In my earlier blog, The Synchronicity Between Business & Data Analytics, I looked at the need for businesses to evaluate the Who, Why and What of Data Analytics to prevent them from falling into the Solow Paradox.
In this blog, I will be sharing my thoughts around Martech & AdTech and its impact on the Business Engine. I will attempt to go beyond the jargon. So, let’s align with the definitions first:
- MarTech: Including, but not limited to, any platform or technology deployed in Business Analytics, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Lead Management System, and Data Management Platforms such as Salesforce/Adobe Marketing Cloud, HubSpot
- AdTech: Including, but not limited, to Digital Advertising, Website Analytics, Website Personalisation, Dynamic Creative Engines, Dynamic Creative Optimizations
Even though the aforementioned isn’t the exhaustive list of AdTech and Martech, one can see the extent to which technology has infiltrated the old gut & experience-driven business functions.
Before we dive into the present day, I would like to take a stroll with you through history for a bit, specifically to the Maginot Line built by the French after World War 1 — one of the greatest feats of engineering undertaken in fortification & defence of a country. And this is where my thoughts gather around when I think about the strategy to choose between AdTech & Martech.
The Maginot Line was christened after Andre Maginot — the man who built and championed the defensive fortification. Nearly impervious to most forms of attack, it was able to withstand and repel invading armies. The French at the time, learning from all the past experiences, sought to build a fortress that was able to self sustain & had heavy fortifications with its own mini railway system underground, power station & state of the art accommodation for the soldiers. However, the rest of the Maginot Line was not as robust. And military experts thought it was unlikely for attacking forces to traverse both Belgium & the Ardennes Forest that posed as natural barriers. (Figure 1).
This gave the French a sense of infallible security during WW2. However, Nazi Germany’s new Blitzkrieg tactics which caught most of the allied nations by surprise, saw the Nazi’s bypass the Maginot Line thus invading France. While the Maginot Line did successfully hold off Nazi advances along its borders, ultimately, following the French surrender, the impervious part of the Maginot Line had to lay down its defences. Ever since the Maginot line has become a metaphor for expensive efforts that offer a false sense of security.
By now, you must have seen the pattern here. Much like the French amidst the World Wars, most organizations are economically recovering from the impact of the Covid-19, as industries, business models & supply chains were disrupted overnight. Most businesses would look to build & invest in a robust business infrastructure (AdTech) to ensure they’re impervious to future economic uncertainty. However, building only AdTech, much like the Maginot Line, would only help prepare your business for a fraction of future changes and impacts. To ensure your proverbial defence line holds fast and true, companies need to look into building their Martech as well to ensure AdTech & MarTech work in tandem (Figure 2).
But the question arises: How much to invest in and where? Martech or AdTech — which one is more important? Many will say it’s not t an easy answer as it depends on a multitude of factors such as the business industry, business goals, business structure and business maturity, and a slew of other management terms with “business” in front of it. But a good place to start is by answering these two questions:
- What is the current business priority?
- What can you do to enable consumers to help your business reach that goal?
This will help to lay the foundations for which pieces of AdTech & Martech that you should invest in first to ensure business resources are distributed equally and help to deliver a robust, data-enabled & informed business strategy — so that your strategy doesn’t become a Maginot Line!
Stay tuned for the next part of this series, where we’ll delve deeper into these two questions.