TMW #014 | Twilio going vertical, the CMO's new job, copyrighting APIs, and 25 years of the Gartner Hype Cycle
Welcome to The Martech Weekly, where every week I review some of the most interesting ideas, research, and latest news. I try to look to where the industry is going and make sense of it all.
👋 A Quick Note
There are two versions of TMW, the full version for subscribers and a 50% version that's for everyone. You are reading the 50% version. Sign up to get the top #3 stories, chart of the week and entire "everything else" list delivered every Friday for this one and every TMW 😁
👩⚖️ Can you copyright an API? In what appears to be a decade in the making, Google and Oracle are now in the midst of legal proceedings to decide if an Oracle API language can be copyrighted. Every single digital product has some form of dependency on APIs, and it has been the standard open source way to integrate two platforms. Everyone uses APIs whether they like it or not. In short, if Oracle wins the case then this carries the risk that the concept of an API could be licenced putting literally hundreds of thousands of companies at risk, having to rebuild a non-licenced API or pay up to use the API that's been available for free for a long time. Central to the argument is whether or not Google's use of 37 Java APIs are infringing on Oracle's copyright as they are allegedly similar in structure. Google's reply is that an API is like an alphabet, it's all just core pieces that are put together to create the ability to send and receive data between different platforms. Oracle's move would be like trying to copyright a pen or an ATM. Not possible, because, even Microsoft, agrees with Google's view that APIs are really just technology languages that are commonly used and are in a way public domain. As it stands it has been determined that APIs cannot be copyrighted, but this case could potentially break this legislation, shaping software development and innovation and how marketers use customer data for decades to come. Link
👨💻 CMOs need to think like CIOs to stay in the job. Back in the old days Chief Marketing Officers used to be celebrated for breakthrough advertising campaigns and novel ways to position products to the market. Those were the old days though. Now marketing departments are increasingly becoming the endpoint for how customers collect and derive value from their data, the buck stops with them. Much of this trend is bundled in with a strong trajectory towards brands going direct to consumers through digital channels, an example of this is Seven Eleven launching their first ecommerce offering and is only compounded by the pandemic which is not going to be a season of pronounced digital activity but rather where consumer shopping behaviours will be fundamentally changed. Scott Galloway has some interesting perspectives on this suggesting that most CMOs that start their engagement have a shelf life of about 18 months, if they come in with a Don Draper approach and want to spend money on marketing and brand advertising they don't tend to last. Rather CMOs are looking to be better positioned as the central intelligence person who creates a path to value through scalable digital channels and should be able to inform and influence the entire sphere of the customer experience, not just ads. The lines are still incredibly blurry between digital, IT, marketing and product teams and we've also seen a lot of pure play ecommerce and digital brands double down into brand and advertising, but that's because they've built a scalable foundation in which they can leverage to increase reach and frequency. So there's a great argument here that CMOs who have a strong understanding of data analytics, technology and a finger on the pulse of our new marketplaces should be able discern opportunities to drive commercial outcomes without having to spend millions of dollars on billboards. Maybe it's time for a new type of executive officer? Link
💸 Twilio is going vertical, Segment will get them there. A detailed look at the latest CDP acquisition. This one is in the subscriber version of TMW. Sign up here to get a link to the full version.
📈Chart Of The Week
This week I look at 25 years of the Gartner Hype Cycle, and what we can learn about how marketing tech trends play out over two decades. Sign up here to get a link to the full version and the chart. You won't be disappointed.
📚 Everything Else
SAP is launching their own CDP. Customer Data Platforms are the new CRMs and every man, woman, baby and dog is either launching or acquiring one these days. This move does make some sense for SAP customers but we're yet to see how it plays out. Link
New Google Analytics. So many new things this week! Finally after what feels like a lifetime Google dropped some engineers and a UXer to give Google Analytics a serious makeover. Google is moving away from an aggregated data model to a flat model where everything is an event. A big step up. Link
Netflix is removing it's free trial. This is what happens when you become dominant in the market. But in other markets they are experimenting with making some flagship content free to watch for anyone, no login required. Lots of experimenting happening at the moment. Link
Another Apple launch event. No surprises here, new iPhones, a redesign back to iPhone 4 aesthetics, better cameras, the usual suspects. The new HomePod mini will be a huge success. Low price point, security and privacy differentiator and a bunch of out of the box helpful features only possible in an Apple ecosystem. Link
Google is expanding upon AMP Email with Salesforce. This is interesting because it tells me that Google is working hard to standardise what their 1.8 billion Gmail users receive. A very smart move indeed. Link
A positive case for programmatic advertising. Last week I touched on the fall of advertising tech. It definitely appears that advertising is having a bit of a moment, but it does not mean that the industry hasn't got a central place in generating demand for companies. Link
A great little overview on the rule of 3. A methodology that McKinsey uses to provide rationale behind a recommendation. Have three main reasons for what you're recommending, simple and effective. Link
Using customer data for politics. Rideshare companies like Uber are using customer data to target them with messages promoting Proposition 22 in California (which would allow rideshare apps to continue to treat drivers as contractors). Link
Government investments in tech. The head of Carsales, the popular marketplace platform in Australia recommends that technology should be the government's focus post recession. Link
How do you shift a pure retail business online? A great piece on shifting from traditional retail channels to online and what brands can learn from what can be the hardest kind of digital transformation. Link
Make sense of marketing technology.
Sign up now to get the full version of TMW delivered to your inbox every Friday plus an invite to the slack community.
Want to share something interesting or be featured in The Martech Weekly? Drop me a line at email@example.com.