Agile marketing, M&A in martech: Wednesday’s daily brief

Plus, is it martech or technology for marketing?

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Good morning, Marketers, and is data really agile too?

That’s the theme of the first story below. It’s all very well setting up an agile structure in your marketing team, complete with scrums, scrums-of-scrums, and neat project management tools. But trying to do that with siloed, inaccessible data sources is like putting on heavy boots to dance ballet.

Salesforce Datorama is one vendor that draws data from multiple sources into a single place to manage and activate it, and it’s the option chosen in today’s first story by the brand Love Wellness. But whichever route you choose to get a handle on your data, “nimbleness” is likely to remain a dream until you do.

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

Agile marketing requires agile data measurement

“You have to be agile today,” said Matthew Murray, COO and CMO of direct-to-consumer women’s wellness brand Love Wellness. Certainly, this didn’t shock any attendees of MarTech’s virtual conference this March. As we’ve covered extensively, agile marketing teams provide better vision into the future of a growing business, and they work best when keeping the customer as the focus.

For Murray, nimble data measurement and analytics strategies are also essential to keeping agile marketers ready for anything.

Murray counts up to 235 data sources relating to sales and marketing. If he’s focusing on customer experience, he’s breaking down new customers and retention, and further breaking that down by channel. “What we’re doing is harmonizing that data to be around specific KPIs that we find important,” he stated. For example, one source might say that PPC is $.50, while another says it’s closer to a dollar. 

But beyond that, Murray and his team need to pull everything together into their single source and measure what they think are the most important metrics, at the end of the day.

Love Wellness has seen 100x growth since Murray joined the team in 2018. At that time, the company, founded in 2016 by ex-reality star Lauren “Lo” Bosworth, was just beginning its journey. First, they were a D2C ecommerce play that sold out of their digital storefront. Then, they added Amazon as a channel. In 2019 they branched out to retail, getting stocked at Ulta Beauty locations. The newest leap was to Target at the end of last year.

Read more here.

Martech and adtech M&A on the rise

At the beginning of the year, we reported on how marketing teams adapt to a merger or acquisition. According to independent investment banking firm Capstone Headwaters, the flight to digital transformation over the last year has accelerated M&A in the martech and adtech segments.

The marketing services industry overall saw a 30% decline YoY in 2020, down to 312 deals, from 449 in 2019. Already, transactions are moving back up. According to Capstone Headwaters: “The resurgence was led by buyers targeting providers with digital capabilities.”

The martech and adtech segments saw Q4 2020 increases of 31% and 12%, respectively, from Q3. More martech and adtech companies are expected to go through IPOs and mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (aka SPACs).

The full report can be seen here.

Why we care. Marketers know that there is much more to martech than merely a price tag. But interest from the financial sector can be one metric of the spotlight the world is shining on digital marketing innovations. “Data is oil,” as they say. And in this connected world, with greater regulations and safeguards for privacy, data companies are joining forces with adtech and martech solutions to maximize their resources. As B2B martech customers, marketers also have to keep in mind how M&A affects their customer service. That’s one downside of being part of such a crucial industry in today’s business world. Value breeds attention, speculation and more disruption.

Martech v. technology for marketing

Frans Riemersma, founder of Martech Tribe, paused yesterday from posting his series of European martech landscapes on LinkedIn to make a good contribution to the “when martech isn’t martech” debate. He makes a distinction between martech and technology for marketing.

“Martech are tools where the core user group is (digital) marketing managers, i.e. Adtech, Content and Social. Technology for Marketing are solutions that serve multiple user groups, e.g. managers with a sales, project, HR, Finance or marketing background. Think of Data, Management, eCommerce.”

Riemersma’s vision of martech aligns with the definition offered by Anita Brearton of CabinetM: “Any technology used to create or support the development of experiences and journeys that drive customer acquisition, engagement, and retention.” It also reflects Steve Petersen’s point that just being part of a martech stack doesn’t make a solution martech. 

Join the conversation here.

Quote of the day

“With the help of data today there isn’t any devil in the details. There really are the details. So you can really lean into efficiency.” Matthew Murray, COO & CMO of Love Wellness

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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