As a product marketer for a software company, I know that I must adopt an agile approach to keep my head above water and stay ahead of the latest trends in our complex, technology-driven marketing world.

I know I’m not alone with the marketing challenges I face daily: analytics, content management, cross-channel attribution, CRM, email, mobile, search, site optimization and social. Why, just seeing this list on paper makes me anxious.

Platforms and Channels and Devices, Oh, My!

So how is it possible to juggle these multiple platforms, channels and devices while keeping our customers at the center of it all?

Innovations in technology have made marketing more complex today than it has ever been. Customers expect seamless experiences with their brands, and to provide them, marketing needs to move away from being a siloed discipline.

Taking an integrated view of your consumers and their data is no longer a want, but a necessity.

Same Customer Needs, Different Technology

Yet, when we stop to think about it, the underlying concepts of marketing remain the same as they were decades ago. Marketers have always been faced with figuring out personalization and segmentation for their marketing campaigns.

Whether creating compelling content for the Sears catalog back in the 1960s, or determining which digital channel to leverage today, the ideas behind marketing really haven’t changed. The main issue marketers face today is technology integration.

AdTech + MarTech = MadTech

So, what if we could be more productive during the workday, offer consistency across our marketing channels and thrill our customers all at once? We can, with technology integration, specifically the powerful marriage of advertising technology (AdTech) and marketing technology (MarTech), often referred to as MadTech. 

What’s more, Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are playing a critical role in the MadTech convergence of brand identity, audience building and data unification. Imagine the outcome if marketers could acquire customers via online advertising campaigns, while also converting customers via outbound channels.

If we can master this concept, we’ll recognize higher conversion at a lower cost. There are two key ingredients to making this possible: bringing data to one place to make it actionable at speed, and

combining efforts across MarTech and AdTech to create unification across your brand without having to do any heavy lifting between solutions. 

Learning Opportunities

Gathering Data to Create Audiences

A real DMP isn’t just about gathering data, it’s about 'creating audiences.' And the ability to collect data, unify additional data sources, segment data into audiences and activate those audiences across marketing channels can mean the difference between sink or swim for your marketing strategy.

Understanding your customers starts with understanding the data you have on them. Whether it’s first-party data or third-party data (or ideally a combination of both), you can begin now by creating a plan to act on this data at speed. It’s no secret that new technologies are changing consumer behavior. A DMP can help bring all the elements together.

Creating Behavior-Driven Customer Profiles

Most marketers aim to treat customers as individuals. This means offering each customer the right content that’s relevant to their behavior, at the right time, through the channel they prefer. Customer behavior drives this experience.

And you can collect all of it: behavioral data from the DMP, purchase data from a POS, website data, cookie data from your mobile app and more. Once aggregated, that data will let you understand your customers’ behavior and continue to engage them, while continuing to enhance their profiles as you lead them down the path toward conversion. 

Getting Started With MadTech

According to Joe Stanhope in his Forrester report (fee charged) entitled, “A More Perfect Union: Adtech and Martech Convergence Will Revolutionize Marketing,” AdTech and MarTech convergence isn’t a single-step process. Rather, it’s the first stage in a larger advertising and marketing integration that will occur in phases over the course of several years as technologies, marketing practices and market dynamics play out.

Stanhope also makes a point to tell marketers not to follow the money, but rather the data. Here are three ways to start doing that today:

  1. Start simple — Take small steps to bring data-driven marketing and data-driven advertising together.
  2. Add code to your website — The ability to track data through the DMP will help fuel your marketing platform.
  3. Stay in control — Store your data within a DMP, not in an advertising platform where you cannot control it. The data from your website, from your app and from your advertising and marketing efforts belongs to you and with you. It’s your data and you should control it.

Redefining Your Marketing

The convergence of AdTech and MarTech can redefine the path of your marketing spend across the platforms you invest in, the data you own, the media you choose and the content you develop. But the biggest, most important promise of MadTech will be the positive, ever-improving experience your customers will come to associate with your brand.

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