MarTech Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Marketing Transformation Tue, 21 Mar 2023 18:49:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 LinkedIn releases new Pages features for B2B marketers Tue, 21 Mar 2023 18:49:11 +0000 Marketers can now schedule posts without a 3rd-party tool and host live conversations entirely in-platform.

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Today, LinkedIn rolled out new features to help B2B marketers post content and host live events on the platform.

Scheduled posts. Marketers can now schedule the specific date and time for posts to run on their organization’s LinkedIn page. This is a new capability, allowing users to schedule content within the LinkedIn platform, instead of depending on a third-party marketing or publishing tool.

Posts can be scheduled up to three months in advance, and all scheduled posts can be viewed and managed within the platform.

Live audio-only conversations. LinkedIn Audio Events, another new feature, allows users to host live conversations without video. The host announces the event and LinkedIn users can RSVP ahead of time, all in-platform.

Audio Events are structured informally, with a speaker on the “stage.” Other virtual attendees can raise their hand and be invited to join the stage and speak, if they choose.

LinkedIn already has a LinkedIn Live product for video events, but users need a third-party broadcasting tool to use it. There are no charges for events products, but LinkedIn requires creators and orgs to have 150 or more followers to their Page in order to host an event.

Dig deeper: How to personalize your brand on LinkedIn

Posting new jobs automatically. LinkedIn has also introduced an opt-in to post new job posts automatically on Pages.

If this option is chosen, LinkedIn will share one new job per day as a pre-scheduled post on the organization’s Page.

Following for Pages. Pages used by organizations can now follow other pages, in the way that individual LinkedIn users can follow others.

Why we care. Social media scheduling tools have long been a part of the digital marketer’s stack at larger and more mature organizations. LinkedIn is making it easier to schedule content and post jobs in-platform with a smaller budget and content staff. The new Audio Events give B2B marketers an added opportunity to share industry views and exchange ideas in a more casual way, hitting a middle ground between a written article and a professional video talk.

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Adobe announces Firefly for AI-driven creative Tue, 21 Mar 2023 18:37:50 +0000 At Summit today, Adobe also announced a new Product Analytics solution and Sensei GenAI.

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Adobe Summit 2023, Las Vegas

“Our belief is that generative AI will enhance human ingenuity, not replace it,” said Shantanu Narayen introducing Adobe Firefly at Adobe Summit today. Firefly is a new group of generative AI models focused on creating images, video and text effects. Firefly uses generative AI with graphics tools like brushes, color gradients and video tools to speed up production and make it easier for creators to make high quality content. The videos and images projected on-screen during the two-hour Summit keynote had been generated by Firefly.

Adobe’s generative AI. The generative AI announcement predictably stole the show although there were some other new product announcements. “Over time,” said Narayen, “AI will help us reimagine every aspect of marketing.” He could not resist adding that Adobe has incorporated AI in its creative products for well over a decade.

The first Firefly tools are available today in beta. Narayen also emphasized that Adobe is seeking to protect human creators, both by developing a model for compensating for use of their work and by moving towards a global standard “Do not train” metadata tag that creators could use in an attempt to ward off AI infringements on their content.

Summit also saw the launch of Sensei GenAI, natively embedded into the Adobe Experience Platform, although it was not immediately clear how this would enhance the platform’s existing Sensei AI capabilities. Again, the aim seems to be to allow users to work with generative AI capabilities within Adobe Experience Cloud rather than using independent tools and migrating results to Adobe.

Why we care. In many ways it would be shocking if Adobe had not taken this route to incorporating generative AI into its platform. Although Adobe was one of the first marketing clouds, its roots are in iconic creative tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. The promise, of course, is that Adobe users will be able to reap the benefits of generative AI within the Adobe ecosystem, rather than have recourse to one of the many independent tools rushing to market.

Dig deeper: Adobe CEO: Make the digital economy personal

Adobe Product Analytics. If overshadowed by Firefly, Product Analytics was a significant announcement. The Adobe Experience Platform already includes, among its many components, Customer Journey Analytics. Product Analytics offers a similarly drillable dashboard by presenting product-related information such as user growth and engagement with features of products and trends. The aim is to align the product team with other teams working on aspects of customer experience.

Adobe also announced Adobe Mix Modeler, a new dashboard giving a cross-channel view of campaign performance allowing real-time optimization of channel spend.

Additional reporting by Chris Wood.

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Why we care about data management platforms Tue, 21 Mar 2023 15:11:30 +0000 Explore data management platforms in depth — what they are, why they are important and their future in a privacy-focused landscape.

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Consumers buying products and services across various online channels leave a trail of every digital marketer’s most important asset — data. But this data is worthless if it can’t be collected, organized and put to use. 

That’s where data management platforms (DMPs) come in. DMPs allow marketers to understand customers and their purchasing behaviors better. This leads to more effective marketing campaigns that drive higher engagement and sales. With DMPs, marketers can glean insights into which campaigns drive the best results among target audiences.

This article looks at data management platforms in depth — what they are, why they are important, what they are used for and their future in a privacy-focused landscape. 

Table of contents

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What is a data management platform?

A data management platform is exactly what the name suggests. It is a digital platform that allows businesses to collect, store and organize data that is then used and analyzed to drive marketing and other business decisions. DMPs collect data related to:

  • Customer demographics.
  • Purchasing history.
  • Website clicks.
  • The online registration forms they fill out.
  • And other sources.

This information is then segmented to provide businesses with actionable insights and a clear understanding of customers and their purchasing habits. 

While DMPs can use first- and second-party data, they heavily rely on third-party data from online sources. The differences between data sources are essential. 

  • First-party data is information collected directly from your audience, like website clicks, social media follows, likes and comments, email addresses, etc. It’s considered extremely valuable because it’s collected first-hand, assuring greater accuracy and availability. 
  • Second-party data is first-party data that someone else has collected and sold to you.
  • Third-party data is gathered by entities that don’t have a direct relationship with the consumers whose data is being collected. 

Once data is collected, DMPs organize it into segments so marketers can build specific campaign audiences. These audiences can be people who fit into certain demographics or purchasing behaviors. Audience segments are built using any number of data points, like family size, household income and age ranges. 

Most DMPs have reporting features for analyzing audience data to discern patterns and understand customer behavior. Because large portions of the data DMPs collect are anonymous (via cookies and IP addresses, for example), marketers get the 10,000-foot view and create generalized audience profiles.    

DMPs vs. CDPs

DMPs aren’t the only avenue by which brands and businesses can harness the power of data. Customer data platforms (CDPs) are similar to DMPs in that they collect information, organize it and provide actionable insights. 

But there is one significant difference: CDPs generally only use first-party data and collect and store specific information about customers using personal identifiable information (PII). CDPs connect the data points gathered back to the individual user, providing even better knowledge about customers and their behaviors. 

For example, with DMPs, marketers might know that a user in a specific age group in a specific geographic area searched for women’s skincare products and is interested in workout gear and running shoes. 

A CDP could tell you that user’s name, specific age, address and other identifying information. Also, because CDPs don’t rely on third-party data (i.e., third-party cookies) to collect information (remember, first-party data is gathered with permission), privacy and consent issues are less of a concern than those currently associated with DMPs which gather and use third-party data. 

Data protection laws

Marketers should note that legislation, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, stateside, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), protects consumers as it relates to their personal data and defines guidelines for any businesses that use — or share — that data.

Consumers are more aware of online privacy issues now and expect transparency about how their data is used. Marketers must tread carefully and be prepared for how this continuing evolution will impact their strategies and tools, including DMPs.

The future of data management platforms 

Central to the privacy discussion — and the compliance issues introduced by GDPR/CCPA — is Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies in the second half of 2024. Created by advertising companies, these cookies track website visitors across the web to gain information about where consumers go and, crucially, what they buy. 

Because DMPs have historically relied heavily on third-party data to fill their pipelines, a future without third-party cookies would mean platforms must gather customer information from different sources, such as point-of-sale and social media. 

In an online environment without third-party cookies, many believe that DMPs are becoming redundant — with marketers increasingly turning to CDPs. That said, it’s probably premature to say that the platforms will become extinct anytime soon. DMPs will likely evolve as the conversation on data privacy and third-party cookies plays out. 

One solution seems simple, pivot more wholly to first-party data. Some DMPs, like Lotame’s so-called next-gen Spherical platform, already primarily utilize first-party data, the benefits of which are already well documented.

Brands and marketers should continue to focus on building customer experiences and providing reasons for customers to engage. Ultimately, all this will help increase the volume and quality of data collected.

Dig deeper

Want to learn more?

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5 tips to get more value from your tech stack Tue, 21 Mar 2023 13:35:51 +0000 To consolidate or negotiate? Optimize your marketing and sales technology for better ROI with these cost-saving strategies.

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Businesses are under increasing pressure to optimize expenses and find ways to do more with less. Tech stacks, which have grown from a small portion of the budget a decade ago to a significant piece of the pie, are often the first to go under scrutiny. 

As marketers, we need to get more out of our current tech stack, whether through consolidation or more strategic use of existing tools. Finding areas for improvement isn’t new, so why all the fuss now? 

Why your tech stack ROI is worse than it should be

In the last three years, my company has conducted over 500 calls with HubSpot customers about their platform setup, spend and optimization. We’ve identified some of the most common martech stack issues — from underutilized capabilities to redundant spending.

The result? The average company is wasting 35% of their budget on cloud and SaaS tools.

Reason 1: You don’t know what you don’t know 

Unfortunately, this overlap is unintentional and may stem from a product purchased to solve a specific problem at a certain point. If you’re not an expert in your company’s tech stack, you won’t know how to use existing tools to boost results or maximize new functionality that could replace apps you no longer need.

Unfamiliarity with stack capabilities leads to redundant tools and inefficient workflows. To keep up, you must continually read product updates, beta launches and more to learn how your tech stack functionality is expanding. 

In early March, HubSpot announced a new tool that leverages AI functionality within their platform, useful for portal research, market research, writing copy and more. This brings together additional content creation and research tools you might only find with other vendors.

Dig deeper: Marketers making less use of martech’s expanding capabilities 

Reason 2: It seems too expensive to upgrade

Upgrading to a more functional version of your stack can seem expensive, but the sticker price is rarely set in stone, especially for enterprise deals. It’s worth exploring options or negotiating a better deal with your vendor. (You might be paying for features you’ll never have any use for.) 

Remember providers often offer bigger discounts to upgrade your account than to renew it at the current level. If you can identify ways to generate ROI on that upgrade, it could pay for itself and then some. 

For example, in the sales enterprise version of HubSpot, your portal gains automatic enrollment into sequences and team roles. This standardization of information for the sales team, plus the ability to communicate 1-to-1 with leads who may have ghosted or gone silent, could mean huge time savings and more growth opportunities. 

Reason 3: Disorganized buying processes and “grandfathered-in” systems

This reason is often underrated, but it’s important. At larger organizations (and even smaller ones), it’s easy to lose track of all the systems you’re paying for, especially when there isn’t a consistent, organized process for buying new software. 

And when new leaders come into the picture, they might not know the full extent of what tools are being used, or why, so unnecessary costs are less apparent.

Dig deeper: 3 steps to building an effective martech stack

How to get more value out of your tech stack

1. Negotiate your software contracts

This should be a no-brainer, but there are people more skilled at this than others, so companies often leave money on the table. Many software companies are willing to negotiate to keep you as a customer and expand your usage within their platform. 

Consider working with a partner to help you navigate the negotiation process and ensure you get the best deal possible. Partners will have the expertise and relationships to secure better deals.

2. Invest in team training

Knowledge disappears with turnover. Newer team members may not have the same grasp of a system that previous leaders did and, therefore, won’t use it to its fullest extent. This is where training and development can help. Individualized training may also uncover gaps you weren’t even aware of. 

Dig deeper: In this economy CMOs need to spend more on training, not tech

3. Consolidate tools

With the accelerating rate of mergers and acquisitions, larger platforms are buying smaller ones to expand their offerings quickly. Many of the larger tools on the market (such as HubSpot) now offer functionality that does an “okay” job of other things once relegated to specific software.

While not always as sophisticated as leading competitors, a unified system adds convenience and cost savings. For instance, HubSpot Marketing Pro and Marketing Enterprise make it possible to schedule and post social media inside the platform. 

Does it offer all the full functionality you’d get in a Sprout Social or a HootSuite? No. But it might do enough to save money by discontinuing another tool .

Do an audit of your current tech stack, looking for areas where you can cut old or poorly functioning tools and eliminate redundant services.

Dig deeper: My stack is bigger than your stack, so what?

4. Cut seats, not just tools

Most SaaS companies charge per “seat” or user, so costs increase with each additional employee on it — even if they’re not using it. Look through your platforms and see where you can downsize the number of users you have.

This seems obvious, but companies of all sizes consistently overlook it. Many mistakenly give seats to employees who don’t need access to the platform’s paid features, driving up costs unnecessarily. They may be set with X number of paid users, and the rest of the employees accessing the system can do so using a view-only free seat. 

Taking a closer look at who needs access to your SaaS tools and platforms can significantly reduce the seats you must pay for. This can result in substantial cost savings without sacrificing functionality or performance.

5. Bring in external resources

While bringing a consultant or external resource reduces in-house hiring and training costs for marketing and sales software, the advantages often go beyond cost savings. 

By leveraging external expertise, you can tap into their deep knowledge of tools and platforms, reducing the risk that you underutilize tools. These folks often have fresh perspectives and can help upskill your existing team, providing training and processes to ensure you’re continually leveraging your investments efficiently.

Lastly, external resources can help with continuity and information transfer. This includes the knowledge you don’t want to lose from employee turnover so that you can ensure consistency in your technology strategy, even as your company restructures or changes.

Dig deeper: 5 tips to boost user adoption of new martech tools

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ChatGPT. GA4. Privacy-First CX. Explore it all online – next week – for free! by Cynthia Ramsaran Tue, 21 Mar 2023 11:00:02 +0000 Technology is changing… and so is your role. Learn how to adapt at MarTech.

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This truly is an unprecedented time in the life of the marketer: Groundbreaking generative AI technology, increasing customer expectations of personalized experiences, a growing emphasis on respecting user privacy… the list goes on. 

Attend MarTech, online March 28-29, for free to explore these critical trends – and the solutions, strategies and tools you need to stay a step ahead of the competition. 

Tune in live for Overtime – extended Q&A with select speakers, your chance at a free book giveaway from keynote speaker Sangram Vajre and engaging Coffee Talk networking meetups on ChatGPT, GA4 and MOps!

Can’t attend live? On-demand access is included with your free pass so you can explore at your own pace. 

Grab your FREE pass now!

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ChatGPT. GA4. Privacy-First CX. Explore it all online – next week – for free! Technology is changing… and so is your role. Learn how to adapt at MarTech.
CFOs split on increasing or cutting marketing budgets Mon, 20 Mar 2023 19:07:06 +0000 53% of CFOs say they expect to increase the marketing budget by at least 3%. The rest plan on keeping it at current levels or cutting.

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Slightly more than half (53%) of CFOs expect to increase their marketing budgets by at least 3% this year, according to a Gartner survey of 300 top financial executives. Some 21% are planning on level funding, while 25% predict they will cut the marketing budget by at least 3%. 

“CFOs are most polarized in this area with one quarter planning large increases in marketing of 10% or more, another quarter planning cuts, and the remaining half sitting somewhere in between,” said Alexander Bant, chief of research in the Gartner Finance practice, in a statement. “CFOs do not want to scale marketing down at the wrong time in the business cycle.” 

Why we care. CFOs’ split decision about marketing is an example of how confusing the economy is right now. On the one hand we have a slew of things indicating trouble: job cuts, banking problems and rising interest rates. On the other we have a very low unemployment rate, wage increases and, in some sectors, increased consumer spending. For more than a year we’ve been told a recession is right around the corner, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Dig deeper: Enterprise IT remains bright amid gloomy tech spending forecast

In context. It’s important to note that this is a vast improvement from last June, when Gartner found eight in 10 CFOs planning to cut the marketing budget in the first half of 2023. Additionally, of the 43% expecting to send more money to marketing, more than half indicated it would be a double-digit increase.

Marketing in the middle. Marketing is exactly in the middle of nine corporate functions CFOs will give double-digit budget increases to. At the top are sales (34%) and corporate IT (29%). At the bottom: human resources (17%) and legal & compliance (13%). 

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Three essentials for writing a good ChatGPT prompt Mon, 20 Mar 2023 17:33:13 +0000 ChatGPT is only as good as the prompts you give it. Here are the three essentials of writing a good one.

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The results you get from AI powered tools like ChatGPT will only be as good as the prompts you give them. A vague or general prompt will get you vague, general results. Here are three essentials for writing a good prompt.

1: Be specific. 

Detail precisely what you are looking for. 

  • General: What are best practices for CRM?
  • Precise: What are best practices for using CRM with account based marketing?

Explain the context of the question: Do you need talking points? Blog ideas? If so, include that in the prompt.

Dig deeper: AI is used in marketing by two thirds of B2B orgs, Forrester finds

2: Be brief. 

  • Using fewer words forces you to pinpoint what it is you want. Before you enter your prompt, read it and ask yourself, “Is this word really necessary?” Eliminating unnecessary words makes it more likely ChatGPT will give you precisely what you are looking for.
  • One of the great things about ChatGPT is that it understands normal language. One of the things it understands is what parts to ignore. When I entered “What are best practices for using CRM with account based marketing” into Bing, it ignored the words “what are.” While you can use everyday language, knowing what it uses gets you thinking about what ChatGPT responds to.
  • For a complex request, use several simple sentences instead of one complex sentence with several clauses or subpoints. 
  • Do not say please or thank you. While this may seem odd, several experts I spoke with say it happens quite often and can confuse the program. 

3: Be clear.

  • Use words that are easy to understand. Keep a thesaurus handy. Not only can it help you find a simpler word, it can also suggest subtly different words you may want to try in a prompt. 
  • Avoid jargon and slang. Smart content. Top-of-the-funnel. Lead flows. While you and I know what those are, ChatGPT may not. Or each one may have several different meanings depending on the context.
  • Watch out for acronyms. Top-of-the-funnel is frequently written as TOFU. I’m sure you can see where that could be confusing. 

In my example I used the acronym CRM and spelled out account-based marketing. That’s because there are very few other uses of CRM besides customer relationship management. However, ABM has many very common uses (Anti-Ballistic Missile, Agent-Based Modeling, Activity-Based Management, etc.). I suspect ChatGPT would get the right one given the context of CRM but I wanted to be sure.

If at first you don’t succeed

Also, one final tip: If you’re not happy with the results you got, hit the “retry” button. This tells ChatGPT to generate something different than the first results it gave you.

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How to choose the right martech partner: 6 practical tips Mon, 20 Mar 2023 16:31:36 +0000 Selecting a partner that aligns with your needs and goals is critical to producing successful martech projects.

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Having been around the horn as a martech vendor customer, seller, partner and employee, I know how vendor-partner relationships work.

At a high level, martech partner programs are created to help vendors expand their reach. The partners become an extension of the vendor sales team.

These programs also provide value to customers since partner companies lend additional credibility, experience and ancillary services and products (i.e., implementation, customization and third-party connectors). 

The open secret

The vendor can compensate partners in various ways, including:

  • Commission-based compensation.
  • Revenue sharing.
  • Lead generation.
  • Co-op advertising funds.
  • And more. 

Commission-based compensation

The partner earns a percentage of the revenue from selling the vendor’s technology to their clients. The amount of commission can vary and is typically based on the size of the deal and the level of involvement the partner has in the sales process. In some instances, this can be very lucrative to the partner.


The partner earns a portion of the recurring revenue from the customer over the contract’s life. This compensation structure incentivizes the partner to focus on customer retention and satisfaction, as the recurring revenue they earn is tied to the customer’s continued use of the technology.

Lead generation

Partners are compensated for providing the vendor with qualified leads that result in a sale. This can include providing contact information to arrange demos or meetings with potential customers. 

Co-op advertising

This provides the partner with soft dollars that can be used for events, advertising, vendor conference fees and more.

6 practical tips for martech partner selection

When working with martech partners, you must ensure their recommended solution fits your specific needs rather than their financial gain. Clear communication is key here.

Ask questions about their motivations and process. Evaluate the technology and the partner’s approach to ensure it aligns with your needs and goals. (You know, adult conversations.)

I’m sure most of you practice safe martech vendor and partner interactions, but sharing some practical tips for choosing a martech partner can’t hurt. 

1. Define your marketing objectives

Before you search for a martech partner, get your business, marketing, CX and technology goals in order. You must understand what you want to achieve with your martech. 

Identifying your goals and objectives lets you determine what martech solutions you need and what you should look for in a partner.

2. Conduct a needs assessment

After you’ve identified your marketing objectives, conduct a needs assessment. Consider:

  • Your current-state marketing infrastructure.
  • The skills of your in-house marketing team.
  • Your budget (set one and stick to it).  

Dig deeper: How to unlock the power of your marketing technology

3. Evaluate potential partners

With a clear understanding of your needs, you can now evaluate potential martech partners. Look for a partner with a proven track record of delivering successful martech projects. Consider factors such as:

  • Their experience level.
  • The types of martech solutions they offer.
  • Their willingness to customize their services to meet your specific needs.

4. Request references and case studies

Before deciding on a partner, ask for references and case studies from past clients. Happy or maybe not so happy, speak with current and former customers to better understand the partner’s ability to deliver successful martech projects.

Dig deeper: Martech is mainly about relationships

5. Meet with the partner

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential partners, schedule a meeting with each one. Discuss your needs and objectives in greater detail and determine whether the partner fits your business well. That includes asking the partner directly how the martech vendor compensates them.

6. Evaluate the partnership

Finally, after you’ve selected your martech partner, it’s essential to evaluate the partnership on an ongoing basis. Set KPIs to effectively measure the outcomes and assess the project’s success and the partnership’s value. 

Checkpoints allow you to assess whether to continue working with the partner or if it’s time to look around. Partnerships, like any relationship, are not “set it and forget it.” They take effort and commitment.

Selecting the right martech partner

Investing in a martech partner is a crucial decision. It significantly impacts how your martech projects perform. Research your options thoroughly and select a partner that aligns with your needs and goals. The tips above will help you minimize risk, reduce exposure and maximize the chances of successful outcomes.

Dig deeper: Managing martech relationships: Partnerships and agility in marketing

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Discover cutting-edge martech solutions for free – online next week! Mon, 20 Mar 2023 15:15:00 +0000 Unlock the entire MarTech experience, online March 28-29, for free. No hidden fees, no travel headaches, no time out of the office.

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Driving sales, improving lead quality, and boosting conversions have never been more critical – especially in an age of increased privacy concerns. The right marketing technology is your key to getting it done.

Discover dozens of marketing technologies, tools, and solutions – all for FREE and all without leaving your desk: Grab your free MarTech pass now and join us online, next Tuesday and Wednesday (March 28-29)!

At MarTech, you’ll unlock nearly 50 data-rich sessions from world-class brands including Forrester, Sysco, Electrolux, Salesforce, and more:

Kick-off each day with eye-opening keynotes…

… and get your questions answered in real-time during live Q&A (Overtime!) with select speakers, including the godfather of martech, Scott Brinker, Mission MarTech’s Milton Hwang, and more!

You’ll also explore the critical rise of AI and what it means for marketers during exclusive programming and networking opportunities, including…

Hungry for more? Discuss ChatGPT, GA4, and MOPs challenges with like-minded attendees and industry experts during Coffee Talk meetups – only available live!

And don’t miss these recent additions to the MarTech agenda!

After just a few hours, you’ll be ready to… 

  • Leverage automation and real-time insights to optimize KPIs
  • Reduce marketing spend with a first-party data strategy
  • Apply personalization strategies that accelerate customer loyalty
  • Support additional revenue streams through audience monetization 
  • Execute campaigns to help fill your marketing funnel with new consumers
  • Reach, engage, and convert more email marketing prospects  
  • Execute more effective targeting, increase personalization, and improve ROI 

…and so much more. Can’t attend live? Explore at your own pace with instant on-demand access, included for free. 

Don’t wait… grab your free MarTech pass now and join us online, next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29!

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How enterprises are pursuing martech and adtech integration today Mon, 20 Mar 2023 13:57:32 +0000 Fully integrating martech and adtech systems is a long-term play, but enterprises can start taking the steps toward alignment today.

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Large enterprises have traditionally seen advertising and marketing technology platforms align into separate stacks and teams. This presents problems for goals like accurate attribution and full-cycle journey optimization. The demise of third-party cookies makes this separation more intolerable.

In a peer group session we organized for omnichannel stack owners, a large B2C firm and a B2B enterprise shared case studies with contrasting and identical points. Here are takeaways from each presentation that are worth tracking.

Looking at today’s B2C and B2B martech and adtech systems

The B2C firm had understandably made heavy investments in adtech. Their systems — from content to data and decision logic — had predated their martech stack to some extent. This stems from pre-digital (especially pre-pandemic) business models, where the firm had gone to market through distributors and retailers. Now in the era of growing direct-to-consumer business, “It’s all martech,” the B2C stack leader noted. 

But as their initial engagement strategy transitioned from transactional selling to building omnichannel customer relationships, the firm needed to think about their media buying efforts more holistically in the context of customer journeys

Based on the ensuing conversation, it is clear that some leading enterprises are formally structuring marketing plus adtech into “madtech” teams. Even if not formally re-structuring, at a minimum, it became possible to glean that nearly all leading companies are:

  • Joining data and marketing teams and making measurement part of every activity.
  • Focusing heavily on metadata, both at the campaign and asset level, since it’s impossible to draw analytic conclusions without it.
  • Developing more in-house AI capabilities to keep building off early learnings.

The B2B case study revealed similar insights but with a greater emphasis on journey optimization as the initial driver. The firm optimized its ad spend for longer and more complex buyer journeys, not just front-end lead generation. This meant integrating media buying and account-based marketing, which isn’t always easy. They simplified the process by having a single DAM that fueled both media channels and messaging via owned-and-operated properties.

Dig deeper: Customer journey orchestration: What it is and why marketers should care

Closing the loop: Striving for martech and adtech alignment

In theory, better martech and adtech integration and alignment should bring enterprises closer to the holy grail of a single, “closed loop” motion — from media buy to loyal, repeat customer. Yet, all the martech leaders agreed that the processes and analytics required to achieve a fully closed loop remain an aspiration. 

To that extent, you need to avoid over-promising. In a world where most enterprises still struggle to align adtech and martech at a basic level, you may, as one leader put it, “have to work with a “180-degree closed loop.” It will take time to consolidate appropriate technologies, data flows and teams.

The necessary skill sets needed to execute in a blended martech and adtech world are rapidly evolving, too. Increasingly, the lines between technical, content and data people are blurring. Sprinkle in the right level of legal counsel, and you’ve got the makings of a modern madtech team.

All this uncertainty and change enhance the argument to focus on core data, content and process capabilities that can work underneath your adtech and martech stacks as foundational building blocks. This may present the most critical objective for overall architecture this decade. A good time to start is now.

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