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Adtech-Martech Convergence: To Be or Not to Be?

Adtech-Martech Convergence: To Be or Not to Be?

Marketing Strategy


June 19, 2017 - Anne Curtin, Managing Editor, Visual IQ

Adtech-Martech Convergence: To Be or Not to Be?

The convergence of adtech and martech is a popular, yet polarizing subject among marketers and industry pundits. Some call it a more perfect union that will revolutionize marketing; others have dubbed it a shotgun wedding that’s more hype than reality. So, which is it?

Convergence: Definition & Drivers

To get to a definitive answer, one must first understand the meaning of “convergence,” as well as the primary drivers behind it. Today, marketing organizations use a slew of technologies to manage their marketing and advertising – from email and site-side personalization tools, to real-time bidding and demand side platforms (just to name a few). Each platform creates valuable interaction and audience data that can be used to advance marketing and advertising efforts. But it’s scattered across systems with no easy way to tie it together.

Convergence isn’t about merging different platform capabilities, but seamlessly integrating the disparate data they produce in order to establish a “single source of truth” about marketing and media performance, as well as a people-based understanding of what content, offers, creative and other tactics work best for whom. Marketers need this type of intelligence to attract and retain today’s empowered consumers, who expect a lot from their interactions with brands, especially when it comes to personalization. A seamless martech/adtech integration will help marketers crack the personalization code, enabling the delivery of timely and relevant communications that enhance each individual’s brand experience.

“Despite the promise [of personalization], many companies face challenges, including figuring out how to aggregate various consumer data points to form one universal view of each customer. Meanwhile, almost 60% struggle to effectively measure and attribute the impact of those campaigns.” Source: eMarketer

Why it Matters

So, why are convergence and personalization so important? Because brands that use technology and data to offer personalized experiences are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10%, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group – two to three times faster than those who don’t.

“Over the next five years in three sectors alone—retail, health care, and financial services—personalization will push a revenue shift of some $800 billion to the 15% of companies that get it right.” Source: Boston Consulting Group

As if the revenue implications to your business aren’t enough, here are four more compelling reasons why the intersection of martech and adtech benefits all marketers:

  1. A Single Customer View – To create personalized experiences, marketers need to track, measure and optimize all audience interactions with their brand, no matter where those interactions occur. When martech and adtech systems are interconnected, the silos across paid, owned and earned touchpoints break down and, in turn, enable marketers to better understand consumer behavior through a single, 360-degree view.

  2. Common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – When analyzing marketing and advertising performance across systems, metrics and KPIs also fall victim to the silo effect, resulting in disparate measurement tactics across individual channels, as well as duplicate success metrics from multiple channels taking credit for the same KPI event, such as a conversion or lead. By consolidating and normalizing data, convergence coordinates measurement across martech and adtech systems, and binds the entire business – from channel owners and C-level executives – around a uniform set of business goals and marketing KPIs.

  3. The Cost of Acquisition vs. Cost of Retention – So many businesses are focused on acquisition rather than retention. Yet it costs 7x more to obtain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Re-acquiring lost customers costs even more. Adtech/martech integration enables a more coordinated and intelligent approach to both prospecting and retention efforts. By providing insight into which combination of marketing and advertising channels and tactics work best for each type of audience, marketers can create a more “human” connection with customers and prospects while increasing their long-term value to the business in the process.

  4. Integrated Systems Operate Smarter – Technologies like CRM systems, DMPs and attribution solutions provide valuable data for any marketing department. But this data must be integrated if marketers want to answer critical questions that drive the business forward, such as:
      • What is the most effective experience to show my customers and prospects across channels and device?
      • Which emails, videos, display placements and search keywords are working best for different audience segments?
      • How effective are my overall marketing tactics at driving different success criteria (consumer engagement, online conversion, in-store transactions, etc.)?
      • How can I predict my optimal marketing performance before attempting to make real-world modifications?

In the end, it seems clear that adtech and martech have a bright future together. Their convergence means that marketers will be able to create a meaningful dialogue with customers and prospects that spans all channels and touchpoints. This is the way that brands will compete and win in today’s consumer-led age, where a personalized experience trumps all.

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