There’s been an ongoing discussion in the marketing industry over the last year or so, about the inevitable merger of the AdTech and MarTech worlds. MarTech vendors such as Adobe, Oracle, IBM and Salesforce are planning – or have completed – moves to acquire media-serving sides (demand-side platforms [DSPs] and supply-side platforms [SSPs]).

The goal is to provide an “omni-channel marketing nirvana” that makes digital advertising more measurable, more personalised and more revenue-friendly (or, at the very least, attributes revenue to marketing spend).

It’s happening. Not as quickly as we’d like, but it’s becoming a reality.

Things are speeding up though. In recent times, Procter & Gamble has been making a lot of noise over the issue, threatening to pull digital advertising spend because of inconsistent measurement and a lack of transparency into where media companies’ profits come from.

They even went as far as boycotting YouTube in 2017 and 2018 because P&G ads were appearing next to terrorist content. They’re the world’s biggest advertiser, remember, so we’re talking about a significant amount of money. It’s shaken the market.

Other advertising giants including Walt Disney and Kellogg Co. have followed suit at various times.

To me, that’s a deafening cry for AdTech to raise its standards.

MarTech, on the other hand, has already started expanding its reach and capabilities. The acquisition of Demandware in 2016 for $2.8 billion, for example, was a noticeable inclusion in Salesforce’s huge, multiyear spending spree.

Marketing technology vendors are winning the fight to become the CMO’s favourite child, even without mergers. MarTech is better at proving its ROI/ROMI, and it’s providing more insights. However, it’s not inevitable that it should have such a clear advantage.

Mergers and acquisitions are becoming increasingly commonplace, and businesses will seek solutions that are pre-integrated – or at least ones that can easily be integrated rather than siloed.

While this is ensuring that the vision of creating an omni-channel nirvana through the marketing process is fast becoming a reality, there are still some wrinkles to iron out:

  • Many organisations have multiple MarTech tools active on their website, which are, in many cases, doubling up on the types of insights they provide. Why? Because insights are kept in siloed data pots, used by different teams across the company or various agencies working for them.
  • Companies are struggling to connect the dots and make best use of the data collected because it’s difficult to pull it all together.

But these challenges are gradually being solved. We may still have a way to go down the road towards marketing nirvana, but I think we’re making good progress. I also believe that marketing agencies should be right there with their clients, every step of the way – so please get in touch if you have any questions.   

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