3 apologies from an imperfect marketing tech blogger


Apologies come in threes? Today they do.

First, I apologize for the example of a 3-vendor multi-platform stack article from earlier this week. I’ve heard from multiple readers that it came across to them as an uncharacteristically promotional post, not what they’ve come to expect from my blog.

As I tried to disclaim in the introduction to the post, I thought it was interesting that Battery was positioning three of the companies from their portfolio (note that Salesforce wasn’t part of their portfolio, but they were an investor in ExactTarget, which is now a part of Salesforce) in the marketing space as a “stack.” Some of the customer examples they included — including HootSuite, which I would consider an equal component of such a stack too — struck me as further evidence of the muilti-platform topology of marketing technology that’s been on my mind lately.

However, because the guest article itself does come across as rather promotional, my point that “hey, isn’t it interesting to see Battery promoting this?” got lost — or simply didn’t justify the publishing of the whole article in the minds of many readers.

After reflecting on it, I agree — I made the wrong call. There were plenty of other options for how I could have delivered my point. This apology isn’t a knock against Battery or any of the companies in the article either. It was my decision to publish it the way I did. But when readers find an article too promotional, it does no service to anyone in that chain. (A cautionary tale for all content marketers there.)

I am touched and humbled that readers both expressed their appreciation for my usual “unbiased and analytical point-of-view” (as one wrote to me this morning) — and were willing to take the time to tell me when they felt I had let them down. Thank you for your candor. I have taken it to heart.

Second, I apologize to attendees at the Merkle Performance Marketing Executive Summit who were expecting to see me on a panel discussing the evolution of marketing clouds yesterday. I regrettably had to cancel at the last minute due to an illness. (I’ll spare you the details, but it’s not “serious,” and I am recovering.)

In all my years of speaking, at hundreds of events, I’ve only had to cancel once before. I hate cancelling. I take my committments seriously. And as a conference organizer myself now, I have even more appreciation for the stress that such unexpected changes can cause.

Third, I owe Brad Banyas of OMI an apology for losing track of his Stackies entry. It’s a great design. I updated the slide deck of all the marketing tech stacks submitted with it — so there are actually 22 stacks in it now — but since it wasn’t in my original post, I’m also including it here:

OMI Marketing Technology Stack

Again, I’m so grateful for the time and courage of all the entrants to The Stackies who shared their visualizations of their marketing tech stacks. They’re great contributions to the dialogue around marketing technology.

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4 thoughts on “3 apologies from an imperfect marketing tech blogger”

  1. Scott you put the ‘human’ back in human being. I noticed the Battery Ventures reference and didn’t think it was an issue, shared the article with my team. Considering you have your own software platform (do people even know that?) you are the epitomy of objectivity and bring a wonderful integrity to our profession. Hope you’re feeling better, and love the real-world marketing stacks too. Please don’t change a thing.

  2. Scott, I admit I was one of the critics. I look up to your objective viewpoint and thought leadership and the blog post seemed out of character. I appreciate your contrition. But I also respect that you were truly trying to do the right thing for your audience.

    1. Thanks, Brian. I’m glad you spoke up about your reaction to the post. It was helpful for me to reconsider it through a different pair of eyes.

      There are a lot of advantages to being a solo blogger — for one, our editorial staff meetings at chiefmartec.com are extremely short and generally end in consensus — but it doesn’t provide many internal checks-and-balances in perspective before hitting the “Publish” button.

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