November 8, 2018

Building the Best B2B Marketing Technology Stack

Does the perfect B2B marketing technology stack exist? According to the State of Marketing Technology 2018 report, 69% of respondents believe "the perfect marketing stack does not exist yet." And if you're waiting for it to happen, don't hold your breath. The "perfect stack" will never exist. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to B2B marketing technology. Each organization must build a solution that fits the specific needs its business. It's not a matter of the biggest stack with all the bells and whistles; it's a matter of building the best architecture to align with your strategy and meet your marketing goals.

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September 19, 2018

The 5 Essential Toolsets for Effective B2B Marketing Lead Generation

When 160 multi-industry marketing executives were surveyed on how they intended to invest marketing resources, many cited new marketing technology (MarTech) purchases. The most common technologies demand generation marketers will test and deploy this year include account-based marketing technology (58%), multichannel lead-nurturing (41%) and content planning/syndication tools (37%).  However, before expanding your technology stack with newer solutions such as these, it’s important to make sure your current tech ecosystem comprises the foundational systems needed to ensure such investments will work.  

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August 14, 2018

6 Powerful B2B Marketing Tools for Integrated Campaign Management

As B2B marketers increasingly deploy and integrate more channels into the marketing mix, there’s a need for tools dedicated to integrated campaign management. Creating a unified customer experience across inbound, outbound, owned, earned, experiential and digital touchpoints are essential to seamless omnichannel customer experiences. But, it’s nowhere near simple to coordinate.

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August 8, 2018

B2B Marketers: Look to Musicians for Advice on a MarTech “Stack” that Performs

A version of this article was originally published on MarTech Today. I was in Nashville a few months ago, proudly watching my niece — a singer/songwriter — perform. For this three-day adventure, I saw my share of bands and listened to multiple sets of music. During each gig, I noticed the background presence of Marshall stacks powering the sound and experience. The martech world picked up the “stack” analogy as a generation of modern B2B marketers started to acquire technology and cobble together tools to power their demand and revenue marketing machines. Somehow in this journey, we’ve lost our connection to the original intention and promise. We’ve gotten enamored with the size of our martech “stacks,” not the productivity or ROI. Sticking with the music analogy, who cares how much equipment you have or how cool it is if the band sucks?

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July 12, 2018

Navigating the Changing B2B Marketing Landscape (Interview with Anand Thaker)

Anand Thaker is the CEO of IntelliPhi, an R&D and advisory firm working to evolve go-to-market decision making for growth leaders. He’s also a long-time MarTech industry and digital engagement expert, who’s accelerated firms in variety of operational, leadership and advisory roles among enterprises, growth startups and investors. 

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April 25, 2018

How to Act on Intent Data with MarTech To Create Account-Based Revenue

Today, Integrate and Bombora announced their partnership. B2B marketers are now able to access and execute on Bombora’s Company Surge™ data via Integrate’s Demand Orchestration Software, enabling a more intelligent approach to top-of-funnel account-based demand generation. Company Intent Data + Account-Based MarTech = Vastly Improved ABM Performance

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November 14, 2017

How to Evaluate the Best Account-Based Marketing Platforms and Tools

A recent survey from the Altera Group found that 97% of B2B marketers report that account-based marketing (ABM) drives higher ROI than other marketing activities. Marketers across the industry are asking what they need to successfully execute an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. There are numerous components of a successful ABM strategy and the right tech stack can help drive key aspects of your ABM initiative – from goal-tracking to centralizing target-account lead data to monitoring the progress of opportunities through the sales funnel. But no account-based marketing platforms or tools can do it all. And none of them are the same. So how can you know which ABM technology your company needs?  It’s important to arm yourself with evaluation questions you can ask ABM tech vendors to help identify whether their solutions are right for your organization.

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October 3, 2017

7 Ways Martech Expertise Elevates Your B2B Marketing Career

Any seasoned B2B marketer knows that marketing technology won’t fix a bad marketing strategy or ineffectual process – but the right martech certainly magnifies the results of good strategies and processes, clean data and focused marketing teams. Marketers who understand marketing technology and the martech landscape put their companies and marketing careers in a much stronger position. Regularly researching new martech solutions and tech vendors provides multiple benefits. Here are seven: 

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September 28, 2017

5 Steps For Account-Based Revenue Generation

More and more B2B organizations are deploying account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. In the high-tech executive suites and grungy boiler rooms across the globe, enthusiastic teams filled with hope are concocting lists, readying programs and shifting resources – people, time and budget – to account-based revenue (ABR) efforts. Normally, I’m a big fan of diving in, experimenting and then building out a scalable model. However, with both ABR and ABM, foundational planning is essential. Why? First off, organizations must determine if an account-based approach is viable for their business. For those that dive in, account-based efforts often start with the sales teams who submit their top-preferred accounts.

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September 19, 2017

How CMOs Are Juggling Long-Term Marketing Strategies & Daily Needs

A theme I continually run into whenever speaking with Integrate customers and other B2B marketing and sales professionals is how goals and challenges differ between departments and job levels – and the ways these differing viewpoints affect priorities. After all, B2B marketers can’t contribute to sales pipeline or revenue if sales reps aren’t confident in the lead generation, content strategies and nurturing/scoring practices employed by the marketing team. Marketing executives can’t achieve their goals if they don’t understand the day-to-day roadblocks facing their marketers. And demand gen and marketing operations practitioners certainly can’t live up to CMO expectations if they don’t know what they are.   To get the marketing executive’s perspective on common CMO challenges, fundamental sales enablement practices and the balance of marketing technology, I sat down with Brad Gillespie, current VP of Marketing at Cvent and former CMO at Octiv.

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August 31, 2017

How Marketing Ops Pros MacGyver MarTech to Get More Done

As B2B marketers, we often buy technology to do one thing, and end up needing it to do something else. Or more realistically: we constantly uncover new tasks and challenges to solve with marketing technology. But while more technology or newer technology can sometimes be the answer, just as often we can find a workaround or other path to get the result we need. Which is good, because no one likes to be accused of having shiny object syndrome. As Courtney McAra said in her Marketing Ops Game Changers interview (the inspiration for this post): "Game Changers challenge the definition of what it means to be a Marketing Ops person. We’re not just data-dorks who sit in the basement with our staplers, taking orders and building webinar programs. We like using technology to do cool and innovative things. Maybe to do things that they weren’t intended to do. We’re MacGyvering the shit out of it to make it work to bring more revenue to the business."

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July 19, 2017

Why 4 MarTech CEOs Bet on Integrate’s Success

Today, Integrate announced its fourth round of venture funding. I know what you’re thinking: “So what? …Marketing tech companies get new rounds of funding all the time.” That’s very true. And for that reason, I’m not going to wax poetic about “our incredible journey” as if it’s over. However, there is something different and more exciting than usual about this round – it includes funding from four distinguished MarTech founders and CEOs:

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July 11, 2017

How I Stay Agile In Demand Marketing: Perspectives, Tools & Tips

A version of this post was first published on Like many tech startups, Integrate operates with a lean marketing team. And it’s crucial that each one of us wears multiple hats. Take my title for example: “Thought Leadership and Marketing Tech Strategy”…it’s a mouthful of garbled nonsense, but it covers a broad spectrum allowing a great deal of flexibility, which lends well to – you guessed it – agility. We all know “agility” as an operational concept was ripped off from software developers. And with regard to B2B marketing, we can loosely define it as an approach that encourages rapid and flexible response to change in order to continuously improve the results of our marketing efforts. Sounds great! But how exactly can we marketers put such “rapid and flexible responses to change” into action?

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June 14, 2017

How to Overcome Top-Funnel Marketing Deficiencies in an ABM World

There are many moving parts involved with developing and executing a successful account-based marketing program. One of the most overlooked aspects is the way in which we marketers must coordinate top-funnel demand generation efforts differently in an ABM world.

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May 25, 2017

A Template for Measuring Demand Marketing Orchestration

At what point in your demand generation process do you start with attribution reporting? Are you able to pinpoint marketing’s influence through the duration of the funnel? For most of us, we get started at the point of inquiry, because that’s where our marketing automation platform starts providing us with detailed metrics. But the customer lifecycle doesn’t start with an inquiry. It starts with identifying new targets – something we must be doing constantly, every day. In fact, when I was working through some of this reporting at Integrate, I noticed that our circular customer lifecycle stage map was missing this key stage too. Even we had overlooked that aspect, despite living and breathing it every day!

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May 9, 2017

SiriusDecisions on Importance of Outbound in ABM Era

SiriusDecisions Summit is just around the corner, and as a warmup, I thought interviewing SD’s Sr. Research Director of Demand Creation Strategies, Kerry Cunningham, would be a timely endeavor. …of course, I was wrong. As soon as we started filming in what seemed like a quiet corner of an office lobby, everyone and their cubicle mate decided to pour out from elevators and loudly trek past us to the nearest smoking area. Seriously, who smokes these days? …loud, inconsiderate people – that’s who.

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April 20, 2017

Commvault’s Content Marketing Strategy Delivers 3.5x More Deals

“It’s obvious that people coming to your site are interested, but there’s a ton of people that don’t make it there. It’s critical to engage larger audiences on trusted third-party sites. But that requires a lot of resources.” - Dawn Colossi, Sr. Director of Worldwide Digital Marketing, Commvault It surprises me how many B2B businesses take the principles of inbound marketing – developing personas, devising a comprehensive website, landing page and social strategy, and creating great content – and then stop there.

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April 6, 2017

Demand Marketing Template: Getting Started with Funnel Measurement

The ultimate goal of funnel measurement within a demand marketing team is predictability: How can I take what I see and translate that into future expectations? And then, how can I take those expectations, pull a few levers, make some adjustments and beat those expectations? For example, if you know you’ll need 3000 leads next month to hit your pipeline goals next quarter, and currently you’re only on track to deliver 2000, then you know you’ve got to add another program. Or maybe you’re brimming with MQLs, but sales-acceptance rate is low. How do you decide whether to plan a webinar, invest in a content syndication program or redesign a process to eliminate the bottleneck happening at the marketing-to-sales hand-off?

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April 4, 2017

4 B2B Marketing Functions Automated By Demand Orchestration Software

As regular readers have likely noticed, the Integrate Blog primarily explores the ways in which B2B demand marketing is evolving – and becoming quite complicated in the process. A proliferation of data sources, customer engagement channels, targeting strategies and marketing technologies are continuously developed to support marketing success, but often bog down demand generation and marketing operations practitioners as much as they help. It’s for this reason that we frequently use the term demand orchestration.

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January 12, 2017

MarTech Overwhelm Syndrome: A Growing Concern Among B2B Marketing Executives

Do you suffer from Martech Overwhelm Syndrome? If so, you’re not alone. Okay, I just coined that term. But I think it works well to describe a common ailment among marketing professionals. Namely, a severe form of stress brought on by the colossal number of marketing technologies available – and an inability to make smart decisions about which ones to use. Scott Brinker talks about this problem in his blog, “Martec’s Law: the greatest management challenge of the 21st century.”  Martec’s Law is an idea Brinker came up with a few years back, which states that “technology changes exponentially, but organizations change logarithmically.” According to Brinker, figuring out how to handle the massive influx of marketing technologies is a very difficult problem. In other words, faced with thousands of new and emerging technologies, how in the hell are marketers supposed to keep up?

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November 8, 2016

4 “Easy” Areas Where Marketing Technologists Often Fall Short

I was a sophomore in high school, anticipating my first-ever “session.” A session is a term used to describe 20-30 minutes spent playing a musical instrument, by yourself, in front of your music director to be assessed for a chair in the school’s band. (Oh, and former band-geeks – I am looking at you, because you know exactly what I am talking about. Don’t hide). This harrowing collection of minutes was made even more terrifying by the fact that your “chair” represented how skilled you were at your instrument. First chair = the most skilled. Last chair = the least skilled. In Manchester, NH at the ripe age of 15, the stakes couldn’t be higher. I’d spent hours practicing my scales as well as all the prepared pieces (to this day, I find the best cure for anxiety is preparation), and I was thinking I had a terrific shot at first chair. On the day of my session, my parents wished me good luck and I skipped off to the bus, hopped on and made it all the way to school. …without my clarinet. The moral of the story is this: it doesn’t matter how well you execute the hard things if you can’t get the easy things right.

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October 11, 2016

How to Survive Any MarTech Implementation

Avoid these six common pitfalls and help your team survive the challenges of your next marketing technology implementation. Gartner has predicted that CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017. IDC predicts CMOs will drive marketing technology spending to $32.3B by 2018. IDC notes that CMOs’ influence has moved beyond traditional spending areas into more parts of the business, as evidenced by the marketing technology map, broken into four main areas: interaction, content, management and administration, and data and analytics.

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October 4, 2016

The Past, Present and Future of Customer Lifecycle Automation

When it comes to marketing and the technology we use to automate it, it seems as if we’re still in those awkward, early teen years. Not all parts are in sync during this huge growth spurt. And, in fact, it’s often overwhelming. Adopting new MarTech systems, connecting them effectively and implementing new processes that fully capitalize on these new tools are just some of the challenges we face on a daily basis. With Dreamforce happening this week in San Francisco, it’s a perfect time to reflect on both recent progress and future challenges around using sales and marketing automation. One thing we know for sure: 100,000+ pros wouldn’t be putting up with the jammed packed chaos of Dreamforce for a week if this automation thing wasn’t driving real business value. History doesn’t only tell us about the past, it can also be a powerful compass for the future. It’s a good time to ask: Where are we on delivering a fully automated, integrated funnel to generate prospects, acquire new customers and effectively manage these relationships?

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September 29, 2016

8 Types of MarTech Tools Every Demand Marketer Needs

Marketing technology now accounts for 33% of marketing budgets, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016. B2B marketers specifically are investing heavily in tech to automate processes, engage new audiences, gain insights into marketing’s effectiveness and deliver increasingly innovative customer experiences. But there are literally thousands of marketing tools to choose from, and when the MarTech landscape looks like it does today, it’s hard to know where to begin. At Integrate we have the advantage of working with (and learning from) hundreds of demand marketing pros – customers, partners and friends. Earlier this year, in conjunction with Matt Heinz at Heinz Marketing, we set out to recognize 40 top demand marketing pros, and in doing so obtain a more thorough understanding of what makes a demand marketing rock star. We asked the Game Changers to list their three most essential marketing tools. Interestingly, there was a lot of overlap. And where there weren’t exact matches, we definitely found consistencies as to the types of tools demand marketers need to have in their toolbox in order to keep up in today’s marketing landscape.

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September 20, 2016

Just Media Redefines the B2B Marketing Agency Model

B2B marketing agencies must be much more than just media buyers these days. With all the channels available to engage prospective customers, they must possess not only extensive media relationships and experience, but also the analytical skills and technological know-how to continuously identify which channels are working and why. Tech-enabled, data-driven media expertise is the new agency formula – one that Just Media is pioneering. The reinvention of the B2B agency model is a result of several factors: primarily the proliferation of MarTech and its adoption by marketers. B2B marketers have developed sophisticated marketing tech stacks that run on a growing amount of data that has inevitably transformed the way they do their jobs. Consequently, media agencies are having to align their tech, data and processes with each of their clients.

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August 9, 2016

Marketing Automation Missed Its Mark – And Why That's a Good Thing

Only a few years ago, most marketing automation vendors were sprinting to expand their cloud offerings. It was an intense race: most major vendors wanted to be the first all-in-one, customer data platform to automate the entire customer experience — from initial prospect identification to post-purchase advocate creation. They wanted to be the Salesforce of marketing. They all failed. And this has been great for marketers. 

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August 2, 2016

5 Reasons B2B Marketers Need to Automate Top-of-Funnel Marketing

Yesterday, Scott Brinker published a really great blog post that highlights the mainstream recognition of MarTech and the marketing technologist role. His conclusions were drawn from a recent DataXu report (Modernizing the Mix: Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics), which I suggest every tech-focused marketer read. In addition to highlighting the rise of marketing technology and technologists, I wasn’t all to surprised to find a substantial amount of survey information point to how, even with all this marketing tech investment, marketers’ chief obstacles remain lack of efficiency and transparency at the top of the funnel.

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July 25, 2016

The Value of Top-Funnel Automation for Sales Pipeline

Fixing top-funnel (TOFU) marketing issues (and automating TOFU processes) is now a major initiative among many demand marketers. Considering CRM’s effect on the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) and marketing automation’s results with the middle, focusing on centralizing, standardizing and automating top-funnel demand gen efforts is a natural progression. While several articles have made strong arguments for the need and value of top-funnel MarTech, I’ve yet to see any support the case with hard numbers. (And hard numbers are critical when you’re building a business case to evaluate potential investment value.) So I thought I’d do just that, focusing on an important element of automating top-funnel efforts: filtering and correcting unmarketable leads before they’re injected into your prospect database.

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July 12, 2016

MarTech Health Checkup: Think Evolution, Not Revolution

Shiny Object Syndrome…an increasingly common ailment in the tech-dependent marketing world. It often happens when we get distracted by the influx of new technologies and trending strategies that promise us the world. Given a total of $10 billion in MarTech funding since the start of last year alone, along with the fact that, according to Gartner’s 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey, 71 percent of marketing orgs have discrete funding for innovation (averaging about 10 percent of the marketing budget), it’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s precisely for this reason that we should regularly check up on how well our tech investments are supporting our marketing initiatives. And now that we’re halfway through 2016, it’s probably a good time for that bi-annual review.

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June 29, 2016

Why Demand Marketers Are Developing Customizable Data Ecosystems

Last September we published an article that discussed why, over the last few years, marketers and the MarTech industry have gradually come to favor customizable marketing technology stacks. The article explains how marketers are no longer seeking all-inclusive, out-of-box marketing systems to simplify their jobs; instead, they’re looking for innovative ways to leverage multiple systems to their advantage. Unsurprisingly, this emerging mindset of customization is also having great impact on the ways in which marketers identify, coordinate and use the data that fuels these finely tuned tech stacks.

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May 10, 2016

5 Ways Understanding MarTech Can Make Your Career

Technology is now pivotal to the marketer’s trade – and has been for some time. And marketers that understand the software and systems available to them (and how they’re continuously evolving) put their companies and careers in a much better position. This should be self-evident. After all, we’re surrounded with conversations about the expansion of MarTech. Yet, much of this discussion focuses on the changes in the industry itself, rather than individual technology use cases. Researching the latter is increassingly important.  Treating marketing technology (and MarTech vendor) research as a regular part of the job will benefit you and your organization in several ways:

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May 5, 2016

Demand Orchestration: The New B2B Marketing Aspiration

With dedicated demand marketing teams and increasing amounts of data flowing through digital, CRM and marketing automation (MA) tools, marketing’s ability to contribute to customer acquisition and revenue has never been greater. Nor has the bar and expectations ever been higher. In fact, the #1 skill CEOs want from CMOs and B2B marketers is the ability to drive demand that translates to growth.  Deploying CRM and marketing automation, and connecting them to your website, are standard fare today. The next challenge in front of us is connecting the data sources and processes generating traffic and leads that fuel these systems.

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April 7, 2016

How to Operationalize ABM with Predictive Analytics & Demand Generation

Account-based marketing (ABM), predictive analytics and demand generation are all well-established elements of B2B marketing. And, when done right, they increase each other’s value. Applying predictive data to demand generation efforts significantly amplifies ABM success. Without predictive analytics, it’s incredibly difficult to properly identify the accounts you should be targeting. And without an efficient demand gen operation, it’s a struggle to efficiently engage the decision-making committees at those accounts. But how do you connect and operationalize demand gen to act on predictive data and ensure ABM success? On Thursday, April 14, Scott Vaughan (CMO, Integrate) and Atul Kumar (Chief Product Officer, Mintigo) will be discussing specific and tangible steps to execute an effective ABM program using predictive analytics and demand marketing technology.

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April 5, 2016

How Predictive Analytics & ABM Go Together - Mintigo CPO Breaks It Down

It seems as if you can’t walk into a marketing meeting these days without someone talking about predictive analytics and account-based marketing (ABM). But understanding how these two methodologies should work together is still somewhat vague to most B2B marketers. We interviewed Atul Kumar, Chief Product Officer at Mintigo, to get some clarification on the state of ABM, the role predictive analytics should have, and some tips for those B2B marketing practitioners beginning their ABM journey.

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March 31, 2016

Can You Define “Predictive”? A Crash Course in Key Marketing Terms

First off, I want to provide perspective on my point of view around all things Predictive Marketing. At Integrate, I head up data and technology partnerships, which means I’m out there all the time working directly with customers and prospects to understand ways Integrate can partner with other marketing technologies to provide a better solution. And in today’s B2B marketing landscape, to say that predictive comes up often would be a drastic understatement. And while I can’t go five minutes without hearing “predictive,” it seems as if there’s no common definition of the term. This is a big concern among customers. And a common – or at least understood – definition is very much needed to assure internal stakeholders and external partners are on the same page.

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March 29, 2016

Top-of-Funnel Marketing: The Next Big MarTech Category?

“As more marketers adopt ABM strategies, they’re finding that top-funnel marketing is the weak link in the chain, and that it too must be optimized with tech to generate full ROI from their ABM investments.”    In a TechCrunch article published last month, Ajay Agarwal provided a great overview of the state of marketing technology (MarTech). Comparing MarTech’s more tumultuous rise against the rather smooth ascent of sales technology (specifically Salesforce’s domination), he wrote: “B2B will continue to be a strong market for martech startups with plenty of demand from CMOs; we expect to see several new $1 billion-plus companies emerge in categories like top-of-funnel marketing, account-based marketing and predictive analytics.” (Italics are my own) With regard to predictive analytics and ABM, this isn’t too surprising; ABM is now a widely accepted B2B strategy for its efficiency and effectiveness. And predictive analytics – for those organizations with the means and database requirements – is probably the best way to inform ABM programs. Top-of-funnel (TOFU) marketing tech, however, hasn’t received nearly the same degree of attention.

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March 22, 2016

[Infographic] Teaming Up to Tackle ABM: Demandbase + Integrate

Last week we posted a blog discussing the reasons why so many B2B marketers struggle with their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. While marketers face several important obstacles to ABM success, it’s clear that the most daunting challenge is executing on the data – i.e., identifying, engaging and obtaining info from decision-makers at specified accounts. In fact, Integrate and Demandbase recently cosponsored a survey of more than 500 B2B marketers to gain specific insights on the state of ABM adoption and its challenges. And guess what it found…

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March 3, 2016

4 Reasons Demand Generation Orchestration Requires Great Analytics

Orchestrating the diverse platforms, engagement sources and data types that drive demand generation campaigns is one of the most important – and most difficult – jobs in demand marketing. Those same eclectic systems must be marshaled to collect the analytical insights necessary for optimizing two critical – and often disconnected – elements of demand generation: paid acquisition marketing processes and customer insights that drive revenue. As a marketing ops or demand gen practitioner, you’re no longer managing a three-piece band but conducting a demand gen orchestra that can easily turn discordant amid its complexity. You’ve got a great opportunity to fine-tune the inefficiencies of paid acquisition, which is crucial but too often overlooked in favor of inbound marketing. The tuning process starts with analytics.   In paid acquisition marketing processes, robust measurement provides several big benefits:

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January 26, 2016

7 Must-Have Traits of a Kick-Ass MarTech Stack

Marketing Technology is empowering brands to discover, engage, acquire and delight customers like never before. But, with so many tech options and customers’ needs continuously changing, nailing the right strategy and developing the MarTech stack to execute it is – in a word – tough. I wish there were a silver bullet, but we all know one doesn’t exist in MarTech land. However, we can learn a great deal from the successes and scars of the many marketing pros who’ve already lived through these trials.

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January 7, 2016

[Webinar] Anatomy of an ABM Program

The benefits of account-based marketing (ABM) are well-established: greater sales-marketing alignment, increased resource efficiency, more profitable accounts, higher ROI and so on. However, when it comes to executing an ABM program, most marketers only know the basics: figure out the common characteristics of your most profitable customers, create a list of similar accounts, and then do your best to engage the companies on the list.

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November 25, 2015

MarTech Insights from SiriusDecisions and #SDTechX

Words can’t describe how excited I was when I heard that SiriusDecisions was having a tradeshow dedicated solely to marketing technology. As someone who lives and breathes this space and is huge fan of the work that Sirius does, it was like the perfect match of MarTech geeks converging in one location to talk technologies, process, data and analytics. So I embarked on my cross-country journey to lovely San Francisco to attend #SDTechX with two real priorities in mind.

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November 10, 2015

3 Surprising MarTech Stats and How They Affect You

I came across a great report yesterday – the Walker Sands “State of Marketing Technology 2016: Understanding The New Martech Buyer Journey.” The report comprises survey results from more than 300 marketers involved with marketing technology purchasing decisions. While most of the findings were expected – e.g., 51% of respondents think their companies need to invest in more tech – a few stats got me thinking…

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November 3, 2015

New Isn’t Always Better: A Case for Evaluating Existing MarTech First

Prep Tools for 2016 Planning It’s 2016 marketing planning season. Time to strategically rethink your marketing initiatives and tech investments to meet next year’s business goals. This is a golden opportunity to look at your marketing technology roadmap and add new solutions to make you and your team better, faster. While new can be awesome, many times what you have on hand may be good enough and even better if you focus on optimizing its application.  This is not an anti-new, kick-ass technology – quite the contrary. Rather, what I see working is prioritizing your choices. If you can be creative with using the tools you have today AND make sure your new tools work with what you’ve got, you can invest in the right new, game-changing tech and processes.

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October 22, 2015

5 Questions with a Marketing Ops Geek

First of all, I don’t think Tom Kahana, Director of Marketing Operations at Imprivata, is a geek in any way. In fact, while very experienced, well-informed and enthusiastic about all things MarOps, he’s actually quite affable. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’m far more of a geek than he...but he calls himself a marketing ops geek at the end of this interview, and I needed a catchy title. So there it is. Tom has over 15 years of marketing experience in the technology space. And for the past six years, he’s been in the thick of marketing operations’ rapid evolution. Which is why I reached out to him, on numerous occasions, for expert insights – and that inevitably led to this interview and hopefully much more content to come.

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October 13, 2015

Connecting Front- & Back-End Marketing – What’s In It For You?

It sounds so obvious – if you connect marketing’s people, processes and systems, good things happen. And in fact, I’m inspired everyday by new examples of integration transforming marketing’s impact. But while we all realize the importance of connecting systems and processes, there remains a very common rift between what’s known as “front-end” and “back-end” marketing. Before we jump into the benefits of front- and back-end integration by specific role, let’s first define the concepts and identify the barriers so we can knock them down. 

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October 6, 2015

Budgeting For Your 2016 Account-Based Marketing Road Map

It’s 2016 budget planning season. And with account-based marketing (ABM) on the minds of B2B marketers everywhere, we thought a quick guide to the various ABM technologies and the vendors that supply them would be helpful. Kicking off an effective ABM program requires two initial efforts:

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September 22, 2015

Building an Interactive MarTech Landscape from the Buyer’s Perspective

An Interview with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, co-founder of Growthverse Marketing Technology has become an important weapon in the quest to discover, engage and delight customers. While marketers try to sort through their needs and identify what and with whom to invest in, it seems like every week there’s a new landscape or “MarTech stack” produced by a vendor or industry pundit.   I rather recently discovered something very refreshing, a new perspective on the landscape created by CMO Jascha Kaykas-Wolff and Kobie Fuller, Partner at Accel.  It’s called Growthverse, an interactive, living, breathing tool marketers can use to discover and sort through marketing technologies and the solutions providers that may be right for their organization.  I had a chance to chat with Jascha last week about Growthverse and the current state and future of marketing technology. Here’s the scoop.

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September 17, 2015

6 Sources To Consult Before Any MarTech Investment Decision

Most marketing technologies these days have multiple applications. Two separate systems may provide completely complementary capabilities for one marketing organization, while being entirely redundant for another. This is just one reason why thoroughly researching your marketing tech investments is so important. While there never seems to be enough time to perform an adequate vetting process these days, any time spent qualifying the best solutions and vendors will save you and your colleagues time, effort and budget down the road. And with 2016 only a quarter away, it’s time to start your search.

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September 9, 2015

Customized MarTech Stacks Are A Winning Approach: Here’s Why

Just a year ago, there was wide industry debate regarding whether all-inclusive marketing clouds (such as those offered by Adobe, Oracle, IBM and Salesforce) or best-of-breed marketing technology stacks would become the marketing organization norm. In fact, the discourse was so rampant in 2014 that it provided me with enough fodder to write a three-part series on the topic, which I somewhat regrettably titled “The Platform Wars.” What I didn’t realize at the time was that this debate wasn’t only about marketing tech strategy or vendor prowess in the martech space. No, it was about something much more significant: Would marketers and their organizations own new tech responsibilities, embrace innovation and learn new skills, or would the shy away from the challenge and leave the innovation to the tech vendors?

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September 3, 2015

4 Reasons Why Marketers Resist New MarTech Adoption

I often witness my colleagues’ hesitance about having to adopt a new platform. Whether it’s for sales, HR, marketing or accounting, there’s always some push back. I understand that, especially with the rapid proliferation of marketing tech, adding another platform, system, tool, etc. is just one more thing we have to log into and learn how to use. But we should keep our irritation in perspective. There’s a very good reason we’re continuously adding new tools: the benefits of a properly selected tech solution far outweigh our irritations.

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September 1, 2015

The Future of MarTech: Opinions from 14 Practitioners

I participated in a MarTech “Tweet Jam” last week.  Basically, it was 14 Marketing Tech pros (full list/handles at bottom of this blog) bantering, debating and discussing the “convergence of MarTech” on Twitter in a real-time, online Q&A.

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August 27, 2015

From the Experts: How MarTech-AdTech Collision Impacts Demand Generation

The convergence of adtech and martech has gained momentum over recent months. The topic has certainly been discussed for years, but a wave of articles has flooded the industry as “marketing cloud” ambitions and integrated platform capabilities become more than just talk.

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August 18, 2015

Keeping Up With Marketing Tech: Interview With LeanData CMO

I recently had a chance to speak with Adam New-Waterson, CMO at LeanData, a marketing tech company creating some really innovative account-based marketing (and sales) solutions. One of several notable panelist at last week’s Flip My Funnel conference (read a good recap here), Adam’s insightful comments specific to ABM led me to open a dialogue with him about wider marketing-industry challenges. …and, of course, I always like to talk marketing with others who had very unusual paths to careers in marketing. David: Can you tell us a little about your background and journey to CMO of LeanData? Adam New-Waterson: I probably have an unconventional background for someone who is the chief marketing officer at a technology company. I have a bachelor’s degree in fine art photography from Georgia State University. I never even took a marketing class in college. But I fell into a graphic designer position at a public relations firm in my hometown of Atlanta. And while I didn’t think of it this way at the time, that was my first marketing experience because the job included making restaurant coupons, advertisements and sending out blast emails to attract attention for our clients.

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July 31, 2015

The Closed-Loop Marketing Era [White Paper]

Marketers annually invest billions of dollars in both marketing technology and media in an attempt to more effectively discover and converse with customers, but this attempt is drastically hindered. Why? Because marketers aren’t leveraging the data garnered from marketing technology (marketing automation, customer relationship management and data management systems) to its full potential. Actionable customer insights are stymied by disconnected marketing systems and hindered even more by rift between marketing and media investment. At a time when making lasting impressions with targeted personas gets tougher by the day, marketers strive to ensure they’re generating maximal efficiency and performance visibility.

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June 2, 2015

Customer Experience: The New CMO Revenue Driver

In recent discussions with fellow CMOs, I’ve noticed a common theme about Marketing’s conflicting “Big Goal” priorities: Should we focus on customer revenue or customer experience? My opinion: We’re asking the wrong question. Marketing obviously needs to deliver both.  The right question (that’ll lead to the big wins): How do we infuse customer experience into our revenue-driving efforts? CEOs expect Marketing to directly contribute to sales pipeline, new customers and revenue. These same executives – and your customers (the real bosses) – expect a personalized experience that makes it easy to interact and transact with your company, products and people.  

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May 28, 2015

Affiliate Marketing 3.0: Customizable Ecosystems

Online affiliate marketing began with a promise: Leverage the massive reach of the internet while only spending in proportion to revenue achieved. Unfortunately, the promise hasn’t come to fruition. Over the years, marketers have fallen victim to affiliate exchanges, ad technologies and publishing practices that weren’t created in brands’ best interests. But this doesn’t mean affiliate marketing doesn’t work – it can. But it requires marketers to regain control of their affiliate relationships and marketing processes by creating customized, transparent ecosystems.

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May 19, 2015

What Media Companies Need From MarTech

These days, marketing technology is all but synonymous with marketing itself. And much of this discourse has been focusing in greater degree on the convergence of martech with its less-respected sibling, ad-tech. Yet, only somewhat surprisingly, very few of these discussions address how media companies can leverage marketing technology to better serve both their marketing clients and their business.

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May 7, 2015

6 Useful Marketing Automation Infographics

Marketers are striving to master the art of visual storytelling in an effort to attract prospects and engage audiences. Infographics often become the preferred medium to communicate significant amounts of data or a plethora of information that would otherwise run the risk of falling flat if delivered as text on a page. Given the thousands of marketing infographics available today, I set out to compile a list of those specific to marketing automation that provide useful information for marketing automation users, teams considering implementing a marketing automation platform and marketers (like myself) striving to understand and engage these same people. Here is a list of my findings. I hope you find them to be helpful.

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April 30, 2015

What's Holding You Back From Marketing Automation Success? [Interview]

As we work to understand the opportunities and challenges facing marketing automation users today, it’s important to pick the brains of experts who have honed their core competency in implementing marketing automation strategies. It's for this reason I sat down to interview John Muehling. John is Sr. Director, Client Services at Digital Pi and formerly the VP of Marketing for VIRGO Publishing (now Informa Exhibitions). He has worked with recognizable name brands, such as Beechcraft, Cessna, Swift Transportation and Blue Shield of California to help them implement and make more effective use of Marketo, Pardot and Salesforce.

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April 21, 2015

[New Guide] How to Supply and Scale Your Marketo Demand Factory

You’ve invested in Marketo as the hub of your customer engagement ecosystem – your Demand Factory (a clever term coined by David Lewis of DemandGen). It’s incredibly sophisticated. Between its ability to score leads, progressively profile prospects, and seamlessly integrate a fleet of supporting marketing tech solutions, it’s more difficult to think of what it can’t do than what it can. But no matter how you use Marketo and the rest of your tech stack, this all-powerful demand factory won’t produce much if you can’t get enough raw material: the unqualified leads, the prospect data.

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April 7, 2015

Automated Demand Generation: What It Is and How to Get Started [eBook]

If you’ve been paying attention to our content, you’ve likely noticed a lot of talk about automating demand gen. We recognize that this concept may be somewhat confusing as many marketers believe that their marketing automation systems (MAS) are already addressing the full spectrum of demand generation. But marketing automation really is only the starting point in our quest to leverage marketing technology to discover, engage and nurture prospects.

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March 24, 2015

Illustrating and Analyzing Your Marketing Architecture

The marketing technology landscape is crowded. And the proliferation of martech solutions isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, Scott Brinker’s annual Marketing Tech Landscape Supergraphic grew by 98% to 1,876 vendors between 2014 and 2015. While the explosion of marketing solutions presents vast opportunities for marketers, identifying the right martech investments has become a daunting process. Solution identification became a bit easier a couple weeks ago when Heinz marketing published the Marketing Tech Landscape Directory (an Excel spreadsheet of all supergraphic vendors) to enable easy vendor sorting and tracking via 43 categories and subcategories. It’s a great resource and I highly recommend downloading it. Today, Integrate is releasing another resource to further enable marketers to make informed technology decisions: The Marketing Tech Blueprint Workbook.

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March 19, 2015

Marketing Tech Reality Check

In less than two weeks, thousands of fellow marketers and I will head off to San Francisco and Vegas for MarTech Conference and Oracle Modern Marketing Experience, followed by Marketo Marketing Nation Summit just two weeks later. We’ll submerse ourselves in the experience of the most innovative and advanced aspects of marketing today. Keynote speakers will inspire and session presenters aim to impress. Marketers will share stories of grand accomplishments using innovative technologies. It might be easy to walk away with the feeling that all of marketing is connected, automated…a smooth running machine. That our decisions are always predictive and our data always accurate. But don’t be fooled. This movement towards automation is very much a journey… one on which many of us have made some progress and a few have taken great strides.

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March 3, 2015

Optimizing a Career with Marketing Technology

Not long ago, marketing was about the 4 Ps (product, price, place and promotion). It wasn’t about educating and engaging customers like it is today.  The change in marketing’s roles and responsibilities was led by the Internet – which shifted knowledge and power to the customer – and is now being propelled by marketing technology.  Marketing capabilities are leading to specialization Evolution is happening faster than ever, requiring more and more specialization.  That specialization is vital to a thriving marketing career. This is especially true for technical marketers who are responsible for the systems and data that power customer engagement. They require a deep knowledge of how systems work and communicate with each other, and must understand the ways data should be stored to provide maximum accessibility and flexibility for use (e.g., analytics and segmentation). Additionally, they must have the skills to customize tech solutions and interpret the resulting data.

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February 17, 2015

How Automation Impacts Marketing Career Growth

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series dedicated to discussing today's critical elements of a successful marketing career.  The calendar year’s first quarter is an ideal time to update your career objectives and evaluate whether your current role and scope of responsibilities places you on a growth path. As you consider your career outlook, I want to share insights I’ve collected over the past six months from B2B and B2C marketers – particularly our customer base – and recommend steps you can take to position yourself for success. 

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January 21, 2015

Demand Generation: It’s More than Marketing Automation

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), marketing leaders and media executives will invest $39B in media in 2015 and billions more on marketing technology to generate customer demand for their company’s products and services. This investment is driven by the huge mandate for marketers to create a continuous, predictable prospect pipeline that results in loyal customers. In the marketing technology revolution, “demand generation” is often aligned (almost synonymously) with marketing automation (MA).  This is understandable as MA platforms improve a great number of demand gen processes. As far back as 2008, marketing tech authority David Raab labeled marketing automation as “Demand gen systems for the digital era,” and as MA platform capabilities have evolved, so too has the relationship between demand gen and these systems.  Marketing automation is undoubtedly an integral part of the customer acquisition equation, but its value shouldn’t blind demand gen pros to more recent tech-driven opportunities. 

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January 15, 2015

Not Understanding the Martech Landscape Can Hurt Your Career

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that released its annual Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic on Monday. As always, Scott Brinker outdid himself, but I’ll limit my compliments since by now he’s likely suffocating beneath rightfully deserved praise. Suffice it to say, the research that went into the supergraphic was undoubtedly a formidable undertaking. And you – the marketing professional – should take full advantage of his NEARLY selfless labor. (He did, after all, include his company, ion interactive in not one, but two categories! Such an opportunist.) Despite the volume of discussions that pervades the industry about the ways marketing tech proliferation is giving rise to the new, specialized “marketing technologist” role, we must not use this as an excuse to shun our own technology education and simply leave it to the specialists. These days, all marketers must become part marketing technologist, regardless of your title or job description. Failing to evolve with marketing’s tech revolution will hinder your own career advancement. And this responsibility to progress your personal edification goes beyond tech specific to your job duties – you must familiarize yourself with systems and software used by practitioners throughout marketing in general. Below are just a few reasons why understanding the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic is vital to your career:

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January 8, 2015

Media Integration Without Data Governance: A Bad Idea

Reading through scores of 2015 B2B Marketing predictions, there are a few consistent themes.  Programmatic buying is now officially the accepted practice.  Predictive analytics companies like 6Sense, Prelytix and Lattice Engines continue to bring their intelligence to the mainstream.  And lead-generating media companies are increasingly dangling their ability to directly inject prospect data into client marketing tech stacks (marketing automation and CRM systems) as a valuable new option.  I find this last theme particularly important, and in many ways dangerous if not properly executed. You’re likely thinking: If a media company offers to free my time and resources by automating lead delivery into my nurture tracks, why shouldn’t I dive in head first?  What could go wrong?

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January 6, 2015

TIBCO Breathes New Life Into Demand Generation [Customer Story]

Conversations with customers are one of the most rewarding parts of my job – I always come away with new, insightful information. That’s not to say that feedback is always good news; there have been plenty of times that customer-provided constructive criticism has fallen on me like a grand piano, but even that’s useful because it provides new challenges on which to focus my efforts. What’s even better, however, is when you come away from customer talks with new knowledge about how your product provided solutions you didn’t even know it was capable of. Information is always a good thing, but accolades for a newly discovered strength is an awesome thing. The latter is what we gained from a recent discussion with Kenan Frager, TIBCO’s head of advertising for worldwide demand generation.

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December 23, 2014

Creating A MarTech Blueprint [From The Archives]

[Originally published Februrary 20, 2014] As Integrate CMO, Scott Vaughan, pointed out this week in a timely AdExchanger article: There is a growing effort to merge anonymous third-party data (e.g. cookies) with identified/known customer data (e.g. email, job title) to engage audiences with customized, relevant messaging, and attribute sales performance to specific marketing experiences. To do this, CMOs are investing heavily both in their marketing tech stack and the ad tech solutions that fill the gaps and expand capabilities. He goes on to exhort CMOs to create a marketing technology blueprint in order to:

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December 4, 2014

16 Demand Generation Terms We Should Agree On

This article has been much revised in a newer post: 

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December 2, 2014

It’s Time to Automate Outbound Demand Generation

Nearly all marketers are using advertising and marketing technologies to automate the processes required to create, execute, and analyze marketing programs. Automation is making marketers smarter about customer needs, behaviors and experiences, while freeing up time to focus on marketing strategy and creativity. In essence, it’s increasing our ability to effectively discover, engage and nurture prospects and create satisfied customers. So, in an era of automated marketing and with an estimated annual investment of nearly $30 billion, why does Demand Generation (Demand Gen) remain mind numbingly manual and disconnected from other marketing systems and customer data?  

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November 20, 2014

Harness the Power of Third-Party Data [SlideShare]

Recently, we had the privilege of leading a webcast as part of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s “Spotlight on Success Series.” We were joined by marketing and demand gen leader, Meagen Eisenberg, who is VP of Customer Marketing at Docusign and a valued Integrate customer.   This 45-minute webcast highlighted one of the core challenges that plagues the majority of today’s demand gen practitioners and marketing automation users – manual data processes. \ If you are currently using Oracle Eloqua (or another marketing automation system), this post and session can help you understand:

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November 11, 2014

Inside The Mind Of A GE Marketing Ops Executive

When it comes to enterprises with a complex range of marketing needs and seemingly overwhelming goals, few stack up to GE. That’s why we were very excited to have the opportunity to interview Ramiro Ramon, General Manager of Marketing Strategy & Operations for GE Healthcare. Over the last two decades, Ramiro has focused on generating innovative strategies and customer-centric business models that have maximized revenue, market share and profits for both GE and Johnson & Johnson. Moreover, he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is a writing contributor for PM360 – the premier magazine for marketing decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. We spoke with Ramiro about his take on the ways marketing technology is both influencing and being influenced by the marketing’s transformation. We also delved into the mindset, strategies and characteristics needed to be a great marketing ops leader in this evolving tech-focused landscape.  

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October 30, 2014

Integrate Third Party Data Or Get Left Behind [Webcast]

Marketers have more data at our fingertips than ever before. It’s coming at us from all angles. With our demand and lead generation efforts, we typically have dozens (or more) of third-party media partners and fulfillment sources generating leads or syndicating our content, sending us streams of prospect data. We even capture data from our webinars, events that we sponsor, or lists that we buy.

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October 29, 2014

Essential Guide To Integrated Marketing Systems [Whitepaper]

We recently released our newest whitepaper “Integrated Marketing Systems: The Essential Guide”. If you’re already sold on the value of integration and ready to put a plan into action, there’s no need to read the rest of this post. Just click the preceding link and get the whitepaper. It contains a simple three-step integration plan any marketing organization can follow to connect disparate marketing tech systems. If however you’re still unsure whether there's value in connecting your marketing systems, let me share a few things we’ve learned through our efforts to understand the challenges facing marketers today and you can decide if integration is the right step for your marketing organization.

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October 28, 2014

What Can LinkedIn, SAP & Netflix Leaders Teach Us About Marketing Ops?

Last week, I participated in the inaugral Marketing Ops and Technology Summit chaired by Gary Katz, Chairman and VP Strategy for Marketing Operations Partners. 60+ practicing executives bantered for two days on the present and future of marketing and tech operations (MOPs). While there were “speakers”, this interactive conference tapped into a seasoned group of practicing marketing and tech leaders. Collectively, this very experienced cadre included executives from powerhouse companies such as LinkedIn, SAP, Clorox, At Home, GoGo, and NetFlix. Since this was invite-only session, here are insights I pulled direct from these accomplished leaders.

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October 22, 2014

From the MarTech Experts: Tips for Successful Change Management

Managing change is the toughest part of any marketing transformation, especially regarding the adoption of new technology. This isn't new news. Yet, the pace of change only seems to be accelerating, and we marketers are prone to neglecting this critical element in our organizations. Below are excerpts from hand-picked interviews that not only illustrate how important change management is to successfully guiding marketing’s transformation, but also provide insight on how to lead this change effectively. Among these approaches, standardizing goals, communicating needs across departments, and hiring the right people in the right roles seem to be agreed upon as vital efforts in any transformative environment. 

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October 15, 2014

Marketing Tech at Dreamforce: A Developing Story

As we brace ourselves for the inevitable barrage of Dreamforce ’14 “takeaways, “learnings” and “insights” blog posts to hit our inboxes over the next few weeks, I figured it may be helpful to recap some of the biggest marketing tech-related comments about Dreamforces of recent years. After all, it’s difficult to takeaway insightful learnings without context – you gotta have a benchmark.

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October 8, 2014

Maximizing Your CRM’s Value

With Dreamforce ’14 only 4 Days, 19 Hours, 06 Minutes and 35 seconds away at time of writing, I figured now is a great moment to share a few of my personal learnings regarding ways marketers can squeeze more value out of a CRM. Whether you’re using Salesforce, Sugar, Microsoft Dynamics or some other system, these ideas will help mold your CRM into a technology that will enhance the effectiveness of any department charged with customer-focused goals.

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September 30, 2014

You’ve Invested in MarTech, Now What?

Integrate has published several recent posts on the topic of selecting the right marketing technology for your team: Choosing MarTech Is Like Selecting The Right Wine 2015 Budget Prep: Finding The Right Marketing Tech Providers How To Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment But making the monetary investment is only half the battle. After you have your new solution in place, you must make another investment in time and energy if you want to reap its full value.

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September 17, 2014

5 Tactics to Increase Your Marketing Automation ROI

The implementation of a new marketing automation platform comes with numerous challenges, but the biggest hurdle that marketers typically face is evolving their processes, strategies and overall mindset in ways that complement their technology investment.  As Scott Brinker, CTO of ion Interactive and program chair of the MarTech Conference, said in a recent interview

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September 16, 2014

Choosing MarTech is like Selecting the Right Wine

Marketing technology, aka MarTech, is all the rage, the new black, and the must-have resource in marketing shops around the globe. I get it. Call this a rant, but really it's a personal quest for me as a marketing professional to change this “tech-first” mindset.   My respectful request to my peers and colleagues — Stop leading with tech! 

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September 9, 2014

2015 Budget Prep: Finding The Right Marketing Tech Providers

For marketers, technology stack complexity grows daily. We’ve reached Rush drum-set status. Three years ago, most marketing teams could count their tech solutions on a hand or two. Now, most marketers are dealing with more tools than a Cowboys Stadium security guard. Yet inefficiencies remain. And new solutions continually crop up to meet the demands of marketers striving to enhance their productivity and bolster their company’s bottom line. Navigating a sea of 1000+ MarTech solutions and finding the right marketing tech provider for you, however, isn’t easy. It helps to have a map…or at least rough sketch of landmarks to guide the way.

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August 23, 2014

How to Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment

Have you invested in a MarTech solution or tech vendor that sucked your team’s time, budget or resources? Or one that simply didn’t fulfill on its grandiose promises? If so, was it your fault, the provider’s responsibility, or equal share? It’s a perfect time for a gut check.

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August 20, 2014

4 Must-Read MarTech Blog Posts of 2014

Ending the inaugural MarTech Conference, I felt this would be a perfect time to provide a completely subjective list of the year’s most important marketing technology-focused blog posts. Ironically, this list is in no way based on content performance, traffic volume, social influence, or any other metric that one may have used to support the logic behind choosing these posts. Nope—this list is simply comprised of martech blog posts that stood out to me and a few of my colleagues. Think of our selection process as a tribute to the marketing tactics of old.

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August 17, 2014

The State of MarTech: An Interview with Scott Brinker

The inaugural MarTech Conference begins Tuesday. And it’s sold out. So, being the altruists that we are, we’ve decided to siphon some insights on the current state of martech from the conference’s program chair, Scott Brinker, out to all of you who were unable to register. You can follow the conversations @MarTechConf and @Integrate.

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July 29, 2014

3 Ways Data Fluidity Drives Results for Media Companies

Data is becoming the lifeblood of media companies. The ability to capture, access and leverage accurate data to serve the right content to customers and execute effective media campaigns is essential. Marketing customers expect high-performing, measurable results from their media-driven marketing programs, and they want the resulting data to flow seamlessly into their marketing systems for immediate action. The need for actionable data is a given for today’s marketers, but their media partners (publishers, affiliates, bloggers, etc.) have not fully embraced this new world. It’s time for media companies to take control of demand marketing programs.

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July 29, 2014

2015 Marketing Budget Prep: Start Now, Win Big

We’re well into the second half of the year and focused on nailing 2014 goals. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning and thinking about our 2015 marketing budgets. I know – buzz kill. Budgeting is much more dynamic in the era of agile marketing. The agile approach works well for program-based budgets, but not always for critical infrastructure and key hires you need to support and scale your marketing efforts. Investments in technology and people are typically big-budget items that require executive- or board-level buy-in, which means you need to do your homework and build your case.

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July 24, 2014

Marketing Integrations 101

There’s been a tremendous amount of talk about the importance of marketing integrations lately. In fact, it was a key theme at Oracle Interact this year. Kevin Akeroyd, general manager of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, recently stated in a CMSWire blog post: “Unlike the past, when it's been enough to go out and buy best-of-breed, I believe the winners are going to be the ones who are very committed to integration. Integration is going to become as important, if not more important, as buying best-of-breed assets." As Scott Brinker predicted months ago, due to the proliferation of marketing technologies, marketing cloud vendors are increasingly leaning toward integrated, open-platform strategies to provide their customers all the capabilities they require.

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July 22, 2014

Integrated Marketing Needs Integrated Systems

If you’re like most marketers, your marketing operation has an increasing number of marketing tools and systems, a plethora of processes and a boatload of data being generated. And, there seems to be a new piece of technology creating more data and requiring new processes every week. While marketing technology holds tremendous promise, it doesn’t create nearly its potential value if it’s NOT integrated.

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July 18, 2014

Defeat Is A Roadmap To Success

This week I had the pleasure of speaking at MozCon and sharing with a couple thousand digital marketers a subject that is very important to me: failure. More importantly, how we can leverage failure to create personal, professional and marketing success. If you read my bio, it might appear that I’ve been successful in most things that I have done, but my narrative is quite the opposite. For every milestone that I’ve reached, I’ve failed a thousand more times. At the risk of sounding grandiose, I believe that learning how to effectively manage adversity is the single greatest skill that we need to learn in order to become successful and happy. Truly understanding how to leverage adversity and failure in your life will help you reach greatness. Every great entrepreneur, athlete, marketer…every great person I’ve met has mastered this skill.

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July 16, 2014

Oracle Eloqua and Integrate Partner to Power Customer Acquisition

A few months back, we published a series of posts titled “Platform Wars,” in which I suggested that marketer needs would dictate whether all-inclusive marketing suites or platforms open to third-party solutions would come to dominate. Oracle’s announcements yesterday dealt a hard blow to all-in-one solution enthusiasts. In one of three press releases published yesterday, Oracle stated: “Modern marketing demands a unified, data-driven approach, not the data silos and integration challenges that point solutions create. Marketers need easy access to consolidated data to better engage audiences and analyze performance.”

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July 9, 2014

Need An Effective & Easy Lead Gen Process? [Whitepaper]

This post provides an overview Integrate's "Follow the Money" whitepaper in which CMO Scott Vaughan presents a clear path to effective lead generation. You can read the post, download the whitepaper, or do both.  With the growing adoption of marketing automation technology, most marketers are focusing heavily on post-lead-gen processes such as nurturing leads and personalizing conversations with prospects. Advances in marketing technology have driven this newfound emphasis, and with good reason — buyers are navigating their own journey, and if they don't receive the information they need when they need it, they’ll move on. Savvy marketers know this and have adapted their systems and processes according.

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June 29, 2014

Marketo + Integrate Partner: Automate Prospect & Customer Acquisition

Marketo recently announced its open-platform vision — to provide a holistic view of customer experience through best-of-breed software integrations, customized to individual marketing organization needs. As the lynchpin of this vision, Marketo strives to “bring a core set of capabilities, and then be open to third-party solutions that build on the common foundation.” In the continuously evolving world of marketing, Marketo understands that its platform’s robust product offering must still be open to complementary solutions if it is to successfully offer marketers the range of capabilities they require. The Marketo-Integrate partnership is the result of this mindset.

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June 26, 2014

Meet the Chief Markitecht at Symantec

With always-on, empowered customers and the rapid pace of business, understanding and strategically using technology across your marketing and communications efforts is more essential than ever. To make this strategy a reality, marketing and tech teams need to collaborate ( Don’t worry, not another goofy article about the CMO vs. the CIO!). Out of this new world a critical role is emerging to help bridge the gap and bring these disciplines together. Whether you label the role as “marketing technologist” or some such title, it requires a focus on business and marketing process, a passion for data and marketing, a player-coach mindset, and a solid understanding of technology architecture.

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June 19, 2014

Are You a Mighty Duck or a Modern Marketer?

My first job out of college was coaching competitive youth hockey. I often had to deal with players who continuously attempted the same plays over and over again without success. Why? Because those plays had been successful at less competitive levels. What they didn’t understand is that if your environment advances, so too must you. New plays, different strategies and tactics that are tailored to succeed in your current environment. And this ties into modern marketing, how?

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June 17, 2014

The MarTech Revolution: Why You Must Adapt

Technology has always been a driver of substantial change. Irrigation tools and techniques caused the Agricultural Revolution in the Fertile Crescent, navigational instruments and innovative accounting techniques spurred the Commercial Revolution that laid the foundation for the world economy, and machine tools and interchangeable parts powered the Industrial Revolution, bringing us into the modern era. These historical examples seem irrelevant to us marketers, but understanding the role of technology in these great changes can provide useful insights into the current state of marketing and where we’re headed. In each example, those who made the effort to adopt and creatively implement new technology boomed — those who didn’t, went bust.

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June 12, 2014

Aligning MarTech and Marketing Ops — An Interview With Gary Katz

I recently interviewed Gary Katz, Founder and Chairman of Marketing Operation Partners, for research I’m conducting on the challenges and opportunities regarding the simultaneous growth of marketing tech and the Marketing Ops role. What resulted was a 52-minute conversation of great value. Here, I have provided a short, yet very insightful part of that conversation.

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June 10, 2014

How to Select the Best Marketing Ops Tools for Your Business

We have shared a great deal of learnings about the importance of “Creating a MarTech Blueprint” to guide your technology investment and integration decisions. And, we have outlined successful formulas for adoption such as “Crawl, Walk, Run.” Today’s post is from Mary Wallace, a Marketing Ops leader who outlines how to identify the best tools – in the endless landscape of marketing tech providers – to meet your business and customer requirements.

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June 4, 2014

Platform Wars: Episode 3 — The Integrate Perspective

This is the final of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. The first post discussed arguments for open platforms versus all-in-one marketing solutions. The second provided arguments for marketing suites. (If you haven’t yet read them, I suggest doing so before diving into this one — much of the content below references these posts). This final installment is meant to provide a customer-centric perspective on adopting a marketing platform.

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June 3, 2014

Marketing CTA: Rid Data Pollution From Your Pipeline

Does your sales pipeline suffer from any of these forms of “pollution”: inaccurate or incorrectly formatted prospect data; slow movement of prospect data from lead source through internal processes; insufficient data to ensure targeted content or messaging? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’re not alone. 

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May 29, 2014

Making Your Marketing Frankenstack Work Via Integrations

Whether you are pursuing an open platform or the elusive all-in-one marketing suite as your marketing tech solution, the need — right now — to connect and integrate marketing systems at the most basic levels is absolutely essential to obtaining the data you need to get your job done. The good news is despite the omnipresence of the Marketing Frankenstack (glued together marketing systems from different providers), this is very doable with today’s abundance of APIs provided by “Marketing Cloud” providers.

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May 28, 2014

Marketing Pros: Face Your MarTech Fears One Solution At A Time

Today’s marketers are witness to a paradigm shift in how marketing programs are built, executed and evaluated and technology is at the backbone of it all. In recent years we’ve been introduced to innovative tools and systems designed to give us better intelligence regarding where to spend and which marketing tactics perform best, along with more insight on marketing performance that allow us to improve the outcomes of our efforts. With all that’s available to us there’s no better time than now to be a marketer, right? So why are so many of us hesitant to adopt and embrace these new technologies? Scott Brinker’s now ubiquitous marketing tech landscape suggests a reason: we don’t know where to begin.

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May 21, 2014

Respecting Legacies: Factor Existing Systems Into Your MarTech Roadmap

The networking industry has long used a phrase for changes that IT and business leaders want to avoid at all costs: “forklift upgrade.” The concept effectively conveys the heavy lifting and disruption of a brute-force replacement of current systems. That imagery comes to mind regularly when I interact with marketing leaders who are considering new technology investments. Many fear a software equivalent of the forklift upgrade — ripping out existing systems and processes at a steep cost in time, money and cultural impact. Their fears are justified; wholesale replacement of applications and work processes can be just as disruptive as major hardware upgrades, and potentially more risky.

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May 15, 2014

The Platform Wars: Episode 2 – The Big Suites Strike Back

This is the second of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. The first post discussed arguments for open platforms versus all-in-one marketing solutions (if you haven’t yet read it, I suggest doing so before diving into this one — much of the content below references that piece). As the title implies, this second post reviews recent articles that either discuss the strengths of the marketing suite approach or display some skepticism of open-platform efforts.

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May 12, 2014

What Google’s Acquisition Of Adometry Means To Marketing

Last week Google and AOL made headlines with the purchases of Adometry and Convertro, respectively. With these acquisitions, Google and AOL have taken another large step towards encompassing the top of the digital advertising funnel. Both of these giants have been slowly progressing towards top-funnel domination, as they’ve gobbled up one large AdTech company after another. Their collective purchases of ad servers, ad exchanges, DSPs, SSPs, and DMPs have given them the capacity to serve and target ads very effectively across search, display, mobile and video channels. The question now is: Which marketing channels are working best?

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May 12, 2014

Creating a Marketing Tech Blueprint to Drive Performance [Slideshare]

Last week, we participated in MarketingProf’s Marketing Technology conference, keynoting along with Scott Brinker @chiefmartec and Tony Burne from Real Story Group. From the questions and dialog, the big wins for marketing technology are: Automation and efficiency Personalization and execution around customer experience and the customer journey Integration and closing the loop for measurement and insights

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May 8, 2014

The Integrate Imperative for Marketing: Start Connecting the Dots

Integrating people, processes and technologies is essential for any business. This is especially true for CMOs and marketers today as they invest in and develop unified processes and technology to align everything with their customer’s “experience” and “journey.” While it may seem like a no-brainer to integrate, it’s not always easy to find the dots, let alone connect them. There’s no better time to get started than right now.

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May 6, 2014

The Platform Wars: Episode 1 — Arguments for the Open Platform

This post is the first of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. As the title implies, this first post reviews the most recent arguments for open platforms succeeding in the face of the more traditional, all-in-one marketing solutions. The second post will present arguments for the big marketing suites, and the third installment will discuss my own views on the topic. In recent months — and especially since Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit last month — there have been a number of blog posts and articles written on the marketing tech “consolidation or proliferation” debate. This dialogue has essentially drawn a line in the sand between the big marketing suite vendors (IBM, Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce) and smaller, open-platform vendors, who’ve recently gained a notable champion in Marketo.

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April 24, 2014

Marketing And IT: Get On The Love Train

Any organization that has more than one employee has never made an important decision alone —important choices are negotiated and decided via committee. When considering a martech investment, by definition of the topic, you’re including two divisions within that decision-making process: Marketing and IT. These are two very different groups who speak different languages and are judged on a job well done in very different ways.

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April 17, 2014

Benefits of Tying Media Into Your Marketing Cloud

Today’s marketing leader faces stepped-up pressure to acquire customers through multiple channels, measure interactions with prospects and customers, and demonstrate the revenue impact of their campaigns. That’s a tall order, and it’s driving much-publicized increases in marketing technology spend to automate campaigns for ongoing performance. But campaign optimizations are especially tough when they require marketers to assemble, analyze and act on data that lives in a variety of places, including both internal and third-party systems such as media marketplaces.

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April 10, 2014

Missing Link: Integrating Media & Prospect Data with Marketing Systems

Marketing organizations are aggressively modernizing, automating and adding more digitally centered marketing methods as they focus on their mandate to discover prospects and create new customers. To meet the challenge, CMOs have turbocharged Marketing Ops teams and are building their “Marketing Cloud”, leveraging marketing automation for nurturing prospects, adding CRM for managing pipeline and customer relationships, and spending millions on super-charged, branded websites and social pages, while pumping billions into media to promote their offerings. With all of this progress, we’re still missing a vital component in the quest to modernize our marketing approach. We are NOT connecting the prospects generated by our media investment, nor their data, with our marketing systems and processes – a critical missing link.

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April 8, 2014

Marketing Acceleration: Automation’s Role In Driving Results Faster

The name of the marketing game in 2014 is speed: speed to acquire top-of-funnel leads, speed to engage those leads after initial capture, speed to push them to sales when the time is right, speed to close deals. Every process, system or person that slows the organization is a barrier to marketing’s biggest goals: engage customers, build sales pipeline that converts to revenue. In order to keep their jobs, marketing leaders need to eliminate those barriers and turn up the speed. I’d like to share some practices we’re using at HiP to increase speed for clients and our own internal operations.

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April 3, 2014

Brands as Media Companies: The Performance Imperative

One of the most widely discussed business trends over the past several years is that of brands becoming publishers to develop their own content in support of branding and performance marketing strategies. In fact, 73% of B2B marketers say they are producing more content than they did one year ago. This shift to develop engaging content is all part of the “build your own attention” era of marketing. Any brand (or person) can publish “content”. However, producing high-performing content that engages a target audience, prospect or customer and has the ability to measure results is the new imperative. 

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April 1, 2014

MarTech Success #4: How To Overcome The MarTech Learning Curve

I work and consult with organizations as they deploy marketing technology (“martech”), and they frequently encounter the same cultural hurdle: marketing pros waiting for a nudge (though I’m not sure who from) before diving in and gaining experience to accelerate their personal and organizational learning curve. My simple advice: it’s time to take the wheel and drive change. 

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March 27, 2014

The Media Partner’s Perspective On Marketing Tech Revolution

Lately there has been an enormous amount of discussion among marketers (advertisers) about the value of technology as it relates to acquiring customers, measuring media program effectiveness, justifying budgets and generally proving marketing’s overall value to an organization. Interestingly, relatively little of that discourse has crossed the table to the media partner/publisher side of the advertising business. This is very surprising. Over $40 billion is invested in media annually, but the idea of how this marketing tech revolution affects the job of media partners is still largely neglected.

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March 25, 2014

Best Practices for MarTech Adoption: Part 2—The Communications Imperative

NOTE: This is part two of a three part series regarding best practices for martech adoption. Previously, we discussed key elements to consider when initially planning to implement new technology within a marketing organization. As we interact with demand marketing and join them on their journey to implement marketing technology, we identify many best practices, trends, and key imperatives that promote success. One of the most common success factors is communications. Why? 

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March 13, 2014

Best Practices For Tech Adoption: Part 1—The Planning Phase

This is part 1 of a 3 part series, in which I will address 4 important steps you can implement during your planning phase to ensure successful tech adoption. You just got a purchase order signed for your shiny new piece of marketing technology. Precise vendor evaluation led you to this particular software that will instantly create departmental workflow efficiencies, better data analysis, increased targeting precision and of course greater return on marketing investment, right? Well not quite.

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March 4, 2014

Media Partner Management: Automate & Integrate to Create More Customers

CMOs and marketing teams are directly accountable for producing revenue and providing measurable business value — both of which are driven by customer creation and retention. While working with marketing customers to identify roadblocks, gaps and points of inefficiency, I find that marketers are incredibly diligent about cultivating and honing prospect data once it’s inside their marketing systems, especially using lead nurturing and predictive lead scoring systems. However, they all seem to neglect inefficiencies and opportunities to improve the media investment process — specifically, the ways in which they interact with the media partners who distribute their content to generate and transmit prospect data. Media partner relations is vital part of the marketing process. And overlooking such crucial initial steps in the customer creation process seems counterintuitive, but it happens all the time, and is even understandable. Here’s why.

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February 27, 2014

What Oracle-Blue Kai Acquisition Means for Big Data & Marketing

The news of the Oracle’s $400M acquisition of BlueKai this week made headlines for several reasons – continuing industry consolidation, acknowledgment of the power of prospect and customer data in the marketing process, big data meets marketing, Oracle’s march to dominate all things marketing cloud, and Larry Ellison shenanigans always make good headlines. All viable and interesting angles.

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February 20, 2014

MarTech Success #3: Creating A MarTech Blueprint

As Integrate CMO, Scott Vaughan, pointed out this week in a timely AdExchanger article: There is a growing effort to merge anonymous third-party data (e.g. cookies) with identified/known customer data (e.g. email, job title) to engage audiences with customized, relevant messaging, and attribute sales performance to specific marketing experiences. To do this, CMOs are investing heavily both in their marketing tech stack and the ad tech solutions that fill the gaps and expand capabilities. He goes on to exhort CMOs to create a marketing technology blueprint in order to:

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February 13, 2014

MarTech Success #2: What’s Hindering Your Marketing Automation’s Effectiveness?

I’m not going to start this post by clamoring on about the value technology holds for marketers. The need for tech has a consensus; the focus now lies in right ways to leverage it. This is the second post in Integrate’s ongoing MarTech Success Series that marketers can reference to successfully implement and utilize marketing technology. According to a recent Lattice eBook (which you can download at the always great Funnelholic blog), SiriusDecisions Co-Founder, John Neeson, stated that 50% of marketers admit they don’t leverage marketing automation to its full potential.[1] A later chapter provides even more sobering numbers:

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February 12, 2014

Integrating MarTech and AdTech Enables Revenue Marketing [Video]

I recently participated in REVTalks, a first-time event of about 400 revenue-driven marketers. I’ve hosted and participated in hundreds of events and the team at The Pedowitz Group put on something meaningful to shine a bright light on the present and future of marketing. If you haven’t received the memo, marketing today is all about customer acquisition and creating revenue. Marketing as the anti-cost center. The RevTalks format, modelled after TedTalks, consisted of rapid fire 15 minute sessions, forcing all the marketing practitioners and experts to focus and get to the point. There was no time to meander through openings and introductions, nor for attendees to scroll their email as they were moving session to session. A useful format to keep everyone engaged. Most importantly, the six topic areas made up a solid agenda and provided an accurate compass for today’s CMO.

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February 6, 2014

Data Governance #1: Three Reasons You Need Automated Lead Validation

In December, AdAge posted results of a survey stating 71% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2014. Marketers quickly blasted the stat through social media, underlining the need for quality content to discover new prospects and generate sales leads. No doubt, a good chunk of the increased content developed will be used for lead generation. With so much time and budget investment in media and content to generate leads, it’s staggering how many marketing organizations are not taking the next, critical step to utilize available technology to validate data as leads come in from their marketing programs.

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January 30, 2014

MarTech Success #1: The Crawl-Walk-Run Formula

Technology is a critical component of every CMO’s playbook. Finding and deploying marketing technology that creates business value has quickly become a top priority. The difference between success and failure often comes down to smooth implementation and widespread adoption; many traditional “IT-driven” rollouts are hampered by project delays, cost over-runs and lack of employee embrace, resulting in failed efforts and wasted investment.

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January 23, 2014

5 Ways to Crank up Lead Velocity

Marketers are experiencing a groundswell of demand for lead velocity when engaging with consumers and business pros. Velocity refers to the movement of leads and potential customer data from marketers’ lead generation campaigns to their internal database or sales and marketing automation systems. Slow-moving processes result in one of the most frequent complaints from sales: too much time between capturing a lead and having it ready for follow-up. So how do you go about increasing lead velocity?

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January 21, 2014

Media Buyers: Meet Your Modern Marketer’s Advantage

We hear lots of buzz about the “modern marketer” – a creative individual leveraging slick tools and marketing software to build campaigns, analyze results and drive outcomes, powered by automation and analytics. Some pros are practicing modern marketing, but today’s media buyer often more closely resembles the proverbial jack of all trades, trying desperately to excel at marketing strategy while manually managing a wide range of marketing tactics and incoming data from every campaign.

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November 24, 2013

Will You Be a Data Manager or a Marketing Performance Hero?

The typical B2B marketer’s 2014 goals will look something like this: increase sales by 8%, pipeline by 10%, marketing ROI by 15%. Notice a couple items that aren’t on that list: managing and compiling campaign data, coming up with new ways to expedite data collection across systems. The latter functions are important, but they’re not going to move the needle on your marketing performance (or your career or compensation, for that matter). Which is ironic, because in too many marketing organizations, campaign managers spend much of their time wrestling with those tasks. That point is reinforced day in and day out as marketing execs continue to be frustrated by their teams’ data management woes.

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November 20, 2013

Three Reasons Why Media Needs to Be Centralized

When I walk into meetings with brands and agencies, I’m consistently amazed by how many manual tasks and antiquated tools are still being used to buy and measure media. For nearly three years, I’ve been obsessed with fighting the notion that marketing departments need to proportionally scale headcount with spend and that media buyers need to spend so much of their time pulling reports and manually aggregating data. However, when relationships with publishers, ad networks and exchanges exist outside of an integrated platform, this state is inevitable.

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September 22, 2013

"Build Your Own Attention" - A CMO's Move to Integrate

CMOs and marketing departments have a clear mandate: create new customers, new revenue and new relationships – cheaper, better, and faster. The expectation is unequivocally to demonstrate business value and show direct contribution. If they can’t, the best case is reduced marketing budgets and irrelevance to the business. The worst case – you’re fired!

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