MarTech East 2019 Recap: Peak CDP, Point Solutions, and Privacy

Some thoughts and looks back at the MarTech East 2019 event held by Third Door Media, Scott Brinker, and the MarTech team. Huge thanks to Scott and the Third Door Media team for inviting me to conduct a workshop with my CEO, Katie Robbert, and present on the topic of AI for marketers.

  • Operations is still the major focus
  • Buy still largely the focus rather than build
  • Point solutions for everything
  • Peak CDP
  • Privacy issues loom large – and CDPs aren’t helping
  • AI is still poorly understood but at least more companies are trying
  • I can’t believe we’re still talking about attribution

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode we are recapping the martek East Conference that I had a chance to speak at this week along with CEO Katie, where we did a three hour workshop on attribution.

And then two days of conference talks.

So let’s take a look at what the major themes were this year.

martech has always been and and still is mostly about marketing operations is still the major focus.

And that’s a great thing, because that’s an area where marketing tends to be very deficient.

One of the interesting things that was running through attendees minds over certainly was a major topic of both morning’s breakfast was that by versus build is still largely the focus, people are talking about normalizing their martek stack and you know, adding tools and gaps and stuff.

And it’s astonishing to me that the first impulse of a marketing operations person or chief marketing officer is something’s not working, let’s buy some more stuff.

That there’s a reason why Scott Brinker is martech loom escape the huge landscape with all those logos 8000 of them.

There’s a reason why there’s 8000 logos, if that’s the mindset, people are enough, just buy more stuff to see if that fixes the problem.

It doesn’t.

But I thought that was interesting in the number of conversations I had with attendees, their instinct is let’s buy more stuff to try and fix the problems.

Remember, we’re singing breakfast, the second day, listening to this person talk about how they, they felt like their stack was incomplete.

And they needed some additional lead scoring technologies.

And they needed some new regularization technologies and something to deal with synchronization.

And I said, so what do you have in house for your stack? And I said, well, the major components are web analytics from Google Eloqua, salesforce.com, and ERP system.

And then they listed like 15.

Other tools, I’m like, you know that the 10 other tools that you have listed, they are duplicative of the some of the capabilities in the core platforms that you already know that I didn’t know that, well.

I feel like there’s some more juice, you could squeeze out of the things you’re already paying for, before you go buy something new.

That’s not to say you don’t ever need to buy something new, sometimes you absolutely do.

And you need a point solution that provides a service or a function that just can’t get anywhere else.

That’s a great opportunity to look at a point solution.

But if you’re paying, you know, hundreds or thousands of dollars every month for these major platforms, it’s worth a deep dive into the manual to see what’s in there.

So that was one of the major takeaways from the second we are at peak CDP customer data platforms.

These are services that promise to extract and unify all your customer data give you you know, 360 degree view of the customer and all that stuff.

And everybody in their cousin says they were CDP.

Now, former data management platforms etc.

Everybody, even tag management software is now claiming to be a CDP cd PS have a problem.

And the problem is this they are a bandaid on poor process, governance and poor discipline when it comes to technology.

If you need a third party piece of software to unify all of your data, it means that you do not have a good handle on your data.

There are many, many really good database services, data extraction services, etc.

That can perform the functions of a CDP but allow you to own your data rather than have a third party vendor managing it for you.

And in a lot of cases, the CDP is it is a band aid because and it’s an expensive band aid.

Because if you can’t find where all your data is matched up, yes, a piece of software can do that.

But you should be already doing that you should already have good identifiers, normalized identifiers throughout your data.

So that’s one aspect of what was interesting.

The second was that privacy issues are on everyone radar, which is great GDPR still not being followed well by a lot of companies, and then CCP and like 13 of its variants also looming large on people’s minds.

And I went to the expo hall and talk to about half a dozen CDP vendors and I asked them, How does your product help a marketer deal with these issues? And they said, Well, our our software all has these features that allow you to input the privacy policies of your choice.

And you know, and then you configure it, and then you set it and then it will obey what you tell it to do.

So that’s not helpful.

Because if you are not familiar with the law already, you may miss implement or just not implement privacy features.

And so the another point of contention with I have with these vendors is you’re not making people’s lives easier by automatically suggesting, hey, this field looks like an identity field, you should anonymize it.

So that you are in compliance, the law.

There is a lot of work to be done by a lot of vendors.

I heard one vendor say, well, we’re GDPR compliant.

So you’re automatically CCP a compliant, like, Nope, that’s not how that works.

The laws are different, they are different enough that you do need to merge the different pieces and identify what sort of the strictest highest standards compliance is, that will automatically make you apply for both.

But you have to merge those features together.

In order to get to that simple example.

GDPR is at the individual level, CPA is at the household level.

And so your default for privacy has to be at the household level, if you want one policy to rule them all.

Third point, Ai, still poorly understood by a lot of people but more companies are trying I did hear a number of people saying that we’re doing pilot deployments and things like that and seeing some good initial results.

I saw one person from a pharmaceutical company talking about their data science and AI efforts mostly on conversion rate optimization, they were able to get 30% lift in about six months.

Once they got all their their data untangled.

And such that was a great thing.

I see you glad to see that there’s progress being made there.

And finally, I can’t believe we’re still talking about attribution.

Not that it isn’t important because it is but that more companies have not made good progress on building their attribution models.

Katie and I did a workshop.

And it was a wide wild mix of people from people who were like, yep, we have a functional multi touch attribution model informed by machine learning to we don’t have anything yet.

And it’s shocking to me that, you know, really, almost a decade after multi touch attribution models really started hitting the market that we’re still at a point where it’s not commonplace, at least on the digital side, at least on the digital side, right? I totally get merging offline and online is really difficult.

And you need to have, you do need to have data science and machine learning capabilities.

But there’s no reason not to be using multi touch attribution, at least on digital in digital marketing, because the data is there.

The click stream is largely intact, and it will at least point you in the right direction.

So those are some of the major highlights from our tech East fantastic conference.

Huge thanks to Scott Brinker, the third door media team for having me come out and do a workshop and speak the if you want to see the session, go to where can I get the slides calm.

Or just go to the trust insights website and you can watch the entire video from the session.

But again, huge thanks to those folks and looking forward to to participating in more martech events.

As always, please leave your questions below.

So subscribe to the YouTube channel and to the newsletter.

I’ll talk to you soon.

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