This post has been updated to reflect the extended entry deadline for DMA’s Innovation Awards. Deadline to entry is now August 10th.

Neil O’Keefe is DMA’s SVP of Content & Marketing

Only a decade ago, the price of connectivity, computing and storage collapsed. Connectivity increased and complexity decreased and everything changed EVERYTHING: The way we travel, eat, date, mind the kids, manage the house, control finances, etc.

In late 2006, Facebook is introduced. In 2007, Apple introduced the first smartphone. Google bought YouTube in 2007. Hadoop launched in 2007 and so did Android.

Since 2007 the speed of innovation has been accelerated by the smart phone and everything surrounding it.

Data exploded. Since then, the pace of change and innovation has exceeded the ability of humans to keep up. Literally on the back of an envelope, Astro Teller (Chief Astronaut, Google X) diagrammed for New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman the growing challenge of the human ability to adapt to the increasing velocity and volume of innovation.

Chart drawn for Thomas Friedman by Astro Teller, Chief Astronaut Google X

While Friedman and Teller looked at this more philosophically, the Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2017 report, done in conjunction with Chief Martech, quantifies the gap between martech innovation and adoption.

The first example of the increasing gap looks to the Brinker Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, which began in 2004 with 150 companies and now contains over 5,300 companies. Other findings show only 3 percent of marketers get full value out of their tools, but they say, better technology strategy (39 percent), analytics (36 percent) and training (33 percent) would help them better leverage their martech stacks. More than half of marketers (56 percent) think the martech industry is evolving faster than their companies’ use of marketing technology.

The editor of Scott Brinker cites the study and points out that marketing executives said that the speed of marketing technology evolution was happening at light speed (16%) or rapidly (56%) versus an organization’s ability to keep pace at light speed (9%) or even rapidly (24%). This is a GAP in innovation. Brinker also shared with &THEN16 attendees his hacks for digital marketing success.

Last year Brinker hosted the Data & Marketing Association Innovation Awards, where martech and adtech companies were acknowledged for their achievements in categories such as audience management, measurement, loyalty and omnichannel campaign management. The 2016 Innovation Award winners including WEVO, PebblePost, Conversant and other game-changing solutions, can be viewed in this YouTube playlist.

This year in New Orleans, judges from companies including Oracle, 3M, iHeartMedia and Forrester will select the most innovative marketing technologies in the following categories:

  • Business
  • IoT & Emerging Technology
  • Creative
  • Personalization
  • Media
  • Attribution

If you are looking to close the gap between innovation and adoption and are in the market for a technology solution to upgrade your marketing strategy, come meet the Innovation Award winners in person &THEN 2017 in New Orleans, LA.

Or, if you think your tech solution has what it takes to win, then why don’t you throw your hat in the ring by entering the 2017 Innovation Awards before the August 10th deadline!

Regardless of which category you fall into, we’ll all be innovating together. I can’t wait to see the impressive slate of technologies that come from this year’s Innovation Awards.

For more on the Innovation Awards and the Data & Marketing Association, follow Neil at @NeilOKeefe on Twitter

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