What are we automating in marketing and sales? A lot

Surveys are nice, but they have their limitations. They’re swayed by who participates (selection bias) and the way those participants interpret your questions in their own minds — which varies wildly for reasons a psychologist would be best suited to explain. The results can be directionally useful, but they’re not “facts.” The ground truth is what people actually do, not what they say they do. So I was thrilled to see the new Work Automation …

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Marketing Automations & Sales Automations

35 of the Forbes Cloud 100 companies are in martech

Last week, Forbes published the 2021 edition of The Cloud 100 — their “definitive ranking of the best, brightest, most valuable private companies in the cloud.” The selection process involved an unpublished editorial formula that considered growth, sales, valuation, culture, and a “reputation score derived in consultation with 34 CEO judges and executives from their public-cloud-company peers.” Or, in other words, don’t read too closely into the exact ranking of any one company — there’s …

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2021 Cloud 100 in Martech

The State of Marketing Operations or Can’t Find a Better Martech

The good folks at BrandMaker recently released a study of CMOs and their perceptions of The State of Marketing Operations. In short, marketing operations has risen from being “an overshadowed marketing function that worked in the background to solve internal pains” to “an integral part of the marketing organization.” (And there was much rejoicing.) 70% of the CMOs surveyed reported that they have a dedicated marketing ops team at their company. 66% of those teams …

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Top CMO Priorities: Marketing Strategy and Marketing Operations

The Quest for the Holy Grail: Martech Edition

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 …

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Integrate Thy Martech

Should you build or buy martech? Yes

“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. I have. But making great pizza at home? Eh. You need a combination of skills, ingredients, the right pizza dough, …

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

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

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 above (I added the dotted line highlight). CMOs were ranked second-to-last as members of the C-suite who best understand the …

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Gaps in the Marketing Organization

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

Last year, we celebrated Father’s Day here at chiefmartec.com 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 to a dad joke is an implicit invitation to double-down on further embarrassingly sad puns, innuendo, and wordplay. Challenge accepted! …

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Martech Dad Jokes 2021

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

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 people had telephones, the telephone “network” had relatively little value. When 5 billion people have phones, however, the value of …

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Complexity in Martech

A 2×2 view of systems of record in martech

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 such as Salesforce, HubSpot, or Microsoft Dynamics visually placed at their center. (Speaking of which, the 2021 MarTech Stackies are …

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Martech Systems of Record 2x2

Aggregation Theory applied to martech stacks

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 Snowflake Workflow: tools such as Workato and Zapier orchestrate processes across apps UI/UX: tools such as Slack provide a common …

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Integration Layers = Aggregation Layers in a Platform