Martech, the strategy that guides companies towards Customer Centricity

The Editorial Staff
Content Intelligence Network

How can companies adopt the right technologies and processes to transform and make their marketing customer-centric? Daniele Sghedoni of Benetton Group gave his advice to the audience of the Web Marketing Festival; in addition, the example of a software to inserted in your company’s stack.

In this article you will find:

  • The evolution of Martech: trends, benefits and aspects to improve
  • Technology-enabled customer centric changes
  • Create your own Martech stack: a roadmap
  • The advantages of inserting THRON into your stack


An overview of Martech trends


The idea that marketing and technology run on two separate tracks has become obsolete. In recent years, there has been an exponential growth in the Martech landscape, as shown by the well-known report by Scott Brinker.

From the 150 companies offering Martech services in 2011, today we have more than 7040 marketing tech tools (digital advertising, data analytics, marketing automation, etc.). Above all, the world of cloud software thrives: unlike on-premise solutions, it does not require IT skills for implementation and maintenance (which are taken care of by the cloud provider!).

The real advantage of Martech is it gives a democratized access to tools and data. This approach, in fact, allows to break down the existing barriers between business functions involving the sharing of data (e.g. between Digital and E-commerce) and enable different teams to build activities independently and quickly, without being necessarily bound to IT. It then becomes a powerful key for a digital data-driven transformation involving the entire organization.

Parallel to the number of technologies, the spending of companies is increasing too.

According to Gartner, Martech takes up 29% of the average budget of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). This puts it at the top of the list, followed by the expenses for labor, paid media and agency fees. That's why CMOs need to define business goals and map how these technologies are helping to achieve them.

If you are spending money – almost a third of the budget – you must prove you have good reasons.  

There’s also the other side of the coin: Blissfully's Annual Saas Trends report reveals that in a company with more than 1000 employees there are more than 12 subscriptions to the same Saas software. There is a lack of governance of these usages: a single shared contract for several countries would avoid duplication and cost less.


The transformation of Marketing


As pointed out by Daniele Sghedoni, who directs the technology roadmap and coordinates the Digital Intelligence, Customer Care and UX teams within the Benetton Group, Marketing is going through five lines of transformation.

5 Lanes in Marketing Transformation by Mohan Sawhney

5 Lanes in Marketing Transformation by Mohan Sawhney

All changes imply a customer centric perspective.

Just think of content, which was previously exposed regardless of how the user interacted with it, or the analysis of data, no longer limited to the transactional kind but extended to the holistic assessment of how a user moves within their journey, in order to calibrate the tools and customize the channels.

The execution of Marketing campaigns have also changed: while before the projects lasted years, with a final evaluation of the performance and the possible re-proposal in case of success (Waterfall Marketing), now a project of six months can be divided into several tranches, which go through a phase of test&learn with different copies and adv, and can be reviewed on the run (Agile Marketing).

These technologies allow to scale up quickly, as they offer the opportunity to test, measure and grow with them. The collaborative dynamics within the company themselves are rethought: no longer a top-down approach, but a horizontal one. Feedback is collected along the entire value chain.

But the most important thing is that these platforms are a Unified System of Engagement: they provide an omni-channel view of the user.


The Data Darwinism


Sghedoni at WMF talked about "data darwinism": data collection is evolving more and more thanks to Martech.

They range from basic tools such as Excel and Google Analytics to increasingly complex tools such as Google Data Studio (see the dashboard below). Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, they gather in real time and in an automated way a real mine of information, with insights useful to grow the business. And this without the contribution of IT, or having to wait for the reports of an agency.

For example, from this dashboard created by the e-commerce team, Benetton can track sales, understand if its omnichannel projects are working, and in which stores it is most successful, what are the trends, etc.


How to adopt a Martech strategy


Laura Price of MarTech Alliance 2018 defined three steps to draw up a technological roadmap.


When planning a transition, you have to determine the KPIs and evaluate the enthusiasm. An incremental adoption is suggested, involving the stakeholders with sessions, workshops, weekly catchups; to take into account in the choice of the vendor the definition of a timeline, the execution of multiple tests, and even the presence of loopholes, if the project does not match expectations.

The important thing, as Sghedoni advises, is to learn to be fast and chameleonic, to be responsive to changes in the journey. Drawing up a roadmap is useful, but you must always prioritize choices based on impact and effort. For example, if introducing a technology costs six months and brings in 10% of revenue, it is better to use another one that takes one month and brings in 30%.

All these variables must be considered in the choice of technologies to be included in the roadmap ("the best fit for your stack").

An organization, however, is made up mainly of people. Sghedoni recommends a T training (T shaped education) which includes two elements, one vertical and one horizontal.


The vertical element represents a specific and in-depth knowledge, while the horizontal one represents the set of other competences and soft skills, acquired through networking (Meetup, Upwork, Slack etc.) and personal training (Coursera, Emeritus, Trailhead etc.).


The ideal software to insert in the stack


In Brinker's report, one of the most accurate photographs of the global industry scenario, a Saas made in Italy, THRON, appears.


Its characteristics make it stand out from normal DAMs (Digital Asset Management). It is actually an evolution of it, given the role that the platform plays in improving the management of the entire content lifecycle, including distribution across multiple channels, and in facilitating the adoption of user-targeted strategies, given its ability to measure asset performance

It is an analytics tool (as it natively integrates Content Intelligence, which collects first part data on the use of content) which is also a platform for content management, collaboration, delivery (with an integrated CDN), product management via the Intelligent PIM module, and especially customer experience, since it provides an enriched database on the audience with which it feeds marketing automation.

Its ease of integration with existing tools, its configuration as the only source of corporate content, which is automatically distributed on various channels without slowing down corporate servers, its scalability according to the company’s needs, make it an excellent candidate for the Martech stack.

The images of the article were taken from the presentation of the speech by Daniele Sghedoni available on the website of the Web Marketing Festival.