The Marketer’s Dilemma- A Tidal Wave of Technology


In the world of professional marketing, time is typically one of the most limited resources. From customer meetings, sales enablement to competitive analysis, creating messaging and positioning, there’s no end to what a marketer can spend their time and energy on. But in the last 10 years, as marketing has moved to increasingly digital channels, our world has exploded into a tidal wave of technology. Platforms for marketing automation and a variety of other online marketing tools are becoming key revenue drivers for companies. Which recently prompted Gartner to make a very controversial prediction: By 2017, the CMO would out-spend the CIO on technology!


Regardless of which side you fall on in that discussion, there’s no doubt that digital technology and channels are disrupting the way marketers engage and qualify prospects whether you’re talking about the B2B or B2C world. And as professional marketers rely on increasingly digital campaigns, it requires a whole new skill-set that not all marketers are prepared to master. Nor do they necessarily have the time to master! Given all the day-to-day activities and full calendars marketers typically have, how in the world are we supposed to keep up with the quickly evolving technology landscape?

marketing_technology_jan2015, a marketing technology blog has a fantastic graphic illustrating the diversity and breadth of vendors out there in this discipline. By Scott Brinker’s estimation (marketing technology blogger), there are over 1,800+ vendors in 43 categories, which is absolutely breath-taking. With the rapid growth of the marketing technology business (IDC estimates 12% CAGR growth and a $30 billion plus marketing technology industry by 2018), the ecosystem of companies in this technology segment range from big-hitters like Oracle,, Adobe and Teradata to small start-ups.

And how does that busy professional marketer know where to even start when evaluating or learning about today’s B2B digital marketing? Especially when they’re already up to their neck in work and meetings?! That’s a fantastic question but I do think this widening gap between marketing tools and the expertise to understand and utilize them presents vendors a fantastic opportunity to educate their future customers. Hubspot and Marketo have already jumped in heavily on content marketing initiatives to educate and train their marketing audiences on the best digital marketing practices today. It’s the right thing to do for their customers and also the right thing to do for their organizations. Without the necessary digital expertise you may wind up in a marketing dead-end, see Adobe’s take on the marketing dilemma below!

And while this tidal wave of technology can be intimidating, professional marketers willing to get on top and ride this technology wave are positioning themselves, their careers and their organizations for the future. Even if you’re not a master of marketing automation or online marketing tools, you really need to understand the basics of how they can streamline and provide better decision-making in your marketing campaigns and strategies. And that is a requirement for everyone from the individual contributor to the CMO. Because while there are still questions as to whether the CMO will outspend the CIO in 2017, there is absolutely NO doubt that online and digital marketing will only increase its impact on the marketing profession for years to come…

Ron Wen

Squarespace versus WordPress


For those of you heavily invested in blogging, the natural platform of choice is WordPress.  Free and easily customizable, WordPress gives you so many options in terms of creating the look, feel and functionality of your blog and website.  But after four years of managing my SMB blog which gets about 8,500 unique visitors a month, I moved over to Squarespace in April 2015.  And for the most part it has gone well with some caveats.  My goal was to have a simpler administrative experience so I could focus on content which is what I got.  But that wasn’t without some drawbacks on Squarespace.  Here’s how I see the two platforms…



  • Easy to learn and use with an elegant interface
  • Visually well-designed templates, good for high-quality images
  • Built-in content delivery network with fast page-load speeds
  • Responsive design for our mobile visitors
  • e-Commerce engine and shopping cart built-in
  • Contact forms built-in
  • Automatic software updates that have gone through QA, easy to manage


  • Migration tool decent but imperfect, will require lots of hand edits to move over
  • No SEO description or title easily available for blog posts.  Impacts clickability of posts showing up on search engines
  • Social sharing limited and flat, recommend use of add-on
  • No media library, must upload image multiple times for re-use
  • Presentation of blog posts and drafts is columnar, not tabular.  Not easy to navigate with a large number of posts



  • Thousand’s of hosting options available at different companies, prices
  • Ton’s of template options but of varying quality
  • Huge library of plug-in’s for additional feature/functionality
  • Ability to get “under the hood” to edit your pages and posts
  • Easier to manage a large number of posts
  • Great statistics and metrics available as part of platform


  • Steeper ramp-up to learn interface and capabilities of platform
  • Need to update platform regularly and potentially break parts of website
  • Great choice of plug-in’s but of varying quality
  • Getting responsive mobile version to work properly can be tricky
  • If CDN needed, must manually add for heavy traffic websites

In the end, Squarespace is an excellent blogging platform for the price but just be aware of its limitations. If your website is image-heavy and you need an online store, Squarespace is an easy choice. However if you’re more about text content and SEO results are crucial for you to drive traffic, WordPress may still be a better choice. The ability to leverage WordPress’ vast library of plug-in’s to get exactly what you need and edit the blog post under the hood is a powerful advantage.  There’s no right answer when it comes to your website and blogging platform, just be aware of what you get and what you give up!