Some Assembly Required Digital Marketing Tech Integration

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You wouldn’t dream of assembling that new “some assembly required” desk without going over the directions first, right? How about that new blu-ray player? You’d never hook it up and use it until you read the instructions from cover to cover, would you?

Well, maybe you would.

Metaphorically speaking, that seems to be the most important take-away from “Quantify How Well You Unify," a webinar jointly presented by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Tealium.

The obvious rationale for the presentation is to shine a light on their co-produced report by the same name, which “explores the status of digital marketing technology integration,” according to Mary Anne Hensley, executive editor and director of content and marketing programs at the CMO Council, a non-profit organization based in San Jose, Calif.

More than 150 global marketers were surveyed to learn what kinds of marketing strategies they were implementing, as well as identify the greatest differences between the ones who are and aren’t succeeding.

Golden Age of Marketing?

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Lead speaker Tracy Hansen, CMO of San Diego-based Tealium, concluded marketers have a problem. Too many senior marketing executives don’t know what technology sources they have on hand. In addition, more than 56 percent of the executives surveyed had no formal marketing technology strategy, she said.

Hansen, however, still maintains that we are in “the golden age of marketing” and included a complex technology timeline to prove it.

She, somewhat inexplicably, noted that: “From the 1400's to the 1700's there was minimal technology innovation in the marketing space.” (Not surprising, since the concept of technology didn’t really exist back then.) 

More to the point was the observation that “from 2009 to 2014 … well over a thousand different marketing technologies [have been] introduced and available for marketers to adopt.”

But she also refers to all the innovation trapping us in a gilded cage due to the over-abundance of data-gathering applications available that work independently and require too much “stitching together information across not just applications, but also the devices that our customers want to engage with us in.”

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It should be noted that those (like me) with proofreading in their DNA would have had at least two mental red-pencil flashes during the slideshow when first the word “guilded” (as in “guilded [sic] cage appeared, and later “engagment” (as in “customer engagments [sic].”) My copy editor father would not have approved.

What's in Your Cloud?

Mixed metaphors notwithstanding, Hansen’s question to marketers is: “Do you know what’s in your marketing cloud?” It’s particularly important considering the report found:

  • Only 16 percent of CMOs say their marketing technology (MarTech) strategy is tightly aligned with their business strategy
  • 54 percent of senior marketers are not sure their MarTech investments are yielding tangible business value

Part of the problem, Hansen believes, is the massive number of available marketing technologies (as many as 3000) to choose from, along with a lack of resources to manage them all.

Simple Solutions

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The simple solution recommended is — returning to that important webinar takeaway — is simple. Instead of jumping into technology before it’s been learned and understood:

  • Assess your current business strategy and understand the technology you’re working with
  • Plan, focusing on the resources and skill sets needed to properly implement the technology
  • Implement the strategy once the assessment and planning has been properly completed

Beyond Doom and Gloom

Hansen also shared some of the more promising statistics from the report. Of the CMOs surveyed

  • 42 percent who own their MarTech strategy see greater business impact
  • 50 percent with a strategy are able to achieve more targeted customer engagements
  • 51 percent who manage and integrate tech well achieve greater revenue contributions

One of the more helpful things made available to participants was a downloadable PDF of the presentation, along with the opportunity to download the report immediately after the webcast. The report and a recording of the presentation are available at the CMO Council website.

Title image by Harsha K R  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.