Picturing martech’s long tail: Thursday’s daily brief
Good morning, Marketers, and what does your stack look like?
We’re so accustomed to referring to the tech stack and looking at graphic representations of it. Scott Brinker even hands out annual awards at MarTech to the best-looking “Stackies.” But there’s no literal stack there, of course. It’s not like a server stack (or I suppose it might be if you have nothing but on-prem solutions).
No, it’s up in the cloud, and we can choose different ways to conceptualize it. Below, Real Story Group’s Tony Byrne suggests a shopping mall model. I sometimes dream of a hub-and-spoke configuration — except there would be more than one hub. Perhaps four, five, six. And then the hubs would have their own spokes, but also share some, and all these wheels would start turning like cog upon cog, or like windmills.
And then I wake up.
What anchors your technology mall?
The latest from Real Story Group asks whether the familiar term “stack” provides the best model for describing the set of tech solutions that power modern marketing. Traditional stack diagrams are not always great at indicating the relative importance or centrality of the different toolsets. For example, how would you answer this question: In terms of your martech services, what’s truly core as opposed to what’s supporting, experimental, or a niche capability?
An alternative model is suggested by the prototypical North American shopping mall. But in lieu of shoppers, it’s content, data, events, and enterprise marketers coursing through your MarTech mall. Arising in the 1950s, shopping malls have varied in shape and size, but they almost always have a particular configuration: anchor tenants connected by boutique or niche stores.
Similarly, in your MarTech stacks, you have “anchor” platforms surrounded by a growing array of smaller players. To be sure, your anchors might prove to be different types of platforms than you see in this diagram. For a retailer, perhaps ecommerce takes the place of WCM. For a media company, perhaps social media monitoring and engagement replaces CRM.
Like malls, your martech portfolio should exhibit variety. Alongside anchor stores, malls have smaller boutiques that add novelty and appeal to the whole experience. Those are your niche point solutions. And then, of course, there’s the “superstore” solution offered by Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and others.
MarTech takes place on September 14-15, 2021 with a focus on data. Submit your session ideas now
The theme for MarTech taking place virtually on September 14-15 is Data. Decisions. Results.
Modern marketing presents a complex web of interconnected themes: customer experience, management and strategy, marketing technologies and the operations that run them. But at the center, and threading through all of those facets, is the collection, storage, management and activation of data.
Nobody today would think of driving customer experience without data. All strategy – if it’s worth anything – is data-based, and technologies ingest and create data at growing scale and speed.
We’d love to hear from you, marketing practitioners, who are at the forefront of managing data in all areas of marketing. If you have an interesting story to tell, a case study to share or tips and techniques on how you are successfully collecting, managing or using data in the following areas please consider submitting a session pitch.
- Marketing automation
- Managing customer data
- Digital asset management
- Marketing attribution and predictive analytics
- Content management
- Account-based marketing
- Identity resolution
- Customer journey analytics
- Marketing project management
If you haven’t submitted a pitch in the past year, you’ll need to first create an account, then fill out your profile. Once you do that, click on Pitch a Session, select “MarTech Fall” in the dropdown menu and enter your specific session pitch details. Feel free to reach out to me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Constant Contact to expand capabilities through SharpSpring acquisition
E-commerce platform Constant Contact today announced that it had entered a definitive agreement to acquire the CRM and marketing automation platform SharpSpring. The all-cash transaction is valued at around $240 million. Both vendors are focused on the SMB market.
Constant Contact provides branded email, website building and social marketing. SharpSpring offers end-to-end sales and marketing automation, together with a CRM, to drive revenue growth.
Why we care. “Whether you are a business-to-business or business-to-consumer organization, it’s still a human being (or more than one) who will make a decision about buying from you. Some have referred to this as P2P or people to people selling.” Those words from a Constant Contact blog published last year help us to make sense of this acquisition.
Constant Contact, after all, headlines itself as an ecommerce provider, helping clients build online stores, upload their products, and promote discovery through social channels and Google Ads. One might think, okay B2C. But one thing recent experiences have underlined is the importance of ecommerce in B2B too, as the buyer’s journey increasingly becomes digital. By acquiring SharpSpring, Constant Contact adds lead gen and CRM capabilities which will appeal to small to medium B2B brands. After all, as the blog says, it’s all P2P in the end.
Image of the day
A glimpse of the long tail of martech solutions from Frans Riemersma of MarTech Tribe. Click on the link to request a pdf copy from Riemersma.
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