Wondering what is up with the Google notification you received during your usual web surfing this week?
Well me too, so I investigated.
This week I've also looked at trends on how leading brands use marketing technology, how the CDP market may be facing disruption by big tech, and the ways in which brands are engaging agencies.
Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I try to look to where the industry is going and make sense of it all.
Here's everything you've missed in marketing and technology this week 👇
📣 Google's PSA to Australians. Google has done a better job extracting business value from news publishers than the management of those very publishers, says Scott Galloway. For the first time in the history of the company, Google has gone to the millions of people who use their product every day with a notice suggesting that the new media deal will hurt their search and youtube products and undermine data protection. This is a fairly big deal, which means that pressure is mounting on Google and Facebook to use their market power to distribute value back to the companies who have enabled growth in the first place (ie news). However, the ACCC hit back suggesting that Google's PSA was misinformation, which highlights that this whole fiasco is just a bundle of contradictions. First, Google's assertion that news media companies will have an unfair share of customer data and preferential treatment neglects to consider Google's own monopolistic tendencies, "unfair share" in search and now in many other verticles. Second, The Australian Government is asking for both real-time removals of harmful content on these platforms, while also asking Google to give publishers a 28 day heads up of any algorithm changes which is just downright confusing and not realistic in the slightest. Third, Google's open letter claiming that what's under threat are the "services Australians rely on daily" is self-defeating because if Google search is a common public good, then it naturally follows that government regulation should apply. Electricity companies are regulated and airlines are regulated because they are essential to modern life, so why wouldn't a public utility like search? At the end of the day, news media are fighting a battle that was won 20 years ago when their developers injected track.js into their homepage. The closest the Australian government can get is a peace treaty, which will look more like a surrender. There will be no victory in this battle. Link.
🥞 Do best in class brands adopt best in class marketing tech? The short answer to that question is not really. An interesting Gartner report has come out recently ranking US brands based on "Digital IQ" which is a measure of marketing effectiveness and digital performance. They have some fairly interesting names, like "genius" and "feeble." When overlayed with the size and complexity of each brand's marketing technology ecosystem a few interesting insights came to light. For example, brands that were rated "genius" had larger ecosystems, but with fewer enterprise solutions and far more point solutions, which are individual SaaS products that deliver a specific service, like an AB testing tool. Conversely, the brands that were on the feeble side of Gartner's assessment were more likely to take on integrated enterprise cloud solutions. What this says to me is that the brands who are performing well have teams that are highly sophisticated in both scouting for fit for purpose solutions and integrating them into their ecosystem. In fact, these brands would be far more likely to experiment with new platforms to gain a competitive edge, despite the technical challenges that come with integrating many platforms into an enterprise environment. Enterprise cloud solutions often sell the "ease of use and integration" value proposition in their pitch decks, "look, you really can integrate your CRM data into our email marketing platform at a few clicks and no code!" But is this be part of the problem? Perhaps the challenge of integration is a correlation to a brand's technical sophistication. Link
🚒 Are CDP's ready for big tech disruption? Google announced quietly that they have now released server-side tagging in their Google Tag Manager product. This means that developers can tag server-side events into the platform for integration into the Google ad suite, paid media retargeting, and analytics as well. Currently, the update is available initially in the google cloud infrastructure but that will change soon. What this tells me is that Google is responding to a market need for customer-level data infrastructure solutions which is a natural progression out of Google's home turf - web analytics. What I foresee is that Google and other platforms like Amazon and Microsoft (Azure) will slowly but surely move into the customer data platform space to take the early market share that has been cultivated over the past five years by individual SaaS players. Think about it, Google has the infrastructure (Google cloud), the most utilized analytics platform (Google Analytics), the most utilized web browser (Google Chrome), the most utilized email client (Gmail), and a native data visualization solution (Google Data Studio). That means easy integrations, the ability to plug and play (like data studio and analytics already do), and a proven track record designing products that marketers actually use. With access to cheap capital enabling the ability to undercut on price (CDPs are not cheap) to rapidly drive up market share, all of this translates into fairly severe disruption for smaller CDP companies. Larger players like Oracle are already heading in this direction. The way CDPs can start differentiating is by delivering on cross-stack integration in ways that the bigger players can't like corralling smaller point solutions into their platform and targeting specific verticals like medical, education, or finance. It's only a matter of time until CDPs become a given in enterprise technology infrastructure, and when it happens it's not likely to be a smaller player. Link
📈Chart Of The Week
Are brands looking towards in-housing their marketing talent or engaging agencies? It appears that the trend is moving towards in-housing talent, particularly for social marketing and content production. In Gartner's report on how CMO's in the United States are spending their budgets, about one-third of CMOs shifted resources to in-house and away from agencies in the last year alone, which speaks to the readiness of brands to bring on and nurture their own talent. An example in the chart speaks to the story of social media marketing as it was was a highly specialized discipline that agencies were pioneering back in the early 2010s, but brands are catching up and are offering highly competitive compensation for digital talent for those who "have been there and done that." Another significant factor is the adoption of agile / scrum ways of working for digital and marketing teams, which in principle requires fully committed staff for estimation of work and to maintain regular iterations. This works great for the "one team one dream" mentality for in-housing talent but introduces complexities for integrating agency teams. I think we will be seeing more agencies respond to these challenges in the future to drive more integration with their clients.
📚 Everything Else
Facebook's lack of restrictions on hate speech in India. Link
The art of selling B2B SaaS products. Link
Optimizely has released a big book of experiment ideas to "drive customer certainty, during uncertain times". Link
The difference between contextual advertising and 3rd party cookie targeting. Link
While we're on 3rd party cookies - research is now coming out to suggest that publishers who diable 3rd party tracking are actually seeing increases in revenues. Link
A thread on how Uber grew their presence from a few cities to 100 in just two years. Link
How financial services marketing should be addressing COVID-19. Link
Seth Godin and the importance of community marketing. Link
Catch launches its first-ever brand campaign - It's like a Wesfarmer inauguration. Link
Netflix is coming for cinema. Link
Will Telstra's comedic ad campaign about 5G really bust the myth that it's harmful? Link
Make sense of marketing technology.
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