It’s a Wrap: MarTech East 2018

Two members of the Tapad team, Niksa Cosic and Brett Sheppard, attended this year’s MarTech East conference, held in Boston from October 1-3, 2018. Several themes emerged.

(1) Start With Small Steps and Create Virtuous Cycles

The day one morning keynotes kicked off with the R.E.M. song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)”. The 1987 song captured the sense of continual change and transformation in marketing technology (as well as the relative age of the event attendees as mid-career marketing professionals).

Customer Experience and Digital Innovation VP David Levin at retailer Bob’s Discount Furniture discussed how to move forward with digital transformation in the face of internal pushback to change.

Bob’s Discount Furniture brought in Deloitte for system upgrades to help enable marketing to move from waterfall to agile processes. New vendors included BlueConic for a deterministic-data CDP and Medallia for voice of the customer feedback.

To create a virtuous cycle, in which one improvement generates positive recognition that opens doors for more, David Levin and his team chose a single use case. They focused on how the retailer can do a better job acquiring and activating customers.

(2) Shore Up the Foundation

For brand marketers looking to improve the holistic, end-to-end customer experience, there can be low-hanging fruit to pick first. For Monique Bonner, SVP and CMO at Akamai Technologies, her team found that phone numbers on the Akamai website were being routed to the wrong countries, and website chats were not answered.

Akamai took an inventory of its marketing technology and discovered 80 applications across 175 marketers in need of a cohesive strategy to guide investment. Soon after, they began a multi-year martech journey that included taking a fresh look at governance, procurement, and dedicated resources.

(3) Empower Your Brand’s In-House Agency

“Insurance is the new beer—it’s a category full of great creative work and big budgets,” according to managing partner Brian McPherson at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Liberty Mutual Insurance has been migrating more of its marketing functions to an in-house agency model.

Liberty Mutual Creative Operations Director Clifford Stevens described some of the new processes and systems needed by their in-house team. For example, his in-house creative team decided to adopt hourly time tracking, using Workfront for work management.

The concept of in-housing capabilities previously handled by an outside agency or other specialist has gained traction in recent years. For instance, one survey found that 35% of brand marketers (most with annual media budgets in excess of US$100 million) have already expanded their in-house programmatic media buying capabilities.

Bringing digital identity resolution in-house provides brand marketing teams with new levels of insights, options, and control. And thanks to Tapad Device Graph Access (DGA), it’s surprisingly easy to insource and begin reaping the customer experience and net-new customer acquisition benefits. To learn more, download your copy of the new Tapad eGuide “How More Brands are Bringing Digital Identity Resolution In-house”.

(4) Pick a CDP That Includes Cross-Device Digital Identity Resolution

Of the 75 vendor exhibitors at this week’s conference, eight sell their own customer data platform (CDP). Industry-wide, Gartner counts more than 70 CDP vendors. Among this multitude of CDP vendors, there is wide variance in functionality, use cases, and industry vertical focus.  

One constant across the CDP vendor landscape is the importance of cross-device digital identity. In his half-day workshop, CDP Institute founder David Raab highlighted the importance of identity resolution as a core CDP capability.  

Figure: Martech Function Inventory, David Raab, CDP Institute (emphasis added)

To learn more about how brands are bringing digital identity resolution in-house, download our eGuide below: