TMW #016 | Digital transformation, the data lakehouse and social commerce

Oct 30, 2020

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.

πŸ‘‹ A Quick Note

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πŸ‘ŒTop #3

πŸ”‘ The paradox of digital transformation. How do some of the largest brands in the world embrace digital change when historically their bread and butter has been through traditional channels? In an article this week from Forbes, Mahmoud ElAssir, VP of customer experience at Google Cloud, weighs in on some of the pitfalls brands face when entering into transformation projects. Without a doubt, the majority of issues that plague most large enterprise organisations centre on the people problem. And there lies the paradox - most think transformation is all about the technology, but most of what is needed is actually deeply human - to reflect the ideals, values and experiences brands want to deliver for their customers and motivate their own people to get to work. In many ways, digital platforms can be complex, requiring deep expertise and skill and a strong methodology for understanding and managing data. Yet what lies at the heart of any transformation project is the ability to solve what are fundamentally people problems. A nice reminder that most of the time, the complexity of marketing technology is not in the technology itself, it's the people. Link

πŸ”’ The data "lakehouse" A great discussion came out this week between Ali Ghodsi, CEO and founder of Databricks, and a16z general partner Martin Casado on the Andreessen Horowitz blog about the future of data analytics. Companies have experienced more than 20 years of digital data collection and most non-digital native companies still throw their hands in the air when it comes to extracting value from their customer data. The discussion talks about how collecting data is not really enough anymore - the real future of data analytics resides in the architectures in which data is collected, stored, managed and activated. Enter in a new(ish) concept, the "data lakehouse" which has been accelerated by new breakthroughs in how data environments can effectively be used to stream data into a BI tools directly. When it comes to data management, most company setups will use some kind of process to move data into a lake, a big, large, cheap and unstructured storage environment which probably resembles more of a swamp than a lake. Then there's another process that happens to move data into a warehouse so analytics teams can apply structure to the data so you can run queries or prepare it for activation. This is a lot of overhead and double management, which a few key platforms are solving by enabling better access to the "lake" by building a "house" around it instead of next to it. Link

🎨 Social commerce. I look at the increasingly complicated space of individual creator commerce and how technology is helping people to cultivate and centralise their own communities of consumers. This one is in the subscriber version of TMW. Sign up here to get a link to the full version.

πŸ“ˆChart Of The Week

This week I look at how companies are investing 25 times more in digitisation than before the pandemic. Β Sign up here to get a link to the full version and the chart.

πŸ“š Everything Else

Inside some of the world's best experimentation programs. This week two companies known for their expertise in the digital optimisation space released an inside look at how they run their programs and what they have learned along the way. Spotify and Farfetch

Microsoft and behavioural analytics. For reasons I can't understand, Microsoft has launched Clarity, a behavioural analytics tool similar to Hotjar or Fullstory. Hopefully they use it on their own ecommerce website. It needs it. Link

Martech Predictions. WPP in conjunction with Cheifmartech and Forreseter have released two separate prediction reports for marketing technology. Alot of it has to do with digitising traditional experiences, like customer service. WPP + Chiefmartech and Forrester.

Apple and Search. Strong indications that Apple is building its own search platform to rival Google. Funny thing is that most of us are already experiencing search products hidden in the spotlight features in our iPhones. Link

Don't ship everything. A great argument against the ethos of "shipping and MVP product" and why waiting, learning and building a refined product over years can be an equally powerful strategy. Link

Why it's hard to become a marketing expert. A great reflection on how it's really hard to become an expert at anything in marketing. Decades of constant digital change, the always shifting nature of the role's purpose in an organisation just compounds the issue. Link

Adobe and Microsoft team up on an exciting looking ML based program to combine the CRM and database capabilities of Microsoft with customer experience management features of Adobe. Use cases pending. Link

Facebook is building their own website builder. Yet another attempt at diversification just goes to show who Facebook's largest advertising market is - the small mom n pop up businesses and boutique stores. Link

Stay Curious,

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Juan Mendoza

Juan Mendoza is an expert in researching global media, marketing, data, and technology trends. He is the CEO of The Martech Weekly, a media and research brand with subscribers in over 65 countries.

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