business Meets Engineering” presentation.
The April 21 event, the first of its kind at FIU, combined a case competition with an exchange of ideas on using technology in the marketing process. Programming, code and analytics are important components in today’s brand marketing mix. Marketers can borrow ideas from software experts to create stronger impressions in the digital world.
“It’s all about communicating a message to customers in the most effective way possible,” said Gabriel Noboa (BBA ’14), campus director at Wyncode, a Miami-based coding boot camp. “Technology allows people to see what we do, to know our story and business analytics lets us interface better with clients.”
Marketing and technology students worked in teams to create a marketing technology strategy for Café X’s robotic espresso machines. Each team made a one-minute pitch to sell Café X executives on their strategy, designed to attract new users, retain existing customers, and identify key locations for the machines at MMC.
Among the 19 teams, two ideas stood out: connecting the Café X app with Spotify so the customer’s favorite song plays when nearing the machine, and “pay for a friend” feature allowing the recipient could redeem the via the app.
“We saw very clever ideas that took technology and marketing a step higher, combining both minds,” said marketing professor Wendy Guess. “Today, you can’t have marketing without technology.”
The Café X Challenge winners were Andrea Karp, Jessica Hernandez, Camila Arteaga, Katrina Taboada, Jose Morgan, Alfonso Guerra, and Maria Eismart. Held at Tech Station, “Marketing Technology: Where Business Meets Engineering” was put together by the Social Media Association, the College of Engineering & Computing, and the Department of Marketing.
“We are excited to partner with the community to help support events related to marketing, social media and technology,” said Nancy Richmond, instructor and faculty advisor for the Social Media Association.
Don’t be afraid of technology.
Technology-based tools including apps, traditional software, social media, and data analytics, are commanding more attention and more company dollars from brands. Market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that by 2018, spending on marketing technology will reach $32.3 billion.
Digital marketing drives the relationship between viewers and programming at NBCUniversal Hispanic Group, which comprises Telemundo and NBCUniverso, explained Marianna Monroy, the group’s audience development manager.
“We use Facebook to bring in traffic to the digital side of the channel, and on our advertising platform we always need apps to make it easier,” said Monroy, noting that 90 percent of the networks’ digital traffic is driven by technology. “Each of our shows has a social media page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”
New digital trends increase brands’ connection with consumers and can help solve problems.
That’s a lesson Palace Resorts executives learned when travel agents had a tough time using the company’s booking engine. “They weren’t tech savvy so we had to streamline the process,” said Johanna Paredes, digital marketing manager at Palace.
The situation led to an expansive digital marketing strategy, primarily via social media. On Facebook and Twitter, each resort has its own page as well as a corporate page for Palace Resorts. The company also created mobile apps for guests and for travel agents.
“We use social media for feedback on how we share information, the voice we use, how to post things; data shows us where we’re good and what we can do better,” said Paredes. “All of the digital feeds go into one page in order to drive engagement and response time.”
Looking back, Paredes admitted that revamping the marketing strategy and infusing technology wasn’t easy. “It was tough working with developers, getting creative in terms of coding,” said Paredes. “Sometimes we can’t think outside the box.”
The Social Media Association at FIU will keep the focus on digital marketing and technology, offering a treasure trove of information for experts and newcomers alike. The organization will present “Social Tech Live” on July 16-17 at MMC, featuring tracks on social media, technology, business, and marketing.
Meet the experts:
- Blanca Stella Mejia, social content & influencer lead, IBM
- Erik Lindgren, delivery leader & software engineer, AgileThought
- Gabriel Noboa, campus director, Wyncode
- Johanna Paredes, digital marketing manager at Palace Resorts
- Marianna Monroy, audience development manager at NBCUniversal Hispanic