The Monday Stack: Ready for the Post-Marketing Tech Age?
Are we already living in a post-marketing tech age? I don't mean, of course, that marketing tech is vanishing or becoming obsolete: quite the contrary, as Scott Brinker's Martech 5000 is always there to remind us.
I'm wondering about the every-fuzzier boundary around marketing tech, and how difficult it's becoming to make sharp distinctions between systems used to support marketing, and systems used to support sales and service. After all, in the ideal organization (which I'm sure exists somewhere), all those systems — and why overlook manufacturing operations and the supply chain? — all subsist on the same pool of data.
These thoughts are provoked by last week's double-barreled conference experience. PegaWorld gave me a close-up look at a vendor with deep roots in business process management — managing orders, operations, supply chain, delivery and service — which has extended its broad, data-based solution to encompass marketing and sales. At the Cheetah Digital client summit, I met markieters who were re-affirming their commitment to making other marketers' lives easier by providing tools closely tailored to marketers' needs. That's where their expertise lies, CEO Sameer Kazi told me.
Of course marketers need focused support in an environment where channels multiply like bacteria, audiences are harder to herd than cats, and data falls like the rain in Spain, only heavier and harder. But surely overall business objectives are served if marketing touchpoints are closely integrated with all the other touchpoints in the customer lifecycle (even if not all those touchpoints are best served by the same vendor). I think this is why we're hearing less these days about "marketing clouds" or even marketing suites, and more about "customer success," "customer experience," or "business experience" platforms.
There's a convergence in systems and data happening here, and tech — whether it be marketing, sales, or service tech — is ready to support it. The question remains whether an analogous convergence is taking place organizationally. Because if marketing, sales, and service remain siloed in terms of teams, goals, and incentives, all the data and tech convergence in the world isn't going to make the customer journey seamless.
Last week Tapad, the cross-device tracking vendor, tightened its ties with its Norway-based owner Telenor Group by appointing Sigwart Voss Eriksen, Telenor's former head of adtech, as its new CEO. He replaces Are Traasdahl, who will continue in an advisory role. Traasdahl himself was a Telenor executive some years before founding Tapad. Telenor, which acquired New York-based Tapad last year, offers the prospects of a global client-base.
Finally in case anyone thought my reporting of Alan Trefler's battle-readiness was exaggerated last week, check the 2:43 mark.
Monday Stack logo by Hilary Allison