Earlier this week, the good folks at CMSWire invited me to join a “Tweet Jam” on Martech Convergence at #CXMChat.
I usually decline these because, well, first of all, I’m typically not witty enough on-the-fly to hold my own in these fast-flinging tweet
brawls discussions. I would have been an epic casaulty in the first 20 seconds of an 8 Mile-style rap battle.
And second, most of the issues around marketing technology that I see deserve a much more nuanced conversation than 140 characters generally permits.
But my better angels were on summer vacation, and I like the crew at CMSWire, so why not?
Here are my humble contributions to the chat, based on the six questions that they asked. They’re woefully inadequate answers, but for tweetable lines at a cocktail party, maybe not that terrible:
1. What business issues does the convergence of marketing technology seek to solve?
- Marketing convergence solves the business issue of large, public enterprise software companies having to grow their revenue. 🙂
- But seriously, the intent is to simplify business/tech architecture, unify data, and deliver better/more effective marketing.
- I would argue that while everyone would like benefits of convergence, it’s not the main issue marketers face — performance is.
- Why stop at marketing? Why not one massive piece of software to run everything? (Google, Kurzweil, are you listening?)
2. Do you want a single vendor cloud for your primary MarTech needs? Why or why not?
- I favor a small number of true platforms and a wide variety of specialists and innovators that plug into them.
- I think a simple architecture for your martech stack is preferred, but that’s not necessarily equivalent to a single vendor.
- Ghosts of CIOs past: be careful what you wish for.
- Hypothetical worth considering: what if the primary platform for marketing were an open source project?
3. Do you trust large marketing cloud vendors to a. innovate fast enough, b. deliver on integration promises?
- I believe that large marketing cloud vendors who focus on open integration will have the advantage.
- Loosely-coupled architectures with open APIs will find it easiest to adapt to new innovations, inside or outside their walls.
- Just a simple fact of software engineering: the more tightly-coupled you make large systems, the more brittle they become.
4. Rip + replace isn’t practical for many. How can marketers reap the benefits of current investments while allowing for new?
- The one thing you can count on is CHANGE. Design a martech stack accordingly & build in optionality, especially for core data.
- Always plan an exit: how do you get your data out. Even if you have a single vendor for life, this is good insurance/leverage.
- [In response to a question of how political candidates might answer] Trump is a single vendor sort of guy. Wants to build a great big wall.
- [And the other side of the politcal spectrum too] Hillary, on the other hand, believes you should be able to get email delivered on multiple platforms.
5. What tips would you offer marketers seeking to invest in new technology — how should they prioritize purchases?
- I defer to @draab on this: start with business strategy, then marketing strategy, and only then start to consider tech strategy.
- First, remove all buzzwords from the sales pitch you just heard. Then decide if the value proposition is clear and credible.
- (By the way, anything with a hyphen is a buzzword.)
6. The MarTech landscape has exploded. But have we seen a resultant improvement in customer experience? Or does that miss the point?
- According to latest data from @Ascend2research 32% say martech significantly improves performance, 55% say marginally improves
- Marketing technology selection & integration is easy in comparison to applying the tech to deliver brilliant marketing.
- Basic web CMS is some of the simplest martech out there. But building a compelling website is really hard.
- In most marketing endeavors today, the technology is not the limiting factor holding people back from success.
- Again, basic email marketing & web CMS technology abounds. But how many bad emails do you get? How many bad sites do you visit?
The other wonderful — and much more eloquent and insightful — participants in the chat included: Billy Cripe, Chief Marketing Officer at Field Nation; Brandon Hartness, Marketing Cloud Evangelist at Adobe; Dan Gilmartin, Chief Marketing Officer at BlueConic; John Kottcamp, Chief Marketing Technologist at Tahzoo; Krista LaRiviere, CoFounder & CEO at gShift; Mayur Gupta, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital at Healthgrades; Patricia Mejia, Chief Marketing Officer at Siteworx; Paige O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer at SDL; Pelin Thorogood, Chief Strateg Officer at Ensighten; Ran Oelgiesser, Chief Marketing Officer at vCita; Ryan Lunka, Digital Marketing Director at nChannel; Scott Vaughan, CMO at Integrate; and Tony White, Founder at Ars Logica.
Hmm, maybe I’ll go looking for a rap battle this weekend after all…