Six years ago analyst David Raab coined the term to denote the need to combine martech with ad tech because, in his words, “Consumers don’t make a distinction between marketing and advertising interactions. And to meet their expectations, neither can marketers.”
That was six years ago! That is a lifetime in the digital age. Think of it this way: You know the adage that for every year a dog lives it is equivalent to roughly seven human years? Well, in the digital age I think one year equates to roughly 10 years to reflect how fast things change.
Yet here marketers still sit, faced with the same challenges they faced all those years ago. As to why this is, it can be summed up in one word: fragmentation.
You’re about to enter another dimension—four to be exact. At Oracle we look at fragmentation in four separate dimensions, each with its own challenges and opportunities:
1. Consumer attention
Challenge: Twenty years ago, there were only 30 cable channels, and in a typical metropolitan area just one or two newspapers, a couple of magazines and a favorite radio station fighting for consumers’ attention. Today, there are more options than ever, and more sprout up every day. This fragmentation of attention was exacerbated during the lockdowns last year. As one example, in Q1 2020, Twitter saw the average total of monetizable daily active users increase 23% from the previous year.
Opportunity: There are two opportunities here. First is truly understanding your audience. The who, what, why and so on. The second is measurement, understanding exactly where to spend your media dollars and measuring the ROI of the spend.
2. Marketing departments
Challenge: One word sums up the challenge as it relates to marketing departments: silos. From social media to brand and demand-generation teams—all of whom will have siloed financials and KPIs—silos are problematic for any brand. Whenever consumers see differing messages across different touchpoints in their journey you can be sure a silo is present.
Opportunity: Deliver a consistent narrative and story through all touchpoints. To do this, there needs to be a cohesive and coordinated marketing department sitting behind the touchpoints. Moreover, advertising, marketing, planning, execution and measurement need to be integrated.
3. Technology stacks
Challenge: In late 2020, Gartner surveyed nearly 400 marketing technology leaders and found that 35% of respondents plan to overhaul their martech stacks, while less than 60% are utilizing their stacks to their full breadth of capabilities. These responses, by the way, have remained the same since 2019.
The takeaway for many marketers is that they’ve either reached a tipping point or they recognize—at least they should—the functional gaps that exist within their current stack that preclude them from managing their first- and third-party, as well as other data in an environment with changing privacy standards, consumer preferences and the deprecation of the cookie.
Opportunity: Simplify your stacks and focus on technologies that are integrated and support a seamless customer journey, from consideration and adoption all the way through to sales and loyalty. Some companies today are doing just that, bringing together their marketing and advertising tech to drive more qualified sales leads into their CRM systems.
Challenge: A seemingly endless number of media options does not, in and of itself, cause data fragmentation for a company. Of course it will make it harder to know what messages consumers have been exposed to over time since their identity is fragmented across the different ad tech systems that serve and track the ads across all media types and channels. The real challenge lies in the martech/ad tech stack fragmentations.
Opportunity: Develop an integrated strategy and view of your customer data. To do this, it’s vital to remove any silos and streamline your existing stacks. This will be problematic for some since, according to a Deloitte Digital survey, companies today on average have 16 applications that leverage customer data coming from 25 different sources.
We Just Kicked Off
I’m a big football fan—the Baltimore Ravens are my team—so I wanted to use a football analogy to illustrate where I believe we are when it comes to madtech. If madtech were a football game, I would say we just had the opening kickoff.
It’s very early in the madtech “game” for sure. But the good news is the game is underway. The clock has started and the solution providers that deliver on the promise of true ad tech/martech integration will surely be the winners.