In a recent byline I discussed the virtues of integrating martech and ad tech stacks and why this should be a top level priority for CMOs.

It’s a given that CMOs want a unified stack that provides a 360 ° view of their consumer. As a recent insight piece from McKinsey&Company noted “To drive revenue growth and improve customer experience, technology has to enable more efficient data collection, foster cross-functional collaboration, and support test-and-learn agility.”  But the reality of integrating martech and ad tech is easier said than done largely due to the simple fact that technology and marketing disciplines are siloed. That’s why an iterative approach is likely the best course.

The first step is perhaps the most obvious – the marketing and technology/IT disciplines must work together in lock-step.  As noted by McKinsey “The most effective marketing and IT collaborations are built on specific and conscious decisions and on implementing policies to support them; making marketing a checkbox on IT’s to-do list just doesn’t work”.   Once the marketing/technology partnership has been established, integration should focus on how data flows through the technology stack and impacts marketing programs today.

For example, direct and indirect customer contact data is typically collected, combined and enhanced within the martech stack and then leveraged within the ad tech stack. From there, the next step would be data modeling and enhancement with both first- and third-party data sources. The insights gained from data modeling within the martech stack can then be brought into the ad tech stack and ultimately made addressable ensuring you reach the right consumer at the right time with the right message.  Understanding how that flow works today – the successes and the shortfalls – is key to identifying the trigger points within that martech/ad tech stack that need to be enhanced.

Digital media, when paired with consumer data, is addressable media. Today, with greater access to data, and the explosion of connected devices, remarketing and targeting strategies can be much more sophisticated and customized. And that has contributed to the rise of programmatic buying.

Programmatic buying – its immediacy – has compressed the feedback loop between martech and ad tech – enabling a more real-time bidirectional flow of data.  That speed of information flow needs to be leveraged – and can only be put effectively to work when the silos are broken down between the technology stacks.  That flow can provide the martech stack with invaluable data to refine customer profiles and targeting schemas, which can be brought quickly back to the ad tech stack and deployed to enhance programs, optimize delivery and maximize ROI on media spend.

To read more about why martech data should drive ad tech, read my full article here.