Indy: Marketing Tech Capital of the World

This morning I had the privilege of attending a TechPoint sponsored breakfast in Indianapolis which hosted 3 individuals in the tech community whom are huge influencers: Tim Kopp, CMO ExactTarget, Scott Hill, Executive Chairman CIK Enterprises, and Mike Langellier, President of TechPoint. I've always known Indy to be the "Silicone Valley of the MidWest", a name that was dubbed several years ago because of the low cost of building businesses and the boom of tech companies HQ'd here. But as time goes on, Indy is getting a lot more traction and a lot more visibility far beyond our small borders.

The breakfast this morning was just one example of the thriving tech community. Indy is home to great organizations like the TechPoint and the MIRA Awards, VERGE, the Orr Fellowship, Innovation Showcase, and now M-Tech, the newest addition to fueling the Marketing technology landscape. 

The topic of this morning's breakfast was "Indy's Impact on Marketing Tech". It was a fitting topic, as there are 25+ tech companies in Indy, and Indy is also home to several large Marketing tech IPO's and acquisitions equaling over $3.5B in the last few years, which continues to fuel local innovation, funding, and talent. The global Marketing tech landscape is only going to accelerate in the coming years... and rapidly. In fact, Gartner research estimates that by 2017 the CMO will control more Marketing technology budget than the CIO. That's a huge shift and represents that importance of Marketing (in a non traditional sense) in the world of business. 

The panelists spoke on a few important topics - all centered around Marketing tech and the future of innovation right here in Indy. Below is a quick recap of some of my major takeaways:

  • We are still in the early innings of Marketing tech. It's crucial, because every business no matter how large or small can use things like automation, email marketing, and other measured marketing software.  
  • Marketing tech used to be referred to as "measured Marketing" because you can track and monitor ROMI (return on marketing investment). No longer is Marketing about billboards, print ads and radio slots. Sure, those things still exist, but even in those assets, measured Marketing is taking place (think about text ins during commercials) . 
  • Cloud computing (SaaS) has allowed the democratization of of Marketing tech. Companies of all sizes, structures, and regardless of geography can use cloud computing. Everyone has the same advantage, and therefore no one has an excuse.
  • Systems are connected and open source is becoming even more crucial. Data is no longer siloed, and the growth of Marketing tech has allowed companies to integrate systems of record (CRM) with analytics, Email systems, automations and lead scoring, etc. It allows a common view of the customer and also eases the burden on the Marketer.  
  • Just as Sales should always be closing, Marketing should always be testing. Start small and work big. Choose something and just experiment.  

 It's encouraging to see so many start-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, and companies setting home in Indiana!  As the Global Marketing Manager at one of Indy's largest and fastest-growing Marketing tech companies as well as an Alum of the Orr Fellowship Program, I could not be more excited about the future of technology in Indiana. I have seen many cities around the world, and I couldn't be prouder to call Indy my home. The future looks brighter than ever!