In a digital world full of non-functioning third-party cookies, ad-blockers, tightened privacy rules and GDPR, how can marketers still hit the right person, with the right message, at the right time? For many, this task is getting closer and closer to impossible.
The last 2-3 years most media agencies have boasted about having the recipe for how to continue to do proper targeting and bring the results to their clients. They have talked non-stop about advanced logarithms, smart segments, lookalike audiences and the use of AI and Machine Learning in campaing bidding, while their powerpoint reports ooze of apathy and status quo.
Targeting in digital marketing will quite soon only work if you run on first-party data, ie. the companies own customer data. Data the companies themselves have obtained permission from their users and customers for use in marketing and where the companies have full control over the data quality.
Luckily, today it is possible to run marketing campaigns with targeting only on first-party data. But you and your company need to be prepared to pull the technology all the way up to the chest, or at least in-house. It's all about changing how you and your team work and are organized, what knowledge you need and what tools you need to master.
When, not if, but when companies start bringing the marketing technology within their own four walls it will have major repercussions. Market budget shares will to a greater extent start to move in-house and the MarTech expertise will follow. Initially to the largest companies, but also in smaller companies, we will see a rise of MarTech heads and MarTech environments.
Far from it. So do not panic if your company is using a media agency today. It will take years for MarTech to move in-house with the agencies' customers, but the race towards the end has already started and you and your company should take that into account.
Cause the fact that MarTech will become mainstream and open to the public is beyond any doubt.
According to Gartner, MarTech as a profession went mainstream already in 2018.
Scott Brinker aka "The Godfather of MarTech" began in early 2018 talking about the democratization of MarTech, ie. anyone will become able to use marketing tools more powerful and more voluminous than professional marketers use today.
And these tools will get access to the very best first-party data belonging to companies, because they operate from inside the companies. Data that has always been a wet but unattainable dream for the media agencies.
When that happens, the digital media agencies fore sure will face a significant challenge. Running big and sophisticated campaigns will be so easy that the big agency customers are going to let their own marketing departments run their own digital campaigns. If the advertising market for print, television and radio at the same time drops the same way as the use of these media have been doing lately, then I fear many agencies will face termination.
Only time will tell how this will pan out, but MarTech will hit the media agencies and their AdTech as a digital tsunami and if I still had been working in an agency today, I would seek cover.
Maybe not tomorrow or the next week, but soon.
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