MarTech Thoughts | Tom Voirol
How has your organisation / team dealt with the challenge of the marketing industry and wider digital world evolving at such a fast pace?
We have established an Asia-wide experience design practice that helps our clients design products, digital marketing touchpoints, and services from their customers' point of view. This design-thinking-led approach is a self-correcting methodology to ensure relevance and performance in an ever-changing world.
Currently, what are you primarily looking for in your digital marketing efforts? Awareness or engagement? Why?
As an experience design consultancy, we improve engagement by crafting and supporting delightful and effective customer experiences across all interactions customers have with a brand.
What is your key takeaway piece of advice that you would give when speaking to others on how to evaluate and select a MarTech stack?
We recommend starting with strategic business objectives. We then understand what experiences we need to provide to customers to reach those goals, and design them.
The MarTech stack should be chosen to deliver these experiences effectively and efficiently.
How did your MarTech journey begin? Please let us know your top 3 findings and discoveries.
I built my first content management system from scratch in 1997. Some aspects of MarTech have advanced dramatically in this time while in other areas we still deal with the same challenges we did more than two decades ago. My top three findings are:
Despite the word “tech” in its name, technology is only part of the challenge in MarTech. People and their psychological drivers and barriers are much harder to harness. How do we turn front-line staff into content creators? How do we understand customers and what makes them behave in particular ways? Why don’t people do what we are telling / asking / incentivising them to do?
Treating customer experience initiatives like websites, e-commerce platforms, or mobile apps as tech-led one-off big projects followed by a maintenance phase is a sure-fire way for these investments to fail. Unless companies find ways to embed a continuous, agile, product management approach to MarTech and customer experience, they will continue to see a fraction of the ROI they should be seeing.
Regardless of how big your company is or how far on the customer experience maturity scale you are, you will need an agency partner to reach your goals and continue your continuous improvement journey. Rather than put out a huge RFP and choose from the responses, try a few partners with small, one-off engagements. This will help you understand chemistry and compatibility much better, and with lower risk.
For you and your team, which is currently recognised as the larger challenge - MarTech integration or MarTech strategy?
MarTech strategy, by far. Many of the brands we speak to take a tech-led approach to MarTech, when they should be taking a customer-led one.
This leads to strategies that are oriented on what the tools can do, rather than what the company should be doing.
Have you mainly chosen to adopt established MarTech or have you also looked into the emerging opportunities? Which?
We are applying emerging technologies in many client engagements, having pioneered AI and machine learning, as well as AR and IoT many years ago for global clients in FMCG and even the government.
What do you predict as being the top MarTech trends for MarTech in 2020?
Companies will understand that connected data is essential to MarTech doing its job, and that it is a huge undertaking. Investments will flow in this direction
More companies will stop using the term AI as shorthand for “algorithmic chatbot” and start properly applying machine learning in specific, but useful, contexts
Smaller players will integrate around common APIs to take on the Adobe / Salesforce / Sitecore bastion of MarTech