Martech and adtech integration today

By Jarrod Gingras

In a peer group session we organized for omnichannel stack owners, a large B2C firm and a B2B enterprise shared case studies with contrasting and identical points. Here are takeaways from each presentation that are worth tracking.

Looking at today’s B2C

The B2C firm had made heavy investments in adtech. Their systems predated their martech stack to some extent. Pre-digital, the firm had gone to market through distributors and retailers.  But as their engagement strategy transitioned from transactional selling to building omnichannel customer relationships, the firm needed to think about their media buying efforts in the context of customer journeys.

Based on the conversation, it is clear that some enterprises are formally structuring marketing plus adtech into “madtech” teams. Nearly all leading companies are: – Joining data and marketing teams, making measurement part of every activity. – Focusing heavily on metadata since it’s impossible to draw analytic conclusions without it. – Developing in-house AI capabilities to keep building off early learnings.

The B2B case study revealed similar insights but with an emphasis on journey optimization as the driver.  The firm optimized its ad spend for longer and more complex buyer journeys, not just lead generation. This meant integrating media buying and ABM, which isn’t easy. They simplified the process by having a DAM that fueled both media channels and messaging via owned-and-operated properties.

Looking at today’s B2B

In theory, better martech and adtech integration and alignment should bring enterprises closer to the holy grail of a single, “closed loop” motion — from media buy to loyal, repeat customers.  Yet, all the martech leaders agreed that the processes and analytics required to achieve a fully closed loop remain an aspiration. The takeaway, avoid over-promising. It will take time to consolidate appropriate technologies, data flows and teams.

Closing the loop

Increasingly, the lines between technical, content and data people are blurring. Sprinkle in the right level of legal counsel, and you’ve got the makings of a modern madtech team. All this uncertainty and change enhance the argument to focus on core data, content and process capabilities that can work underneath your adtech and martech stacks as foundational building blocks.  This may present the most critical objective for overall architecture this decade.

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