Data and technology. Together, they’re upending the worlds of advertising and marketing.
No longer just the province of the direct marketer (and recognized as the linchpin of the
burgeoning “programmatic marketing” practice), consumer data is growing to support
programs that span virtually all digital and traditional media. Likewise, a frenetic pace of new
investment—978 deals were completed in the U.S. marketing technology sector in 2014,
according to investment bank Petsky Prunier LLC, representing a total of $19.4 billion in
aggregate value—is driving unprecedented innovation in the tools used to activate those
precious information resources.
From afar, the new mandate to marketers is clear: Stay on top of this tide of technological
change, or risk losing ground to more nimble competitors.
Closer to the ground, though, today’s technology landscape is dauntingly complex. While the
growing volume and velocity of addressable data challenge marketers to simply keep up the
pace, supplier consolidation and the seemingly continuous emergence of disruptive new tools
are changing the face of the industry around them—confronting marketers, publishers, agencies (and even technology companies themselves) with a series of stark strategic alternatives:
Do we build bespoke systems to address objectives that are specific to our business? Assemble
customized “stacks” of neutral third-party tools? Or turn toward solutions that purport to be
integrated—the “Clouds” and “Suites” being aggressively marketed by their global parent
companies—with an eye to managing complex programs through a single interface?
Today, all around the world, enterprises are experimenting aggressively with permutations of all three approaches. While it’s still too early to proclaim any one a universal “best practice,” two clear truths have already emerged:
- When it comes to technology, no single “one-size-fits-all” solution can address
every marketer’s need.
- And capitalizing on data’s vast inherent value requires more than just a casual assessment of those tools that power its utilization. Rather, it calls on users to rigorously map the roles and contributions of various potentially interconnected platforms—to become masters of the new domain of “data technology.”
This white paper seeks to clarify how marketers are reconciling those questions as they seek to
advance their utilization of consumer data technology used to support advertising and marketing functions. Compiled through an intensive executive-level outreach effort, it will demonstrate that the embrace of data technology represents a transformative development for both marketers and enterprise technologists alike.