3 key ways to streamline your martech stack and maximize the value of your marketing toolkit

Martech is about finding the right tools to help you reach specific outcomes. Paring down to only the necessary tools will help you control your budget, extract more value from each tool, and see what you've been missing. Streamlining your tech stack starts with three steps. It’s not always true that more options bring greater success. New advances in technology, data analytics, and marketing automation can often create the illusion that we need the latest and greatest tools and force marketers to believe they must keep adding tools to their repertoire to avoid falling behind the competition — or out of touch with customers. But more isn’t always better. Companies often don't fully understand the capabilities of their in-house information, ending up with either extraneous marketing software or not enough. Too many or too few tools can…

Chart of the Day: The popularity of different martech stack components

You will know that our options for using online services to manage marketing and get insight have increased dramatically over the past few years. Scott Brinker's martech landscape now covers over 5000 martech options. Our own Essential Digital marketing tools wheel covers what we see as 30 categories that are essential to a medium or large transactional e-commerce business that is serious about growth.  Smaller businesses with less budget and less need for information sharing can benefit from lower cost or even free tools, but are not likely to have as many tools, but can still benefit. Given this opportunity, it's become essential to audit your martech stack as part of digital strategy development. So when we completed our joint research about Managing Marketing with the Technology for Marketing event, we were interested to see the popularity of using…

Marketo forms a new alliance with Google Cloud

Marketo, a leading marketing automation provider, recently announced their new alliance with Google Cloud. Starting in 2018 both companies will join forces to migrate Marketo's platform from their own data centres to the Google Cloud Platform. The multi-year deal will enable Marketo to scale its infrastructure and create an integrated solution for marketers including what Google now call G Suite (Google Drive and Apps). Marketo is effectively simply a customer of Google, although some have suggested this could lead to acquisition. It's no secret that Marketo has experienced performance and technical issues as they have grown in size. It is a common problem for growing SaaS companies that try to host everything themselves. It's frustrating for their customers, but not unusual for the industry. It has been reported that running lists can take an unusually long time and users are having to 'game' the system to…

No one trusts online ads anymore. Will blockchain change all that?

As the digital advertising landscape grows increasingly complex and fragmented, publishers are facing rising economic pressures. Meanwhile, users are concerned about privacy, security and the overall online experience. They lack control over the tracking and collection of their data, and often find their online experience degraded. The problem is simple: consumers have grown weary of an ad environment that has gone too far, while publishers fight to remain economically viable.

At the heart of all these problems, the lack of trust is poisoning the entire advertising ecosystem. Every time there’s a misguiding click, a mis-selling offer, an intrusive pop-up or ‘sponsored articles’ that aren’t really articles… trust goes further south. Click by click, day by day. In addition, when taking into account advertiser problems such as fake ad impressions or fake social…

Chart of the Day: Mergers & Acquisition activity involving AI companies is increasing rapidly.

First people build things in their garages. Then the startup ecosystem develops. Then the tech gets noticed. Then the big players start realizing how disruptive it will be, and they start buying up the startups so they're the ones doing the disrupting, rather than being disrupted. It's a cycle as old as silicon valley (so not really that old in the scheme of things). We've seen businesses like Amazon, Google and Facebook go from dorm rooms to garages to becoming some of the most valuable companies in the entire world. Now it is artificial intelligence tech that is the exciting new technology with the power to transform how we live work and organize the world. The possibilities for marketers are enormous, so it is wise to keep an eye on how the tech is maturing. The chart below shows how many…

Are you embracing AI to improve your ad campaigns?

Throughout the last year, artificial intelligence (AI) and its multitude of uses for marketing have become more and more obvious.  While many brands were hesitant to explore the plethora of benefits it offers, 2017 is seeing brands dipping their toes into the AI waters, ready to embrace it as a beneficial component of their marketing strategies. Take a look at these 3 ways artificial intelligence will affect marketing even more in 2017.

Impactful Ads

The creation of better advertisements is one of the biggest ways artificial intelligence will impact marketing in 2017. The ability for brands to use AI to research and develop crucial marketing aspects, such as keyword searches, empowers marketers to build smarter, more effective ads that should lead to more conversions. For years, companies have focused on who to show ads to and when to show the ads.  AI allows marketers to, instead,…

Chatbots are now key to increasing engagement rates and motivating users to buy

Whether you’ve realized it or not, it’s very likely that you have spoken or corresponded with a bot at least once in your life. In fact, chances are you’ve had long and insightful conversations with a bot, some of which you couldn’t possibly have had with a member of the human race. Chatbots are on the rise, and it seems that in 2017 they’re becoming more effective, more engaging, and easier to use than ever before. The rise of bots could be plainly attributed to an increasing usage of messenger apps and is built on the premise of instant messaging. Predictions show that by 2019, more than one-quarter of the world’s population will be using…

Audit your marketing technology stack with the 6Cs to refine its capabilities and prove its return on investment

Do you know the stackies? They're an informal contest arranged by Scott Brinker, creator of the marketing technology vendor landscape where different companies visualise their marketing stacks in different ways. Here are the latest martech stack entries. They're presented in vastly, different ways from this superbly visual example... to this more structured approach of the 5Cs of Martech - which looks like the inspiration for the new 6Cs of Martech featured at the end of this article. You can audit your marketing stack against any of these ‘stackie’ entries. The structure of some of the examples like the second one prompted us to think whether there was a simple, practical way of visualising or…

How to build the right marketing technology stack for your business

It's now a lot more common to talk about choosing 'martech stacks' and rightly so, given the impact that technology, data and insight can have on marketing today.  The popularity of the concept of a martech stack has grown out of the categorisation of marketing technology based on Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape and others such as our Digital Tools wheel. Businesses have always considered their portfolio of business IT applications for operations such as finance, logistics and marketing, but traditionally, they have been controlled by IT teams who have managed a limited number of ‘enterprise resource planning’ systems such as SAP. With the growth in cloud based SaaS, it has become far easier for individual departments and, in particular, marketing, who need to manage many digital marketing channels like search and social media marketing, to deploy their own solutions. …

Martech tools aren't just for marketers, sales needs them too

The much-talked about disconnect between sales and marketing departments (and likewise professionals) needs to be put to bed.  If you pardon the (intentional!) pun: they always have been, and always will be perfect bed companions. Let’s boil this down: the purpose of your marketing department has always been to drive sales, and connect with and engage customers with your brand. As such, sales and marketing have always been closely linked. Nevertheless, in many businesses, they are remaining distinctly separate, often operating in silos. This approach is in direct opposition to the way modern business works. Instead, marketing and sales should come together to help join the dots between the target audience and the brand itself. Modern technology is an integral tool in not just connecting those dots between the brand and prospects or customers, but also between the two departments. Silo-based business models…

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