For CMO, this era has created unprecedented marketing opportunities, but also created a highly complex environment. The importance of successfully responding to user needs and preferences has never been greater. A study by Walker predicted that "by 2020, the user experience will exceed the price and the product itself and become the key factor determining the brand difference."
According to Gartner, marketing technology now accounts for 29% of the average budget of CMOs, which ranks first in CMOs' budgets, followed by labor, media advertising and agency fees.
After all, with the growth of the technology stack, the increase of technology investment will inevitably improve the performance. However, while it is important to increase investment, it is not necessarily a solution to this challenge by increasing investment alone.
To be comfortable in this MarTech ecosystem and play our potential in the era of data explosion, CMO must clearly see the core stack of their best enterprise level technologies.
Importance of core technology stack
Continuously adding new suppliers to the list of suppliers in the technology stack may cause CMOs to ignore the core purpose of their big data strategy. Therefore, in the entire user cycle strategy, it is crucial to select a top appropriate enterprise technology supplier for each marketing field.
In general, these areas typically include:
Paid media management;
Social media advertising;
Optimization and personalization;
User data platform;
There are too many suppliers to choose from in each field. How to judge whether these suppliers are suitable needs to be tested and evaluated through CMO's experience. Therefore, CMO also needs to have an effective evaluation process to narrow the scope as much as possible.
First, it is best to map these technologies to core business goals and clarify how they contribute to achieving these goals. The advantage of this is that CMOs can closely monitor the effectiveness of these technologies and prove their value. The importance of accountability has never been higher, especially when most brands have adopted quantifiable marketing technology investment.
More importantly, reaching agreement on these goals helps marketers position users at the center of their strategy. The value and significance of CMO's experience should be highlighted here by using user insights to map the structure required for the best central technology stack.
The increasing variety of tools in the marketing ecosystem means that more and more CMOs are increasingly disappointed in the confusion caused by data islands, inaccuracies and inoperability of point solutions.
CMO is now targeting platforms that host many functions and can add and develop more. Generally, the current marketing technology platform will use machine learning algorithms to obtain new insights from user data, and these real-time insights can provide decision-making information for the entire user behavior process. From this point of view, these platforms play a crucial role as business personnel. Common vendors that can provide this technology platform include Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and BrightEdge.
With this in mind, CMOs need a detailed framework to assess the value of each platform to their overall marketing strategy in the next step.
Persistence, practicality and pleasure
There are some simple architectural principles that can be applied on a stack basis. After all, the purpose of CMO is to establish a framework that can adapt over time, while maintaining its structural integrity, data quality, security and compatibility.
Vitruvius, a famous Roman architect in the first century BC, wrote that good architecture depends on the following three factors: durability, practicality and pleasure. This principle can also be applied to today's CMOs.
CMOs can easily use these principles to create a new MarTech stack by asking the following questions.
- Can this technology contribute to our long-term business goals?
- Can we imagine establishing a lasting relationship with this technology provider as a business partner? (More suggestions on solving these problems are contained in this post.)
- Based on the upcoming consumption trend, will this technology be useful in two years?
- Does this technology platform have agility and flexibility, and can be integrated to save time, cost and inefficiency due to low-level solutions?
- Does the technology supplier have a partner?
The concept of persistence is particularly critical when creating a central technology stack. Of course, when it comes to user behavior, change is normal, so it is very important to have a platform with strong adaptability at the core of MarTech infrastructure.
By answering these questions, CMOs can make decisions through a reliable core platform, supplemented by a constantly changing array of tools that form the periphery of the ecosystem, so as to shape their development in the next few years.
- Can this platform automatically provide useful real-time insight?
- What is the purpose of this platform? Without it, our life would be worse?
- Will this platform be used by multiple functional departments of the enterprise?
- Can other platforms in the central stack be integrated?
- Can businesses access and use this technology?
- Is the effect of using this technology measurable? Can we demonstrate its ROI?
In short, the technology must be excellent, easy to understand and use, and available to a variety of teams within the company. These questions will help define exactly why this platform should be chosen over others. CMO needs to be very precise about its core purpose.
- Will this platform contribute to strategies that exceed user expectations?
- Does this technology use machine learning to propose new user insights?
- Does the platform adjust time-consuming tasks and allow for scaling?
- Can I stay on the platform for a long time?
- Will this technology contribute to the data architecture we are building?
The concept of pleasure may not automatically appear in most meaningless stack discussions, especially when we are dealing with cold and boring data. However, all these technologies are committed to better understanding consumers' needs by mining human behavior. When we want to provide personalized content on a large scale, the broad role will no longer apply.
The central platform should be heavily/intelligently enhanced, so that the user experience can connect the audience with the brand in a new way. This emotional impact may not be measurable as in other marketing areas, but it is also valuable in this regard.
Gather them together
There is no doubt that many stacks can meet the standard of "pleasure", which is based on their pure aesthetic appeal, but this complexity should only appear in the pursuit of more meaningful goals.
In the fusion of persistence, practicality and pleasure, the central stack can be defined as a stack suitable for use.
Here, we can see the growing importance of the central data infrastructure, which is under the users in this visualization. Then, the central stack can notify the peripheral user behavior cycle, from "I know" to "I updated". By creating a set of durable platforms to support the policy of user behavior cycle, CMO can more clearly understand what is effective and what is invalid. Auxiliary tools can be rotated while maintaining a consistent data-driven insight core.
The following highlights another way to address this challenge and integrate the decision-making process into the MarTech stack:
This is an effective way to add decisions to the central technology stack, which is provided by the core platform responsible for data management in marketing activities.
As with any architecture, the foundation of this architecture is critical to future success. If the stack does not follow the strict selection process to keep the platform consistent with the business goals, the stack will not stand the test of time. Similarly, companies must know when to reassess technology. This ecosystem is constantly changing, so these assessments should be included in the annual technical assessment system. What works today may not work six or twelve months later.
With the rapid development of technology, people's decisions will only increase. The combination of CMOs and technologies is of strategic significance. Building a lasting and effective stack to meet the expectations of users will be the key to the future of this industry.