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Understanding the Convergence of AdTech and MarTech

Alex Hooshmand, VP of Oracle’s Product Management in Oracle Marketing Cloud talked about how Advertising Tech (AdTech) and Marketing Tech (MarTech) are slowly converging to deliver a more consistent experience for customers.  Alex was cofounder of BlueKai, which Oracle acquired in 2014.

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Perficient at Oracle OpenWorld 2015

For many years there have been two customer funnels – pre-sales funnel with awareness, consideration and finally intent.  After purchase three is a post-sales funnel, which includes adoption, retention, reactivation.  Audience data flows through the funnel to create more personalized offers.  Performance data should flow back through the funnel to feed data into the marketing efforts.  Alex considers anything in pre-sales as advertising.  Anything in the post-sales funnel is considered marketing.

Why hasn’t AdTech and MarTech converged before?  First there is a data problem between anonymous and known data. There have been few tools that could merge the two data sets together.

A second problem is that customers flow through different channels during their journey. This leads to an explosion of data. Consider one user with four devices.  This leads to multiple channels per device.  A mobile cookie is very different than a cookie on the laptop.  There is also an explosion of destinations for a customer’s data in the journey.

A third problem is there is also a disparity in scale between marketing data and advertising data.  Marketing often involves limited data from CRM systems or customer systems.  That could be thousands of records or even a million records. At the advertising side, we deal with billions of records for anonymous customer information.

There has also been fragmentation in the organization.  Advertising resources report to different people than do marketing resources.  Only recently have digital marketing people started to pull these resources together.

Tech vendors have also contributed to the problem by offering point solutions for each different problem in marketing and advertising.  This is like a chicken and egg problem – tech offers a point solution, marketing buys it and perpetuates the divide.

Four big trends are driving the convergence in addition to pressure being exerted on marketing execs to produce results:

  • Audience Addressability – there has been a rise in the addressable identity or digital authentication.  Third party cookies were the original form of identity, but mobile changed the game.  Also, we’ve moved beyond merely web-based media and now have to deal with TV-based identity.  TV based media will double the amount spent on web-based media soon.
  • Walled Gardens – two or three companies dominate the mobile space – Google, Facebook, Twitter and a few others dominate 65% of the market.  These companies developed their own marketing platforms and “walled” off other companies from accessing customers.
  • CX Ascendency – its no longer about marketing or service, its now about creating consistent customer experience across every touchpoint.  Different companies compete at different levels in tech – from point solutions to enterprise customer experience.  Oracle, IBM, SAP and Salesforce are competing at the enterprise cx level.
  • Technology Revolution – the difference in data scales is now becoming less as new technology stacks like Kafka, Spark, HBase and others allow analytics at large scale.

So AdTech and MarTech must evolve or die.  How are these spaces being brought together?

  • Step 1 is to make sure you have a marketing orchestration or automation system integrated with your CRM system.  These systems must feed to the other systems for advertising, content marketing, etc. Oracle has Eloqua/Responsys and the Oracle Sales Cloud
  • Step 2 is to have a DMP (Data management platform) to manage all your data and 3rd party data.  This DMP must feed other systems too. Oracle has Oracle DMP and Oracle Data Cloud.

Oracle has an Oracle ID Graph product to tie the two steps listed above together. Oracle also has many other systems to deliver both ad and marketing technology.

With these systems, you can get data from Responsys, match it with data in the DMP to identify audiences, send the data to analytics tools and then finally drive marketing campaigns and workflows with the results of the analytics.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I have a strategy for benefiting from this convergence, especially a data strategy?
  2. Is your organization ready for this? Have barriers been removed between departments?
  3. How do I augment my current platform investments for the most bang for the buck?

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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