Yes, I realize that this is provocative and have donned my battle armor in preparation for your retort.

According to our own definition, martech is the blending of marketing and technology. Pretty straightforward assuming we’re talking about marketing in the traditional sense.

In school, we were all taught about the sales funnel. It’s a very linear experience that basically boils down to four basic phases: Awareness -> Interest -> Desire -> Action. And if we’re thinking traditional marketing here, our shiny martech tools would likely cover the awareness, interest and desire phases of that model while we leave action to those weird salespeople down the hall.

But we all know that this model is no longer relevant. With the advent of digital, our consumers now have a powerful voice. Disappoint one of them during the customer journey and they very well may leverage that voice to express their displeasure to the world, ultimately hampering future sales efforts.

In fact, 56% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience. Atop that, we know that attracting a new customer costs 7-8 times more than retaining an existing one

As a result, the new customer journey is cyclical versus linear. Personally, I like to think about a model that includes these phases: Discover -> Engage -> Transact -> Advocate, but you’ll find a million permutations of the basic notion out there.

In the modern customer journey, we build advocates by delighting customers throughout the customer experience. Delighted customers are 3.5x more likely to repurchase and 5x more likely to recommend.

Embracing the new journey model is not simple, certainly not at the enterprise scale. We all still think in our organizational silos.

With that as a backdrop, let’s go back to my point on martech. I believe marketing is uniquely positioned to help customer-facing organizations rally around the modern customer journey. But that suggests that we shouldn’t be working in a silo of our own.

If we don’t look at the bigger picture in our quest for martech excellence, we run the risk of compounding the problem by adding new silos of customer information that hamper our quest for experience excellence.

Do marketing departments need their own discreet technology? Of course they do. But building that technology without ensuring that it at least compliments a pan-enterprise view of the customer journey is a complete miss.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Len Devanna, founder and Chief Experience Officer at The Level 5 Group, has been driving digital innovation in many of the world’s top brands since 2000. In both Big Four consulting and Fortune 500 client-side roles, he’s helped startups to $180-billion companies reimagine how they serve their audiences throughout the customer lifecycle through digital media with a tenacious focus on delivering meaningful business outcomes.


Ten marketing technology companies are leading an initiative with over 190 co-signatories to publicly pledge to design software that eliminates data siloes by shifting away from a CRM-centric approach. The Platform of Independents is led by Segment co-founder and CEO Peter Reinhardt and includes Airship, Amplitude, Iterable, Mixpanel, Outreach, Pendo, Radar and Tray.io.

The formal declaration of the companies’ shared ideals was published in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal and displays their united stance on developing products that don’t lock their customers into a solution suite. Instead, they want to build tools that can serve organizations and their departments independently but enable users to have more freedom to share data.

Why we care

Marketers are not alone in the struggle of being forced into working with fragmented data and technology — the impact spans entire organizations. It’s so common that a recent Gartner report found that “no single CRM vendor is capable of providing the full functionality a business needs to support a complete customer data stack.”

Despite the fact that CRM vendors have spent over $30 billion over the last two years acquiring different applications and technologies, it hasn’t been enough to solve the underlying issues. Acquisitions still force users into using a suite, limiting their customers’ choices or creating the need for IT departments to invest time into costly integrations for outside solutions.

“The time has come for businesses to realize that there’s a whole new world outside the legacy CRM suite,” said Reinhardt. “Together with our partners, we’re proud to stand up for what’s best for our customer-first businesses in the digital age: choice, flexibility and the freedom to build data stacks using any combination of best-in-class technology. In short, CRM just isn’t enough anymore.”

More on the news

  • The companies that have signed the pledge span a variety of marketing technology capabilities including customer data infrastructure providers, conversational marketing platforms and analytics solutions.

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


We’re conducting a survey to get more insight on the roles shaping our industry.

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Is your job title fairly new? What martech tools do you use from day to day? Would you say you are more of an Operations Orchestrator, or an Analytics Architect? Or neither? These are the things we want to know about you.

Please take our 2020 MarTech Career Study to help us get a better understanding of the roles shaping today’s marketing technology organizations. Conducted in partnership with MarTech Conference Chair Scott Brinker, the survey will only take five minutes of your time and will give us all more insight into the work we do as an industry.

Once all the responses have been collected, we’ll be sure to share the results. It is an anonymous survey and includes 18 questions (plus three optional questions) covering topics like:

  • Which department are you part of?
  • What are your primary responsibilities?
  • What martech tools do you use most often?
  • When was the last time you were promoted?

Please be sure to forward this quiz to your martech colleagues — the more responses we have, the more insights we can share.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


The MarTech Conference is for forward-thinking, senior-level marketers who are convinced that modern marketing is agile, customer-centric, decentralized, process-driven, people-powered… and technology-enabled.

If your organization is moving from one in which marketing is assisted by martech to one where martech is absorbed in marketing, and if you agree that martech is marketing — this conference is for you.

Join us April 15-17 in San Jose to push the limits of marketing execution, process, and people. The all-new agenda is live and ready for you to explore! You’ll unlock creative, vendor-agnostic solutions and actionable tactics for overcoming everyday marketing challenges, like…

  • Structuring marketing teams and stacks to ensure organizational success
  • Benchmarking multi-channel stacks to thrive in 2020 and beyond
  • Modernizing social media martech to unlock innovation opportunities
  • Fostering unified enterprise workflow to enable more efficient marketing
  • Leveraging APIs to help meet customer expectations

…and dozens more. Each editorial track — Marketing Operations, Marketing Data, Marketing Technology, and Marketing Orchestration — tackles a pillar of your profession; each session delivers practical advice and insights you can implement immediately.

Keynotes from digital analyst Brian Solis, SalesForce Principal of Marketing Insights, Mathew Sweezey, and communications expert Nancy Duarte will inspire, inform, and empower. You’ll learn how to leverage AI to improve customer experiences, motivate buyers in an age of infinite media, and use data to tell compelling, humanizing narratives.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn first-hand from some of the world’s most successful brands, including Wells Fargo, Lyft, DocuSign, Salesforce, CaringBridge, GrubHub, Vonage, Gartner, Twitter, and many more.

Like what you see? Check out the complete agenda!

Ready to register? Choose your pass based on goals and budget:

  • All Access: Complete access to all conference sessions, keynotes, networking events, exhibiting martech companies, sponsor presentations, amenities, and more. Book today and enjoy $450 off on-site rates.
  • All Access Workshop Combo (best value!): Dive deeper and learn more with a half-day, pre-conference workshop. These expert-led workshops deliver a unique opportunity to train in an immersive, intimate environment. Book today and enjoy $900 off on-site rates! (Workshop-only passes are also available.)
  • Expo : Searching for marketing technology? Focused on growing your network? Pick up a free Expo pass to enjoy unlimited Expo Hall access, full-length Solution Track sessions, sponsor presentations in the Discover MarTech Theater, downloadable speaker presentations, refreshments, WiFi, and more.
  • Team Rates: MarTech is a fabulous option for your 2020 company outing. Attend as a group for a unique team-building experience and lock in extra savings while you’re at it!

Alpha rates expire February 15… book now to enjoy these fantastic savings. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

See you in San Jose 🙂

Psst… Don’t miss your chance to earn worldwide recognition from the MarTech community! Submit your marketing technology stack to the 2020 Stackie Awards to join the ranks of past winners including Cisco, Marin Software, Merkle, and more.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Scott Brinker is the conference chair of the MarTech® Conference, a vendor-agnostic marketing technology conference and trade show series produced by MarTech Today’s parent company, Third Door Media. The MarTech event grew out of Brinker’s blog, chiefmartec.com, which has chronicled the rise of marketing technology and its changing marketing strategy, management and culture since 2008. In addition to his work on MarTech, Scott serves as the VP platform ecosystem at HubSpot. Previously, he was the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive.


Senior-level marketers like you will attend MarTech next April for actionable tactics and proven strategies that solve pressing marketing technology and operations challenges. Two intense days of expert-led sessions, illuminating keynotes, and networking with a thriving community of like-minded professionals… what more could you want?

What’s that? You want more? The MarTech workshops were designed for overachievers like you.

These immersive, half-day training seminars — led by recognized industry experts — dive deep into specific aspects of modern marketing and deliver practical insights you can implement immediately. Here’s a look at some of the workshops coming to San Jose, Wednesday, April 15 and the experts who will lead them:

Keep reading for more details!

The Right Way to Buy Marketing Technology

Instructor: Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group

Who Should Attend: Marketers charged with identifying, evaluating, and negotiating the purchase of marketing software.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to efficiently distinguish among features, architectures, cost, and ecosystems
  • How to drive an agile, test-based selection process that engages your peers as advocates for the right solution
  • How to adopt this methodology for selecting digital agencies and other consulting firms
  • How to benefit from case studies and those who have gone before you

    The major pros and cons of the key martech cloud/suite players

Using CDP to Make the Most of Your Customer Data

Instructor: David M. Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute

Who Should Attend: Marketers new to customer data management or charged with overhauling their existing (read: messy) system and practices.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What Customer Data Platforms are and how to define your organizations’ needs
  • How to assess technical or organizational factors that could affect CDP success
  • How to quickly identify the most relevant vendors
  • How and when to write an RFP
  • How to ensure a quick and successful deployment

Agile Marketing Advantage

Instructor: Andrea Fryrear, President and Lead Trainer for AgileSherpas

Who Should Attend: Marketing leaders looking to improve their teams’ performance by applying “agile” or “lean” methods in the workplace

What You’ll Learn:

  • How the agile mindset informs new ways of working inside marketing teams
  • Case studies and hands-on exercises that prove modern marketing demands an agile process
  • How to put agile into practice, including Andrea’s 100% customized approach just for marketers
  • How to get the most from agile with practical advice for designing roles, leadership, and team structure.
  • How to roll out agile methods at a pace that ensures team and departmental success.

Creating Connected Experiences

Instructor: Jeff Cram, Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Connective DX

Who Should Attend: Marketers responsible for orchestrating seamless digital customer experiences and maximizing the full potential of existing martech investments (yep, they’re connected!)

What You’ll Learn:

  • How digital experience mapping can inform organizational alignment and help prioritize areas of improvement
  • The most frequent challenges for organizations trying to better connect their marketing technology and what you can do to overcome them
  • How content can help bind your teams and digital experiences together
  • How to assess your organization’s preparedness to create connected experiences
  • How you get more from your existing personas and better align customer insight programs with martech implementations.

A Marketer’s Guide To Attribution Analysis

Instructor: Christopher Penn, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Trust Insights

Who Should Attend: Marketers who want to get a better handle on attribution by using the tools they already have.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why attribution analysis is important
  • Why attribution analysis is broken
  • What kinds of attribution models exist
  • How to get started with 5 different kinds of models
  • What’s state-of-the-art in attribution modeling today

Get the most out of MarTech!

Add one of these outstanding workshops to your itinerary today… they’re the perfect way to jumpstart your conference experience and maximize your time and investment.

Choose your pass:

  • All Access Pass Workshop (best value!): The complete MarTech experience, including all sessions, keynotes, and amenities, plus your choice of half-day intensive workshop. Register by February 15 and save $900 off on-site rates!
  • Workshop Only: Interested in just a workshop? Register by February 15 and save $450 off on-site rates. (This pass also gets you complete access to the Expo Hall April 15-17, select networking — including the 2020 Stackie Awards — refreshments, WiFi, sponsored sessions, and more.)
  • Team Package: MarTech is a fabulous option for your 2020 company outing. Attend as a group for a unique team-building experience and lock in extra savings while you’re at it.

Register by year end to use up leftover 2019 budget… and I’ll see you in San Jose 🙂

About The Author

Lauren Donovan has worked in online marketing since 2006, specializing in content generation, organic social media, community management, real-time journalism, and holistic social befriending. She currently serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Third Door Media, parent company to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, SMX, and The MarTech Conference.


Exciting news, marketer: Nancy Duarte and Brian Solis are keynoting MarTech! Next April 15-17 in San Jose, they will tackle two of the biggest challenges in marketing…

Challenge #1: Data Deluge

We marketers have access to more data than ever before. That’s swell… if you can derive value from it. Nancy’s keynote, Make Data Stick through Duarte DataStory™, delivers a framework for making sense of limitless data, and actionable tactics for using data to tell compelling, humanizing stories to your teams, stakeholders, and customers.

Challenge #2: Digital Noise

Delivering consistently terrific customer experiences across digital channels is the Holy Grail of martech. But all those touchpoints create a ton of clutter. Brian’s keynote, The Distracted Customer: How to Connect the Dots Between Martech, Marketing Operations, and Customer Distractions to Deliver Clarity and Value, provides the insights that will help your organization break through the noise to serve customers in meaningful and genuinely helpful ways.

Connect with Nancy Duarte, Brian Solis, and a thriving community of nearly 2,000 senior marketers at MarTech next April. Choose your ideal pass based on budget and goals, and register now to enjoy up to $900 off on-site rates!

  • All Access: All conference sessions, keynotes, networking events (including the 2020 Stackie Awards!), the Expo Hall, the official MarTech event app, hot meals, WiFi, and more. Book now and save $450 off on-site rates.
  • All Access Workshop Combo (best value!): Add an expert-led, half-day workshop to your All Access pass for an immersive, intimate learning experience. Book now and save $900 off on-site rates.
  • Expo : Unlimited access to the Expo Hall, sponsored sessions, select networking (yep, including the Stackies!), refreshments, free WiFi, the official MarTech mobile app, and more. Book now and it’s… free!

See you in San Jose 🙂

Psst… Need to convince your manager to let you attend? Rely on our handy Get Your Boss On Board resources, including talking points, a pricing breakdown, and a templated letter!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Scott Brinker is the conference chair of the MarTech® Conference, a vendor-agnostic marketing technology conference and trade show series produced by MarTech Today’s parent company, Third Door Media. The MarTech event grew out of Brinker’s blog, chiefmartec.com, which has chronicled the rise of marketing technology and its changing marketing strategy, management and culture since 2008. In addition to his work on MarTech, Scott serves as the VP platform ecosystem at HubSpot. Previously, he was the co-founder and CTO of ion interactive.


Join nearly 2,000 senior-level marketers to learn actionable tactics, best practices, and proven solutions that can help you overcome your toughest marketing challenges.

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Nearly 2,000 senior marketers like you will attend MarTech® next April 15-17 in San Jose, CA. Join them to learn actionable tactics, best practices, and proven solutions that can help you overcome your toughest marketing challenges.

The site is up and registration is open! Book your pass now to secure the lowest rates available — up to $900 off on-site prices. (Pro-tip: Register before year end to use up any unallocated 2019 budget.)

I’ll reach out soon with more details. In the meantime, catch up with coverage from last September’s MarTech Conference in Boston!

Psst… Planning your company’s 2020 professional development activities? MarTech is a great value for teams. Register now!

About The Author

Lauren Donovan has worked in online marketing since 2006, specializing in content generation, organic social media, community management, real-time journalism, and holistic social befriending. She currently serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Third Door Media, parent company to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, SMX, and The MarTech Conference.


Last month at MarTech East, I was practically tickled pink to be able to present “From Wild West to Business Best: Tales of a New MarTech Team.” This presentation walked through how SAP Concur built a martech team from the ground up in one year. It was so exciting to be able to share it because I lived it. I experienced firsthand the struggles that our team felt in the absence of a martech team and I was in the trenches as we worked to build a new team, new processes and new relationships. 

Sharing it at MarTech East, I learned that our story resonated with many of our audience members. We are a small team trying to do great things for the business, like so many others out there. We wanted to share our story to help provide some inspiration and guidance for other teams trying to tackle the same challenges. We focused on how to set up our team’s vision and charter, how we defined the roles and responsibilities and created a MarTech Council. We shared our comprehensive marketing technology inventory methodology and results. And, perhaps most important of all, we talked about our enablement strategy and how we focus on the prioritization of our training efforts. After all, we can have a full stack of best in breed tools, but if marketers don’t know how to use any of them, we aren’t seeing any value. We are far from having it figured out, but we saw significant progress in the last year and we wanted to share our lessons learned with the broader martech community. 

Prior to team existing who owned vendor selection? Also, how did you get the organization to align behind the MarTech team owning it?

Purchasing new tools was in the hands of individual teams and regions. If you had the budget, you could buy a tool. We lacked a cohesive vision and selection criteria. This siloed approach resulted in a lot of pain when certain requirements would come as a surprise late in the game. Moreover, our Procurement and IT teams were overwhelmed by the barrage of requests coming at them without global prioritization. That widely recognized pain was a big contributor to getting the business on board with the MarTech team owning new tool evaluations. Marketing leadership was 100% behind the idea, which gave us strong footing to begin with. 

We expected to be met with resistance. After all, each individual team was used to being able to do this on their own. But we were surprised when the primary reaction was relief. Our marketing groups realized they could not manage every part of the process effectively and were willing to turn the evaluations, and the navigation of our internal processes, over to our team. Additionally, for the teams who historically lacked a budget to purchase their own tools, the process gave them a path to seek out collaboration with other teams. Having the leadership buy-in, and the understanding of the benefit among the marketers, made rolling out the new evaluation process much easier. 

Who makes up the MarTech Council? Is it cross-functional?

It is cross-functional! I think that cross-functional element is the source of the MarTech Council’s success. We have representation from each of our regional marketing teams, as well as additional functional groups like IT, procurement and sales ops. When we started the MarTech Council, bringing those groups together at the same table was groundbreaking for our siloed organization. Simply through the opportunity to have conversations together, we have been able to make progress we never would have if we hadn’t invited so many groups to be a part of the Council.

How much of your time/effort is reactive to what global team wants in MarTech versus you driving proactive planning? How do you execute proactive planning?

I would estimate that 20% of our time is reactive and 80% is proactive. With the help of leadership support, our team has felt empowered to create a plan and run with it. We are the experts, and we identify where our efforts will have the most impact. Since we are such a small team, being strict about sticking to those predetermined priorities has prevented us from getting bulldozed by reactive requests. 

Our most reactive work is driven by new tech requests. When a new request is submitted, we continually evaluate and prioritize against outstanding requests. But when it comes to things like our enablement strategy, we adhere closely to our established plan. Our enablement plan for the year was focused on specific tools that needed additional support. We then prioritized those tools and began executing against those priorities. Creating enablement materials for the first-priority tools was given the majority of our time, and so on down the line. 

Overall, we have been able to be successful in this area by having the ongoing support of leadership and continually reminding people ‘if we do X reactive thing, then it means we cannot do Y planned thing.’

Who is responsible for creating training resources and policing consistent usage of the tools? Do you have a dedicated training manager? Who is responsible for creating training resources, written toolkits and knowledge-base articles?

Me! Okay, maybe not for absolutely all those things, but currently our MarTech team consists of two roles and I am the only one dedicated to enablement. With such limited resources, we frequently partner with our Global Enablement team (who works on enablement for all of sales and marketing), but that team is focused more on onboarding. For enablement materials beyond that, it’s my responsibility to prioritize the tools and execute on an enablement plan for the most needed materials. I create a lot of tip sheets, because I can partner with our subject matter experts in order to turn those around quickly. As far as policing tool usage, we are still thinking through the best way to go about it. Right now, we rely heavily on our regional analysts who work more directly with the marketing teams.

If you had to compress what you did from 6 months to 6 days what would you do?

Let me start off by saying, I am eternally thankful we did not have to do this! One year went by fast enough! But if I had to, I would have still begun by doing a MarTech inventory. With only six days available, it would not be able to be as in-depth as ours was, but I still think it would be crucial to have a consolidated list of all the marketing tools. Even without an in-depth analysis of each tool, I would still prioritize gathering the most basic understanding of whether the tool was providing the value it should be or not.

From there, I would have focused on getting the new tech request process rolled out and establishing the MarTech Council. Without a process for incoming MarTech requests, the inventory would have quickly been rendered useless. I think a MarTech Council is a key part of that evaluation process, so even though working through who the right people are to serve on the council would take a lot of time in those six days, I think it would be worth it.

After all that is done, hopefully, there is still at least a little time left to begin to sketch out an enablement plan. What tools are globally available that have an urgent need for training support? Even just picking one top tool can provide some excellent direction.

More about the MarTech Conference

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

During an average day at SAP Concur, you can find Emily hard at work on a variety of enablement materials for their ever-growing tech stack. She is passionate about people and about equipping them with the tools and processes they need in order to make their jobs easier. In addition to being responsible for the marketing technology enablement strategy, she works to streamline martech processes and encourage communication between our global teams. Emily is also a Marketo certified expert and leads a weekly internal Marketo user group called Marketo and Doughnuts.

Kimi Corrigan on stage at MarTech East in Boston.

Marketing operations expert, Kimi Corrigan from Duo Security at Cisco, led the MarTech East session, “How to Organize and Coach Outstanding Marketing Operations Teams.” Corrigan shared her passion for helping teams work more effectively and offered insights on navigating the work culture and the need for honest feedback. She also happens to love Schitt’s Creek and made references to gifs from the show that are relatable to her work and the reason some attendees wanted to know about her favorite character (she shares that at the end).

What is a theme for your coaching conversations?

An equal playing field. I think the best coach-player relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. Different people feel that trust by different means. Some people respond well when I share my own similar challenges and how I worked through them. Others may respond better when you share clear expectations. What I’ve learned most is that there is little to be gained by not being open to sharing or being ambiguous. 

How do you determine when a certain business request requires the need for a project manager?

Nearly everything has some level of involvement with our project manager. Even if it’s something we don’t need a project manager to manage we typically have the requestor put in a work request for the PM to assign to the right person on the team. She has the best view of the workload of each person on the team. She also acts as a buffer for requests that aren’t fully baked and projects that might have scope creep.

How large is your marketing ops team and how many project managers support?

In total, we have five full-time members of the marketing ops team, including the project manager. The PM also supports our demand-gen team of six. 

I’m from a place where there is a culture to not give honest feedback. Do you have any advice for bringing radical candor to your workplace where it would otherwise be misconstrued?

Have your team read Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor. Her advice was perfect. “Tell your team that you think you have not been Radically Candid enough and that you’re going to try to make a big change.”

By communicating that you want to improve, you’ll show your team that you’re serious about the cultural shift. Prove that you mean it by asking for their help. Ask them to rate your feedback as well.

By building a collaborative process, you’ll improve your own impromptu feedback quicker, and you’ll help your team see first-hand the impact of Radical Candor. When they see the improvements, they’ll also be encouraged to make the change themselves.”

What is YOUR favorite episode of Schitt’s Creek? 

Impossible to pick. 

Favorite Schitt’s Creek character?

David will always be my #1, but I grew to love Alexis almost as much too. 

More about the MarTech Conference

About The Author

Wendy Almeida is Third Door Media’s Community Editor, working with contributors for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. She has held content management roles in a range of organizations from daily newspapers and magazines to global nonprofits.

Jorge Garcia onstage at MarTech East in Boston on Sept. 17. Photo credit: Jesleen Jose

Jorge Garcia, Senior marketing manager at Akamai Technologies, shared his company’s journey to protect their data and brand in his MarTech East session, “Securing Your Martech Stack: Partnering with IT and Enterprise Security.”

A lot of questions around the roles of purchasing and managing martech stacks and “owns” the privacy compliance process, were submitted by session attendees, so I wanted to answer some of them.

Q: IT teams often tell marketing that they’ll choose and run your stack. Do you now have a clear agreement about respective roles and what did that take?

Mostly. I say “mostly” because the industry is ever-evolving and each new technology raises questions about roles. What we are clear about is our engagement when these questions come up. We have a regular forum for these discussions and a practiced motion of how to address them. That rhythm took a while to build, but it started with requirements gathering. We changed the conversation from “We want this tool; how and when can you help us get it?” to “This is the problem we’re trying to solve and the capabilities we’re looking to enable our marketers with. What do you think?” It created a collaborative environment instead of a transactional one. 

Q: Who makes the decision on which tool/company to go with?

It’s a collaborative process between legal, security, IT, marketing and procurement. I know that might seem a bit excessive, but it ensures we’re picking the best vendor for our needs and that key stakeholders are involved at the appropriate stage of the purchase.

  • Legal provides advice and support for contract review and data protection agreements
  • Security ensures the tool/company is compliant with our risk and information security policies
  • IT supports the technical assessment of integrating the tool into the existing infrastructure and processes 
  • Marketing is the key stakeholder that advocates for their requirements and vision
  • Procurement drives the RFP process, demo scheduling, negotiation, and coordination with Legal

I like to think of marketing technologists as the bridge builders of marketing, especially for new tech purchases.

Q: In a distributed marketing organization the emergence of a martech group like yours can get backlash that you are just replicating IT in slowing down what marketing needs. How has that gone for you?

At first, not great. Any time a team comes in to add process or centralize responsibility, there’s the risk for an accompanying resentment or expectations of restrictions and bottlenecks. We weren’t the exception.

Early on we spent t he majority of our time telling the martech story and finding champions who understood our mission and supported our efforts. Then we demonstrated that story by relying heavily on transparency.  As our partnership with IT matured, the overlap between our teams diminished. Over time, stakeholders were able to see the extensive body of work that goes into managing a martech stack, bringing on new technologies, providing ongoing support to existing technologies, and the unique skillset of translating business requirements and technical requirements. Someone who speaks Spanish to a person who speaks Italian can get by; but the world opens up to them when they have a translator.

Q: Is privacy compliance built into your process? Who owns it?

It’s absolutely built into our process. Where I work, we’re entrusted with delivering and securing digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. A critical component of that trust is in our commitment to the privacy rights of our customers and our employees. We’ve built privacy compliance into our processes across the organization, and especially into our processes for evaluating, assessing, or implementing new technology.

Our Global Data Protection Office sits with in-house counsel. They own developing, implementing and maintaining a comprehensive corporate-wide privacy program and policy framework. The rest of us are responsible for working within those frameworks and embedding privacy into everything we do.

Q: If a vendor has some sort of certification – such as ISO 27001/02 – does that make your review process more streamlined?

It does. I wouldn’t say one certification is better than another for our reviews, but typically, vendors that have gone through certification are those that prioritize security and compliance. As a result, they’re more likely to have considered many of the areas we assess during our security review. I typically ask for ISO 27001/02 or SOC 2, but they aren’t a requirement, more of a facilitator.

Q: Does the request to IT/security start with business requirements for a tool or a recommendation from?

Before a request makes its way to IT/Security, it’s vetted and prioritized by marketing leadership. Bringing in the leadership team early has been integral to our success prioritizing projects. With over 7,040 marketing technologies in Scott Brinker’s latest 2019 Marketing Technology Landscape, it’s dangerously easy for martech teams to get distracted by shifting priorities. Making strategic decisions about our investments at the most senior level ensures everyone across the organization is aligned to our initiatives and understands why they were prioritized. 

Once those decisions are made, we bring in IT and share marketing’s business requirements. Our team works with the requestor to understand the what and why of their request: What is the problem they’re trying to solve and Why do they think technology will solve it. We use these requirements as our foundation for working with IT to develop an initial scope, phasing design, systems impact analysis, and prioritization plan. The outcome of these discussions, our Security review, and the Procurement process help us narrow down the best vendor to solve and meet our why.

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About The Author

A lifetime learner and an innate problem-solver, Jorge Garcia found his home in the marketing technology industry. His 10-plus years in sales, sales management, program management, marketing analytics, and marketing operations roles with large organizations have prepared him for the unique mix of problems a marketing technologist faces. He hopes his energy and zeal for technology will attract fellow martech enthusiasts looking to push the industry forward. Jorge is a senior manager of marketing technology at Akamai Technologies, a Cambridge-based company that secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. His natural curiosity for improvement opportunities and passion for discovering innovative solutions means that in a given week he might perform a preliminary security assessment, present tech strategy to leadership, facilitate an integration review, and build a sync architecture all before Wednesday!