The Dark Side of Marketing Clouds – AdExchanger

Data-driven thinkingis written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas about the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Cory Munchbach, President and COO of BlueConic.

Marketing technology today is vast and complex, just like medicine. Bear with me.

Writer charlie warzel recently linked to an article by Dr. Richard I. Cook of the University of Chicago titled “How complex systems fail.”

It is a theoretical framework for evaluating failure within medical systems. But as I read it, I couldn’t help but notice that Cook’s discoveries about complex system failures could also be applied to marketing technology.

In marketing, some things never change

I consider some things self-evident truths in marketing, technology, and marketing technology (deliberately separated into three separate but related concepts).

  1. Marketers are perpetually caught between competing priorities: being on the cutting edge without compromising ongoing campaigns; invest in new channels and media without additional resources; prioritize customer experience without sacrificing business performance.
  2. Few companies take full advantage of their marketing technology. Related: The latest technology is always ahead of even the most advanced buyer.
  3. Marketing technology trends swing every seven to ten years. Strategies oscillate between build and buy, centralize and decentralize, and IT ownership and marketing ownership.

All of the above are symptoms of the same central problem: technology is always mismatched, never perfectly adjusted. For a long time, the industry’s response to these challenges has been cloud marketing. But the category has evolved a lot over time.

According to Forest“After years of focusing on market share growth and brute force functional scope, our assessment found that the enterprise marketing software suites market is meeting the challenges of marketers – even the opportunities – in finally establish category segments [emphasis mine] to meet the varied needs of buyers: customer experience, marketing and analytics. In other words, the building blocks of a world-class marketing stack vary by user and require a more composite approach.

But I believe the problem goes deeper. I would say that solutions have been found too big to deliver the kind of value the modern organization needs.

This brings me back to the article on how complex systems fail, in which the author asserts “…complex systems operate like faulty systems.” The system continues to work because there is so much redundancy in it and because people can make it work, despite the presence of many flaws.

These are today’s marketing cloud stacks – monstrously large entities of different ages, technical maturity, interoperability and goals that are supposed to solve additional problems with additional acquisitions, but instead introduce weaknesses everywhere. .

Scott Brinker came to a similar conclusion in his 2021 Year in Review blog post for ChiefMarTec. “Instead of products struggling to consolidate technology stacks into a small number of applications, many market leaders have adopted a strategy of embracing application diversity and serving as aggregation platforms instead. .”

Advocacy to reduce marketing complexity

As we enter 2022, we find ourselves at a turning point in the lifecycle of the leading source of marketing technology. I expect to see them strip away key features altogether while moving to self-explanatory point-of-sale solutions and small bundles, rather than the full marketing cloud proposition.

Increasingly, use cases will take center stage as the primary focus for assessing the fit between business and technology. Seamless and complete integration into other systems within a privacy-compliant framework will be the highest priority technical evaluation criteria.

Ultimately, there is a growing need to reduce the complexity (but not necessarily the redundancy) of marketing technology. This mission will be widely embraced as a driver of organizational agility and technological efficiency.

Follow BlueConic (@blueconic) and Ad Exchange (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

Sharon D. Cole