Is Digital The Trojan Horse Consultants Will Use To Invade The Marketing Industry?

The latest findings from Adobe's annual research into how frazzled marketers are by digital transformation could well underscore another headache for the advertising and marketing industry. The more the sector becomes dominated by technology, the more likely it is that consultants will step into the breach. In other words, if you're feeling befuddled by all the latest technology and the pace of change, there's a nice consultancy that will happily woo your clients. Chances are they already are.

Today's figures from Adobe, then, show that the proportion of marketers feeling unable to keep up with the pace of digital transformation has leaped above the one in two mark, from 48% last year to 55% this year. Two in three now report they are expected to be seen as contributing revenue to their organisation, and three in four lament that customers now expect immediate responses to queries and believe that brands should be providing more compelling content.

So not only is digital tech tough to keep up with, but its impact on customer expectations is hard to keep up with. No surprise, then, that every conference we've all been to for the last year or so has featured chatbot discussions.

At the same time, the same theme keeps coming up when i talk to brights sparks in the industry. The more marketing becomes a case of getting in the right technology and then making it work for the owner, the more likely it is that consultants will get in there in front of clients and set out their stall. Perhaps more to the point, the more marketing technology can be seen as falling within the remit of organisation-wide ERP systems -- particularly those hosted in the cloud -- the more likely it is that consultants will come knocking.

There was an interesting article in The Drum yesterday making this point, but also adding that it is worthwhile considering whose ear the big consultancies have already won over. They have a special relationship with the CIO and CFO, the argument goes, and that brings them pretty close to the CMO also -- particularly if a new digital approach is being brought in through a CIO and signed-off for the CFO. it's not a hard scenario to imagine, is it? 

So digital has revolutionised the advertising and marketing industries in some very obvious ways, not least the rise of programmatic, mobile, video and social. Could it also be in the process of changing the makeup of the companies vying for their slice of the action? Could it be another tech decision that plays right into the hands of the big management and tech consultancies? It seems increasingly likely that this is already turning out to be the case. 

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