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#BizTrends2019: Own your MarTech, control your data

Johan Walters, a managing consultant at DQ&A, believes marketing leaders should be wary of the marketing automation siren call and focus on building the foundations to enable real digital performance.
Johan Walters, managing consultant at DQ&A
The role of technology in marketing cannot be underestimated. Data analytics, machine learning (moving onto full-blown AI), and the quantum leaps made in augmented and virtual realities, have captured the imagination of marketers in 2018.

And that may be the cause of the biggest challenge going forward. Because, as we move into 2019, both large and small organisations hoping to grow their online revenue will need to guard against sacrificing control of their data as they race towards the lure of marketing automation.

It’s no wonder that many South African marketing leaders have been caught up in the excitement of new marketing tech (MarTech). Reports from international analysts certainly indicate that we are not alone.

In its latest global marketing survey, analysts Forrester say that 55% of global marketers plan to increase spending on overall marketing technology in the next year. It also expects global spending on marketing automation tools to surpass $25bn by 2023, implying a 14% annual growth rate.

Own your data, own your destiny

Whether they realise it or not, every business is a data business. Data is the lifeblood of an organisation and this especially true for a digital commerce business. We are helping the companies we work with understand that they need to own their tech and they need to own the data that comes with it. While it doesn’t cut the creative and marketing agencies out of the loop, companies who own licences for their MarTech are in a place of control and have full transparency of how that tech is used, as well as the data that is generated from it.
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This is especially true when it comes to Google products. The launch of the Google Marketing Platform (GMP) in 2018 has brought the Google product bouquet closer together and makes integration much easier. It enables stronger collaboration for marketing teams by building on existing integrations between the previously known DoubleClick and the Google Analytics 360 Suite and it takes the company closer to a holistic view of its customers.

Media consolidation gives more control

In 2019 we expect to see more companies making use of the consolidation opportunities offered by platforms like GMP. This will be particularly useful when it comes to frequency capping.

Many companies may be overexposing their ads to certain consumers. By serving up ads too many times to the same consumer across the various platforms, companies are wasting budget and irritating their existing or potential customers. By consolidating media, you are not only bringing in more control, but you are reducing wastage and making your campaign more efficient and effective.

End-to-end personalisation

Our experience with clients across all thirteen regions in which we work shows that very few organisations have an aggregated view of their customer across all their channels.

Personalisation comes to the fore when you use your tech to have a single, 360-degree view and combining your campaign data with website data and combining this with your CRM data in order to provide advertising that is relevant.
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By using platform technology such as GMP, marketers can rely on the data-driven features. This allows your creative team to join the same table as the marketing team. We know that creative delivery accounts for 70% of the campaign success rate. By getting the marketing and the digital teams into the same room you can use the audience framework to better craft strategies for each step in the customer journey and do this by specific market segment.

Use what you have to build the foundations

Many organisations are overwhelmed with the complexities of MarTech. Constant news reports and reviews about sexy new tech can be easy to fixate on.

Marketing automation, most especially, is viewed as the Nirvana of the digital commerce organisation. However, many CMOs and marketing leaders are dumbfounded by the sheer volume and complexity of their existing business enterprise technology. Point of Sale systems, business intelligence and CRM are all delivering masses of data, but often there is still no single view of the customer.

Simply adding MarTech on top of this, without fully understanding what information can be extracted and used to deliver true personalisation is setting your business up for failure. Helping marketing leaders work with the technology leaders and properly conveying the importance of what they require is a key role of the digital marketing specialist.

A digital marketing specialist understands that the creative strategy of their campaigns must be assistive. It must serve a purpose to companies and be contextual to the sales strategy. This can only be achieved by marrying analytical data, CRM data and ad data.
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We have seen some of the bigger organisations rely on third-party plugins, which serves a purpose as a short-term technology stopgap, but becomes problematic when they, or their agency, can’t link to their CRM system for tracking purposes. What’s more, even though this is a fundamental challenge, they still want to leapfrog to fully automated marketing solutions.

Instead, they should be looking at what tools they have and see how they can use these to achieve the basics. Then, once this is done, they can work with a digital partner and add new product licenses and add technology which puts them in control of their data.

Most marketing decision makers are under serious pressure to deliver business growth. By throwing tech at a problem without first getting the basics right, they are missing out on the real opportunity that MarTech offers. Their 2019 strategy should start with an in-depth discussion with a digital marketing specialist.

About Johan Walters

With 22 years experience in Digital Marketing, I specialise in helping Brands and Agencies on their transformation towards Digital Marketing Maturity.
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