The Quest for the Holy Grail: Martech Edition

Integrate Thy Martech

There's a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where God appears in the clouds — in delightfully unsubtle Monty Python fashion — and commands Arthur and his knights to seek the Holy Grail. (Arthur: "Good idea, O Lord!" God: "'Course it's a good idea!") I was reminded of that scene when reading the new Marketing Technology Overload? report released this week from the Tech Marketing Council. They asked senior marketing leaders — as many have in the past — what features do they want from Continue Reading...

Should you build or buy martech? Yes

Martech Stacks: Suites, Platforms, Best-of-Breed, Custom, Hybrid

“Homegrown martech is like homemade pizza.” That’s the kind of quip I might have likely shot back a couple of years ago if someone asked me, “Should we build our own martech software or buy a packaged app from a martech vendor?” It’s not that you can’t make your own pizza at home. Anyone can. […]

Continue reading...

Are CMOs falling behind with martech? The C-Suite thinks so, and they may be right

Gaps in the Marketing Organization

A few weeks ago, I read a white paper produced by Rackspace Technology, How Applications Impact Customer Experience. (Spoiler alert: in a digital world, applications are customer experience, so you’d better make them delightful. As a result, CX has become the top priority CIOs and IT. Yay.) Almost in passing, however, there was the chart […]

Continue reading...

13 cringe-worthy martech dad jokes that are even worse than last year’s

Martech Dad Jokes 2021

Last year, we celebrated Father’s Day here at by subjecting you, dear reader, whose esteem we otherwise value, to 7 really bad martech “dad jokes”. It was… well, possibly one of the least popular posts in the history of this blog. But as any seasoned dad-joker will attest, the lack of a positive response […]

Continue reading...

Metcalfe’s Mirror: Complexity in networks (P.S. your martech stack is a network)

Complexity in Martech

Fair warning: this post is pretty wonkish, even relative to my usual style. (Yikes.) Robert Metcalfe, the godfather of computer networks, famously stated that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users connected. This became known as Metcalfe’s Law: The classic example is the telephone. When only two […]

Continue reading...

A 2×2 view of systems of record in martech

Martech Systems of Record 2x2

The phrase “system of record” has been bandied about in martech for years. In the absence of any other context, it’s usually assumed to mean the software that holds the authoritative (or “golden”) customer record. Most often in practice, this is a CRM. This is why illustrations of martech stacks often have a CRM product […]

Continue reading...

Aggregation Theory applied to martech stacks

Integration Layers = Aggregation Layers in a Platform

I recently wrote how martech stacks have arguably become virtual platforms. Even if you have a completely heterogeneous, “best-of-breed” stack, you likely have a set of products that work across your stack to provide cohesion, albeit each at a different layer of integration: Data: everything ultimately ends up in a “data lake” platform such as […]

Continue reading...

Summer of Stacks: Opening the 2021 MarTech Stackie Awards

Summer of (MarTech) Stacks

Summer approaches! (Well, at least in the Northern hemisphere.) Fresh air, sunshine, and frolicking outdoors have never felt so viscerally appealing, after a seemingly infinite year indoors. I hope you get time to walk in the woods, roll in the grass, or dip your feet in the ocean. But there’s still work to be done! […]

Continue reading...

Is your entire martech stack becoming one big virtual “platform”?

Martech Stack Virtual Platform Layers Landscape

The Great App Explosion can’t be stopped. But it can be harnessed. A couple of years ago, I proposed a model of 4 layers of app integrations with SaaS platforms. Advocating for better integration, for marketing apps in particular, I pointed out that not all integrations are equal. They vary significantly in how deeply they’re […]

Continue reading...

Wait, more martech tools create more manual tasks?!

More martech tools create more manual tasks?

The good team at Airtable, whom I featured in my MarTech keynote, Marketing Superpowers: How AI & No Code Transform Every Marketer into a Maker, recently published the Airtable Marketing Trends Report based on a survey of 300 marketing leaders. This was their overview summary: Despite investment in tooling and processes, marketers aren’t operationally equipped […]

Continue reading...