The Rise of Martech and the Fall of Marketing?

Chief Martec gives the keynote

The gang’s all here, I thought, lurking the corridors of MarTech Boston this week. Familiar faces, new faces, plenty of vendors. What better time to take the pulse of marketing tech and fine out what everyone’s talking about?

But my main question was: Why marketing tech exactly? If digital transformation is re-making the entire brand-customer relationship, why should marketing own the technology which is making it happen?

Not just marketing

Scott Brinker is the face of MarTech, the conference. He’s the indefatigable moving spirit behind the independent-minded Chief Martec blog, and he recently joined Hubspot as VP of platform eco-system. As usual, I liked some of the things he had to say about the marketing tech eco-system, especially: “This is not just about marketing.”

He’s surely right. If we’re talking about a cross-organizational commitment to CX, that the logical consequence is that unified data on the customer (that single source of truth) should drive everything from ERP, product and supply chain, through marketing and advertising, to sales, service, and support. And right through the customer lifecycle too.

Brinker sketched five topics he views as currently key:

  1. Digital transformation (across the organization)
  2. Microservices and APIs (to break data out of silos)
  3. Vertical competition
  4. Digital everything (iPaaS “is exploding,” he said)
  5. Artificial Intelligence

Maybe vertical competition is the odd one out there, but certainly the other four themes should be infecting every part of the corporate body (in a good way), not just the marketing department.

I set out to explore my thesis: among marketers, of course.