The collection and parsing of data is only one side of the marketing equation. If the data isn’t being leveraged effectively, the value of accumulating it is negligible.
Marketing technology (martech) and advertising technology (ad tech) are converging from every direction, at a maddening pace. So much so that David Daniels of The Relevancy Group coined the term “MadTech” to capture the right tone.
And despite the constant change and complexity, marketers now have the tools they need to take immediate, impactful action on the data they collect. Better yet, because that action is data-driven, it is by default aligned with customer-centricity.
The conceptual barriers between martech and ad tech are blurring. Ad tech is no longer strictly a new customer acquisition tool. Established martech systems like CRM platforms and email service providers are no longer considered passive information repositories, but engines for actionable outreach.
This consolidation is making it possible for marketers to achieve not only greater insights into their customers and potential customers, but also to move more fluidly from insight to engagement to retention.
Customer relationship management (CRM) programs have long been the definitive martech platforms, whereas demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad networks are synonymous with the ad tech movement. CRM platforms have changed radically in recent years, evolving from software with relatively narrow parameters to target segments and schedule campaigns to systems that can connect audiences across channels with integrated, personalized communications.
Newer martech systems like customer data platforms (CDPs) go a step further, facilitating automation across all customer touch points and marketing channels. And while DSPs and ad networks function much as they always have on the ad tech side, the rise of data management platforms (DMPs) has allowed marketers to connect these digital advertising inventory management tools with campaign and audience data to optimize future media buys and messaging.
Clearly, the increasing sophistication of martech and ad tech systems expands marketers’ capabilities, but the convergence of the two disciplines is fueled only in part by technological progress. Perhaps more important than the power of the tools themselves is the more widespread agreement on what they should be used to achieve — namely, people-based marketing.