The average marketing tech stack has grown exceedingly complex, but new tools offer marketers a way to simplify their operations and gain more control.
Marketing has become increasingly difficult since the digital revolution transformed the industry. The internet has provided companies with numerous new ways to reach and engage customers, along with a tremendous volume of useful consumer data. But converting all of this information into really effective, personalized campaigns, in real-time, has proven remarkably difficult.
In recent years, however, the convergence of marketing technology (martech) and advertising technology (adtech) into marketing clouds has begun to eliminate some of the complexities that marketers have encountered in acquiring and retaining customers.
As a recent webinar by Forrester argues, “Marketers, vendors, and agencies will all contribute to and benefit from [this] convergence.” And reducing the number of marketing and advertising tools companies have to use in their day-to-day operations will fundamentally alter the way that companies — and their marketing teams — do business.
The desire for more consolidated martech and adtech has been a major talking point amongst industry insiders for some time. In a 2015 episode of The Digiday Podcast, Luma CEO Terry Kawaja outlined the problem as follows: “Ask anyone in ad ops or at the agency level and they’ll tell you it’s just too complicated… A more mature industry would like to see these [technologies] as solution sets that are brought together rather than stitched together.”
Kawaja’s point remains as relevant as ever — according to the Forrester webinar, 58% of B2C marketers want to reduce the number of tech vendors they use, but fewer than 20% believe they can actually get what they need from a single vendor.
Merging the functionalities of adtech, which facilitates the buying and selling of ad space, with those of martech, which manages customers, analytics, and content, is the ultimate goal. But until recently, the bevy of tools needed to perform these functions across a wide range of channels hadn’t always integrated with each other so well. The promise of a converged world is that it will allow marketers and ad-side professionals to use the same tools to manage the customer journey from first contact all the way through conversion.
This seamless, end-to-end approach to marketing and sales has become even more important as consumer expectations have shifted. Even the most loyal consumer has come to expect a highly personalized, nearly one-to-one brand experience. With the incredible amount of data available to the modern marketer, this is an expectation that can be met, but not without a mastery of the consumer journey that is only made possible by incorporating insights from the advertising side of the equation.
This is where a converged toolset becomes tremendously valuable. By breaking down the informational silos in which marketing teams and ad/media teams traditionally operate, it enables marketers to make decisions based on ad performance data they otherwise couldn’t access.
A lack of transparency has long plagued the marketer-media buyer relationship, making it difficult for marketers to understand how effective their campaigns are across different target audiences and channels. With a good converged tool, this information is automatically collected and documented right alongside the consumer persona data that marketers use to craft cohesive cross-channel, cross-device experiences.
At the end of the webinar, Forrester predicts that the near future will see “tech silos break down, and we’ll continue to see martech vendors lead the convergence by buying and consolidating with some adtech capabilities to give clients access to everything they need.” In many ways, Albert™, the world’s first fully-autonomous marketing platform, represents the first product of this convergence.
Yet Albert is also more than just a product of the martech-adtech merger — he was built from the ground up to provide marketers with a comprehensive, end-to-end view of their customers’ journeys through the purchasing funnel. By leveraging powerful AI capabilities like machine learning and predictive analytics, Albert is able to draw correlations between a company’s consumer profiles and the performance of its ad campaigns.
Insofar as Albert empowers marketers to handle everything at once — from first contact to final touchpoint — he perfectly embodies the spirit of this convergence revolution. Marketers are tired of having to stitch together complex stacks and a tool like Albert offers a way to simultaneously consolidate one’s toolset and gain greater end-to-end control of the process.