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Data-driven marketing technologies and their role in modern marketing – part 1

In November 2014, almost 200 marketers, data analysts, agencies and vendors gathered at the Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley for the second annual Data Strategy Symposium run by Ashton Media.

Today’s post is the first in a series of three, adapted from the presentation given by international keynote speaker Travis Wright, Marketing Technology Entrepreneur, Data & Analytics Geek, mediaThinkLabs (US). Travis opened the symposium with his presentation – Data-driven marketing technologies and their role in modern marketing.

Data-driven marketing technologies

Who is this Travis Wright dude?

Welcome. This is great. I’m going to start off in front of all these wonderful, brilliant people, so this is epic. I am Travis Wright. I live in Kansas City, Missouri, so long ways away. Give you a little lowdown of who I am. Actually, I was a radio disc jockey at the age of 13 and I was there for about two years. That was as long as I could handle country music. It’s horrible. I said, “I gotta get out of here. This is awful.” Especially 80’s country music, so I have been a stand-up comedian since 1995.

I quickly realised I was not nearly as funny as I thought I was, so I better figure out this Internet thing. I started doing web development back in ’96 and I helped rule out GTE Super Pages, which was an Internet directory in the US back in ’97.

I started doing SEO and geo-targeting of websites before Google was a thing. I said, “Hey, if you’re in Kansas City, if you’re in Brisbane and you’re a plumber, boy, you should get that dot com, would be awesome,” so I was really consulting with a lot of small businesses early on about what they needed to do.

I am a former Russian linguist in the military, military intelligence of the US, so the rest of the presentation will be in Russian. [Travis speaks in Russian]. Is that good? We’re good? No? All right. I’m not going to try to speak in Australian either, because I’ve learned my accent is pretty horrible.

I am the former global social media strategist with Norton and Symantec, and actually, you’ll have the pleasure of having my boss who actually will be speaking on Wednesday, so this is awesome. We got a bunch of Symantec people here.

I’m the chief marketing technologist with a company called CCP Global based out of Kansas City, Chicago, and San Francisco. I’m a tech journalist, I write in a lot of different publications,, TechCo, MarketingLand.

I’m also an Inc. Magazine columnist. I write on tech tools for entrepreneurs, so I see a lot of really cool tools, I demo a lot of tools, I see how they work in the whole marketing stock, and so I’m going to share some of those findings with you guys.

Who is this Travis Wright dude NOT?

Who is this Travis dude not?

Real quick, who is Travis Wright not? I am not Penn Jillette. I don’t know if you guys know who Penn Jillette is. He’s the magician in the States, so just to honour that, I will go ahead and do a magic trick for you. There you go. Nice little magic trick. Little fire to start the day. Here we go. All right. Here’s the clicka. Here we go.

This is interesting. I was actually on the phone paying a bill couple months ago and somebody goes, “You know, you sound like Penn Jillette,” and I was like, “What?” People tell me I look like him, now I sound like him? Penn Jillette was like, “You’re a lucky bastard,” so he was really pleased with that. Here’s actually Penn Jillette doing a mobile marketing presentation, so … No, not true.

BRO – Business Relationship Optimisation

bro - business relationship optimisation

I want to talk a little bit about BRO just to start off with because this is an epiphany that I had a couple of years ago.

Revenue, all the revenue that we have is based on the relationships that we have with our customers. I was thinking one day, “We need to optimise our business relationships,” which is business relationship optimisation. That is BRO, which is the best acronym ever. You cannot have a better acronym than BRO, that is the very best.

Here is Edgar Allan BRO, there’s no reason for this in the presentation. Here’s a BRO-ham Lincoln, again, just for my entertainment. All right, I will be talking a lot about a lot of different resources during the presentation, so seriously, It’s actually all lowercase so I’ll mention that again at the end of presentation. I have a ton of resources, including this presentation, a bunch of other stuff.

Back in the day when I was thinking about BRO, I was thinking “So, search and social, they’re BROs.” They’re really connected now, right? Content is very important and learning all the stuff that we learned from SEO and keywords – rich stuff. We’ve applied that to content and social. Those are BROs but what about all these other silos of data that we have?

What about the web analytic data, tying that in with the social data, and the ad-serving stuff? What about our print media, and our SEM, and the TV stuff? How can we get all these data to communicate with one another?

We need to be more data-driven

mad men math men

Back in the day, we were Mad Men, right? We’ve seen the show, you’ve seen that? They sit around, they drink their whisky and their scotch, and they come up with great ideas. Now, we have to be Math Men. We actually have to prove that our ideas are working, right? We need to take these reports and build the stuff up and show our bosses, “Hey look, see what’s working?”

marketing channel spokes

We need to really understand the data, very important. I like the slide right here because it really talks about how data works and how analytics ties it all together. If you look and you could see all the different spokes that we have in our marketing channels. These are not all of them, these are just some of them.

SEO, and page search, and display, and social, they’re all combined and in the middle, web analytics ties it all together. You want to learn how to ask the right questions, and you want to be able to integrate all these different marketing strategies. It’s really going to help you in the long run, you want to optimise your marketing mix and then recognise and know exactly who your customer is.

The importance of personalising the customer journey

As a consumer, I want the people that I work with or the companies that I work with to actually know who I am. There’s a lot of benefits with that. Personalising the customer journey is very important as we move forward in modern marketing. You want to be able to show the right offers to the right people at the right time. If the first offer doesn’t work, you want to show the next best offer, which one is going to convert based on the test that you’ve learned.

It really boils down to those user experiences and as a B2B marketer and a B2C marketer, there’s a lot of different tactics and different channels that you can use. This is cool. This is B2B content marketing by tactic. It’s really hard to see so I blew it up and turned it over.

B2B Content Marketing usage by tactic

Social media, other than blogs, that’s what B2B marketers are using the most right now. Articles on your own website are next. Then you have eNewsletters, and blogs, and in-person events like this, case studies, videos, articles on other websites. You’re going to have other people talking about you and saying how great you are to their audience, there’s a big win, especially if you get a nice backlink kicking back to you. A lot of different tactics out there.

Enhancing your marketing strategy

enhance your marketing strategy

When we look at enhancing our marketing strategy, we look at all of the customer cycle, so we have awareness where we’re trying to get people to be aware of our product. Then we have consideration, then we have the conversion, and then hopefully, they’ll like what they bought and then they want to advocate your product. They want to talk to other people about how great you are.

Notice, all the different channels right here. Display is really good for awareness, native advertising is good for awareness, affiliate marketing goes through two channels, paid search goes through three, social goes through every one except conversion. If you’re in social and you’re trying to show your boss, “Hey, well, how is social actually converting?” Well, it’s probably not, but it’s very important in the whole buyer’s journey. SEO is good for consideration and conversion, but analytics, across the whole board. Analytics and data is very, very important.

Jack Welch quote competitive advantage

Here’s a great quote by Jack Welch that I’ve interpreted that works really well in this space now. There’s only two sources of competitive advantage, the ability to learn more about your customers faster than the competition, and the ability to turn that learning and the action faster than the competition. If you can do those, you can collect all this data, own all of your data, and then act on the data and show relevant, contextual-based advertising and marketing to your customers. You win, it’s huge.

The history of marketing channels

history of marketing channels

Here’s the history of marketing channels. I like this slide right here. They say the oldest profession way back in the day, so they might have been doing some advertising way back in the day but technically, we have 1839, that was the first advertisement. It was putting a poster on a pole and it was illegal because you were spamming my pole. You cannot put spam on my pole, it’s illegal. That was the first advertising, and then as we move forward, we sort of automated different processes.

We can see here, when it says, “The future,” the future is actually the year 2007. Here it is now. Have you guys seen this slide here? It’s like, “Wow, look at all the stuff going on nowadays.”

marketing technology landscape

When you think about it though, this is only 25% approximately of all the new marketing technologies that are out there. It’s mind-boggling when you look at all these technologies. When you think about it, you can go, “Wow, this is a little overwhelming.”

Build a proper customised marketing stack for your business

There’s a lot of things that you need to know. But there’s a method to the madness and there’s a lot of different ways that these pieces of the puzzle can work for you to really help you build out the proper customised marketing stack for your business. There’s some methodologies where you would go and buy one from a big company like in an Adobe, an Oracle, or Google, or you can build your own marketing stack.

I’m going to talk a little bit about that, because I think that’s the best approach because never do you want to be fully-tied in to somebody else’s ecosystem because then, they own all of your information. If you go too far down the road with some of those companies, it’s really hard to unwind that, so you really need to have an independent buffer between those big channels.

All of these really cool technologies are out there. Some of the big companies are out there, buying and acquiring some of these. In fact, there’s been billions and billions of dollars spent buying these really cool technologies by the big dogs.

Over time, we’re becoming Martech Men and women, so we’re not just Math Men or Mad Men, we got to think all this Martech stuff too. It’s crazy.

Gartner - CMO spend more than CIO

You guys have probably heard this before but by the year 2017, the CMO will spend more than the CIO on IT. Well, newsflash, it’s already here. This is already happening. How many CTOs and CIOs you know that are buying huge server farms for your company? Most of that stuff is moving to the cloud. It’s a lot cheaper moving in the cloud. That’s the Gartner quote. It’s mandatory that we mention this quote in every presentation about marketing technology.

Creating a unified profile for each one of your customers

data from omni-channels

Marketing and technology are now BROs, so I’m going to talk a little bit about omni-channel, there’s a nice buzz for it, it’s stirring around a lot, this are written in the blogs, omni-channel. It’s taking all of these data from all of these channels and pulling it into a system so that you can identify that user when they’re at these different areas, these different touch points.

Maybe they’re coming from a kiosk or an ATM, or maybe mobile technology. Maybe they’re at a physical store, and you’re in there, and you have the beacons, “Hey, we notice that this person is now here.” Computers, all different social media, just one channel. Taking all this information, putting it into one place, creating a unified profile for each one of your customers, and then sending that out to all of your different advertising places that you’re sending your information to.

You want to collect the data first, you want to own it, then you want to act on it and send it out to all the different vendors. That’s kind of tough. There’s a lot of people using lots of different devices all the time. I have my mobile phone, then I have my tablet, I’m watching TV, I got my Mac. I’m using three different devices everyday most of the time, so it’s really tough to track those but technology is now there. You can actually track that, way more effectively.

checking devices and phones

It’s interesting, I just like to throw this in here because it blows me away, “How often people are checking their phones?” I have to commend you, although I’ve not seen anybody on their phone yet, so this is great. Feel free to Tweet though at any time. The wi-fi is working. It’s good stuff.

With advertising, we really want to move beyond integrated marketing. We want it to create, we want it to be cross-channel, cross-device, we want to be able to pull that information in and we want to be able to do real time, one-to-one personalisation with this data that we’re collecting.

Owning the data, very important, and you want to move beyond just optimising. You want to move towards awesomisation, which I love that word. Somebody came to me one time and they said, “Hey, are you done with that SEO project?” I’m like, “No, I’m not done awesomising it yet” and I was like “Awesomisation.”

the holy grail of marketing

Omni-channel is the nirvana of the customer experience

When people say, “What is omni-channel?” You’ve heard single channel, multi-channel, omni-channel, cross-channel, what are they? Single channel, that’s basic, just one-to-one. This is one channel that customers are experiencing, one of your touch points. A multi-channel is they’re independently seeing different touch points.

Channel types

Cross-channel is the brand is starting to connect the branding to the customer. Omni-channel is the nirvana where basically, the customer just experiences the brand, the same brand everywhere they go. It looks the same, it works the same, it’s personalised, it’s customised to them, which is what customers really want.

You think that, a lot of times people go “Oh, that’s really creepy. I don’t want that” but it’s like “I would much rather see ads that are relevant to me about stuff that I might want to actually buy, instead of seeing something that’s totally irrelevant to me. People are using their tablets everywhere, they’re watching TV, they got their second screen going. They’re at the store, they’re using their tablets.

google glass

We got the Google Glass. Any Glass-holes here? Anybody? I haven’t seen any Glass-holes in about nine months. It’s really weird. It’s almost like they’re hiding them. They’re like “I’m not wearing my Google Glass anywhere, except in my house, or while I’m driving so I can see what speed I’m going.”

Let’s talk about the marketing cloud

All right. Let’s talk about the marketing cloud a little bit. Again, we talked about the marketing landscape here and I want to just break it down a little bit. There’s actually 43 different categories of tools that you may want to consider when you’re building your marketing cloud, at least according to this document. I think there’s actually close to the 52, but a lot of different things to consider, so I took those out and I smushed them all together and made a heart … ohh…because I love marketing technology. Marketing technology, it’s nice. Then I smushed it together again and made a cloud.

marketing cloud

Now, let’s think about this, so they’re talking about a marketing cloud, what about … There’s a thousand of these technologies there and there’s people in their garage every day, creating new technologies. There’s a Harvard grad with a great idea, he’s going to build something to solve something. Lots of innovation happening in this cloud.

The tech giants are actually acquiring marketing clouds to compete. You’ve seen all these companies, but what about that 1,000, all those different marketing technologies there?

What are marketing clouds?

What are marketing clouds?

What’s happening is these marketing clouds are popping up, and what are they? Well, they are acquired non-integrated solutions where typically, they buy technologies. Overtime, they begin to create a walled-garden where they’re not working as effectively with all these other tools and technologies.

That leaves a lot of technologies unsupported. That can be a little dangerous, especially that Harvard grad guy comes up with this next really awesome thing and it doesn’t work with your ecosystem. That’s going to be really hard to unwind that down the road if you’re just full on working with those.

You want to be able to assemble and build your own best in class, best in-breed, your own marketing cloud and there’s some ways to do that. Let me talk about that. To build or not to build? Hamlet, it’s my moment.

How do you find the best in-breed?

How to find the best of breed

First of all, these tools are really cool, and they’re great, and wonderful, but you have to have goals behind them. First and foremost, you have to figure out what is it you’re trying to accomplish so without a goal, you’re already hosed. You’re just going to buy really cool tools, and they’re not going to work together, and it’s not going to matter. So you want to find what it is you’re trying to accomplish and then you want to take a look at and see which categories of tools might help you solve that.

Sometimes, that tool might not even exist yet, and that might be a good startup opportunity if you’re having a problem in your enterprise or might be some other people that are having that problem in their enterprise.

There are always opportunities popping up in this space, so who are the competitors in that space? If you use the right technologies, you can actually deploy multiples of these competitors at the same time, test them all, see which ones work the best, and then use that vendor. Testing multiple vendors at the same time is something you can do if you build the right marketing cloud.

Another thing to really consider is who’s the best person or team to manage these technologies? What I would say was important, and what we did at Symantec is you want to hire a coder, a nice programmer who knows JavaScript and understands the DOM, and understands how browsers work to be on your marketing team.

We hired a guy named Chris Zakharoff who’s phenomenal. We hired him over from Adobe and now, he’s over at Ensighten, but the guy was brilliant. Having a marketing programmer and coder on your team really helps you. If you don’t have one of those, that’s going to be something that you need because there’s going to be a lot of things they’re going to be able to solve for you. Something to consider because there’s a lot out there and if you don’t understand how the coding, all the stuff works, you’re going to be hurting a little bit, so one of the things to consider.

How Adobe got to their marketing cloud

Marketing cloud, it gets a little foggy. I’m going to talk about Adobe, what does Adobe do? Here’s the Adobe marketing cloud as it stands right now. I think they have another circle with a new tool on there now. They bought some new stuff but here’s where they are. This is how Adobe got to their marketing cloud. They spent 1.8 billion dollars on Omniture, which Omniture bought off Offermatica.


Offermatica was really cool, they actually had the tool called “Test & Target” and then Omniture bought them. Then Demdex, and Efficient Frontier. They’ve actually bought two different tag management solutions to try to figure it out and they give tag management away, because they want to lock you into the system so they can collect all the data.

It’s an interesting solution that they’re doing, but they spent about 2 point something billion, 3 point something billion dollars on their cloud. I like to call those the “Frankenstein cloud” and this is the best gift ever, Frankensteins. There’s four separate gifts going on at the same time, folks. Be amazed, this is amazing.

Oracle cloud

What is Oracle doing? Oracle, they have lots of bank … cash money sitting in their bank. They said, “Hey, this marketing stuff is cool. Let’s buy some shit,” and so that’s what they did. They have spent lots of money buying stuff. They spent about three billion dollars buying stuff.

Eloqua, great tool. Love Eloqua. Compendium, BlueKai, big fan of BlueKai. Great stuff. They’ve actually been spending on some pretty good stuff but they’re not done. They have no tag management system purchase yet. There’s a lot of other stuff that they do not have to build a complete marketing cloud. Still, rather Frankensteiny.

Salesforce is very social with their marketing cloud. You can see that, social listening, social content, engagement, social ads, measurement. They recently launched an analytics tool, finally, which is great. How much have they spent on their marketing cloud? They’ve spent about three and a half billion dollars on their marketing cloud, so far. Acquiring, integrating, not so much innovating, because it’s hard putting all these pieces together. Again, Frankensteinish.


IBM, same thing. Here’s their cloud. They spent a bazillion dollars on theirs as well, so that’s what’s happening. Google’s done similar things, they bought a lot of companies and then they kill the company and they go, “Hey, we’re going to do this and then we’re not. We’re going to shut that down.”

Again, marketing space, really stormy. They’ll tell you it’s rainbows. Those big companies will tell you they’re rainbows, and it’s unicorns, and it’s magic, but there are storms and there’s lightning you must be aware of. It’s scary out there.

How much have they spent so far on all these marketing clouds? 11.2 billion dollars… billion dollars. They find some cool tools, they say, “Hey, I want to own that (laughs)” and they buy it, and they try to integrate, and it may work, it may not work within their systems so I always propose that you build your own cloud.

To be continued …

In the next post, Data-driven marketing technologies and their role in modern marketing – part 2, Travis shows you how to build your own marketing stack and more.

You can view the entire presentation below.

Gavin Stewart - Marketing Director, Ashton Media About Gavin Stewart - Marketing Director, Ashton Media
Gavin Stewart is the Marketing Director and co-founder of Ashton Media, leaders in the creation, production and marketing of highly targeted, invitation-only, executive conferences. Gavin is an expert B2B marketer with over 13 years experience delivering event audiences. Specialties include: audience development, marketing strategy, email marketing, DM, SEO, SEM, analytics, social media, creative and sales.