MarTech is marketing: Monday’s daily brief
Plus, Storage Asset Management's marketing strategy and the right time to message on social media
Good morning, Marketers, and welcome to MarTech.
The MarTech Conference, MarTech Today and Marketing Land have been chronicling the impact of technology on marketing transformation for more than 10 years. It’s with that perspective that we even launched a bold new tagline for the conference in 2019 — MarTech is marketing — that emphasized that technology is integral to marketing.
Today, we are taking the next step. Combining Marketing Land and MarTech Today into a single content experience called MarTech, connecting the content, thought leadership and event-based education like never before.
At MarTech you will still find the empathetic journalism that audiences of MarTech Today and Marketing Land have long come to expect from editors including Kim Davis, Chris Wood, Carolyn Lyden, George Nguyen, Pamela Parker and more.
This launch also kicks off several new content partnerships with practitioners and commentators in marketing technology.
We’re honored that the thought leaders from Real Story Group will be contributing content weekly about marketing technology procurement.
And since laughter is the best medicine, MarTech will become home to The Marketoonist, Tom Fishburne’s hilarious and poignant comics on marketing and marketers.
Other partnerships are in the works, and we’ll be announcing them soon.
We also have banner research reports releasing this year, including updates to the MarTech Replacement Survey and MarTech Salary and Workforce Survey, a new report on data management by marketing organizations and a refreshed Email Marketing Periodic Table to give you a foundational tool for understanding email optimization and deliverability. We also will continue to release our trusted MarTech Intelligence Reports, with buyer’s guides on ABM, customer journey analytics and marketing work management all coming out in July.
With a connected brand for our digital content and our events content, the themes you learn about on our website will now flow directly into our shows. Many of the editors and contributors you see in our newsletter or article feeds will go even deeper into these topics as presenters or programmers at our conferences.
Overall, we have organized our content around six major topics: Transformation, data, operations, experience, performance and management. All of the content you see here will tie back to those areas, whether it is a feature story on fine-tuning your paid social media strategy, a news piece on new customer data platform capabilities, or a research report on the evolving role of marketing operations.
There is so much more to say about MarTech and our mission, and I encourage you to click here to read our full mission statement.
At MarTech we want marketers to succeed. Our voice is your voice. If you have any suggestions on how we can better live up to that mission, please send me a note at email@example.com.
Welcome to MarTech!
Is marketing operations another term for marketing?
As MarTech’s logo says, “martech is marketing.” But would it therefore be right to say, “marketing operations is marketing”? Sometimes, marketing and the operations through which it is executed seem so hand-in-glove that trying to distinguish them is pointless. At the same time, anyone following marketing ops professionals on LinkedIn is familiar with stories about how they constantly field unreasonable, ill-informed or untimely requests from marketers. From that perspective, it looks like two feuding tribes.
We reached out to four influencers in the marketing ops world and asked them — among other things — whether they were comfortable with being called “marketers.” “I would personally be comfortable because I have bounced back and forth between marketing and marketing ops in my career,” said Justin Sharaf, VP Marketing at Jahia Solutions. “I think most marketing ops professionals do see themselves as part of the larger marketing organization, which makes them marketers.” Contrastingly, Steve Petersen, Marketing Technology Manager at Western Governors University, was more hesitant. “Yes and no. Yes, since that’s an easy way of telling someone what I do. No, since I feel more comfortable and competent in regard to the technical side of my job than the marketing and analytical sides.”
Kelly Jo Horton, Senior Client Partner at Etumos, emphasized that marketing ops is not just one, homogeneous discipline. “Someone who is an email marketing operations manager, for example, would work very closely with marketing. Someone who is more on the technology end — doing integrations, writing API integration code — may be more connected to the business systems or IT team.”
Darrell Alfonso, Global marketing Operations Manager at AWS, reached for an analogy. “Ops is like the pit crew, and sales and marketing are the race car drivers. We’re replacing the wheels, tuning up the engine, refueling, keeping an eye on all the instrumentation, constantly talking to the driver to find out what he or she needs. The more planning, guardrails, and smart processes we have in place – the faster marketers can go.”
How Storage Asset Management succeeds by marketing its third-party storage owners
Pennsylvania-based Storage Asset Management, known as SAM, has an effective marketing strategy. Unusually, however, the company isn’t really striving to market itself. “We are actually guilty of not doing a great job of marketing ourselves. All of our growth has been from word-of-mouth and referrals.” That’s what Melissa Stiles, VP of marketing and sales at SAM, told us. But that growth has been quite tangible, from launching with 22 management contracts in 2010, to running almost 350 contracts today.
What SAM does is manage storage facilities for third-party owners (SAM owns none of them). “We do everything, from operations and marketing to accounting, for a facility owner,” said Stiles. The main focus of SAM’s marketing, then — about 95%, said Stiles — is marketing the third-party storage facilities they manage. They execute primarily by leveraging customer reviews through online reputation management platform Reputation.
“I think we’ve been using Reputation for about five years,” said Stiles. “We’ve always been early adopters in the marketing realm, like search, etc. We were one of the first companies to be able to rent a unit online, so we identified quickly that reviews were going to become important. We looked for a company which could help us with a reputation management program, and Reputation met that need for us.”
Right time, right place for social marketers
Times have changed, especially the time users spend on social media. In order for marketers to reach customers, they need to understand when the best times are to engage them. Some platforms like Facebook and Instagram are seeing less “time off” by users on evenings and weekends, and peak usage times have shifted, according to a new study by social media management tool Sprout Social.
To just look at Facebook, where so many brands advertise and communicate with customers, the study finds that usage has changed. Weekends, evenings and early mornings used to be down times, but over the last year, there’s more activity at those times.
Here are the times (in CST) for top engagement across four major social platforms:
- Facebook on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am to 1pm;
- Instagram on Tuesday at 11am to 2pm and Monday through Friday at 11am;
- Twitter on Wednesday at 9am to 3pm and Tuesday through Thursday 9am to 11am; and
- LinkedIn on Tuesday through Thursday at 9am through noon.
However, specific industries have their own best times, the study found. For instance, in the tech industry, the best time to post on Facebook was at 3pm to 4pm on Thursday. The best day for tech marketers to post on IG was Monday, and the best time to tweet was on Tuesday.
Why we care. Each social platform is on its own journey in its evolution. Demographics and usage behavior continue to change. I’m sure marketers in specific industries can look at these usage times and guess some reasons from their work experience. Somewhere in there, there’s a story about the people and their connection to the platform. But we must also be open enough to look past assumptions and drill down into what the data tells us about the best times to engage audiences on each platform. The digital media landscape is not getting any simpler, if anything it’s fragmenting further.
Quote of the day
“Media companies have always been smart about leveraging events, as their raison d’etre is about capturing and engaging audiences, providing them with valuable information, and then giving those audience members and sympatico brands the ability to connect — all in a monetization model that offers a fair value exchange.” Tiffany Guarnaccia, founder and CEO, KiteHill PR