For years, the software and ad-tech worlds have traversed different orbits in parallel universes, similar to the way that "paid" media has successfully avoided intermixing with the "earned" media eco-system. This segregation is nearing an apocalyptic end as technology convergence rapidly accelerates, fueled by massive changes in consumer behavior, refocused product roadmaps of the marketing superpowers Facebook and Twitter and a fundamental shift towards overall CMO control of technology choice and budgets.
With Fortune 1000 CMOs projected to invest billions in marketing technology this decade, the tipping point is near and that 's why Salesforce and Oracle snapped up Buddy Media, Vitrue, Radian 6 and Collective Intellect, and why my company, Syncapse, bought Clickable. If you look at the landscape, it's easy to understand why:Social media is now the world's largest mass media. One billion consumers are now reachable through social media channels. Marketers need to analyze reach, frequency and impact for this audience and they need to intertwine these metrics with existing business objectives. This need for integration extends well beyond the traditional marketing mix as CMOs struggle to operationalize CRM, marketing collaboration, loyalty, customer care, and acquisition across the new and fragmented social media eco-system. Existing marketing processes, accountabilities and technologies were not designed to facilitate this efficiently. A new technology eco-system is required to help marketers produce the results that will be demanded by this multifaceted new world.
Facebook and Twitter are driving huge shifts in marketer strategies. No one is forcing the convergence of paid, earned and owned media, not to mention software and ad tech faster than Facebook and Twitter. Why? Because their product roadmap is trashing traditional marketing practices and forcing integration at a rapid rate.
CMOs are discovering that their lives are becoming increasingly complex. If companies were to "stop advertising" on Facebook, they would also stop reaching roughly 80% of their "Fans", a customer base they have invested heavily in growing. The new reality of reaching and connecting with Fans on social media sites means that the "simple" rules of advertising no longer apply and Fan engagement is now tightly coupled with paid media activities. This forces marketing, agencies and technologies to collaborate in ways like never before.
So, what's next? Collaboration, content management, advertising management, CRM, analytics, insights and more will all become increasingly integrated out of necessity. Large enterprise marketers face an increasingly complex eco-system which will require they replace legacy systems and resolve some highly political debates over who owns the master customer database, and the implementation of strategies centered around the "new" social consumer.
Get ready for a new set of players at Cannes and the CMO table. Marketing events like Cannes promise to look different starting in 2013 as technology superpowers like Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, Syncapse and no doubt others fight for attention and credibility in solving the marketing challenges of the future. This will reset the agenda for future meetings as CMOs look to tackle business issues centered around the new social consumer. Expect vigorous discussion around business processes and technology investments that need to shift as CMOs beef up their search for technologies and solution providers to better manage their customer connections in the new fragmented ecosystem.