TMW #021 | Slack and Salesforce, Global tech regulation, the emergence of the flywheel.
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
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🧾 20 - 200 | What’s next for TMW?
More people are asking about what’s next for TMW. To celebrate reaching 200 subscribers and 20 newsletters I created a short presentation on progress made, a couple of lessons, and what the future holds. There’s also a sneak peek into where TMW subscribers work (almost fell off my chair when I reviewed the list), a few stats, some thinking on building a brand, and a matrix reference. #buildinpublic Link
💼 Slack and Salesforce. It’s happening, the darling of Silicon Valley is getting betrothed, finally. In the biggest acquisition yet from Salesforce, at $27 billion, Slack will be combined with the Salesforce Customer 360 Suite, or what I like to call Salesforce DistractionCloud. The announcement of Slack’s acquisition doesn’t come as a surprise. Stuart Butterfield has been out in the market for quite some time. It was really just down whether or not Microsoft or Salesforce would acquire the company. What’s interesting about this acquisition is that Salesforce, like many other enterprise cloud companies, are competing to become their customer’s default OS for how marketing, commerce and sales operates. The recent Adobe acquisition of Workfront (covered in #018 ) and Facebook’s acquisition of Kustomer all point to alot of investment in the operational side of marketing.
The acquisition is a big win for Slack as it has seen slowing customer growth in the past two years. The companies that do use Slack love it, and it has a high NPS, a dedicated community and is mostly a nicely designed piece of software, which makes it a good fit for the 360 platform. Salesforce 360 aims to be a centralised data hub that seeks to integrate all of the acquisitions they’ve made over the years in B2C tech, like commerce and marketing cloud. This is the side of Salesforce which is most new, and is the most underdeveloped. That’s why Slack is directly integrating into it, to create a more streamlined comms stack for B2C teams. The acquisition allows Salesforce to further entrench themselves in organisations as the organisational OS and help Slack to compete more effectively against Microsoft Teams. Link
👩⚖️ Global tech regulation. In Australia, the 1988 Privacy act is coming close to being fully updated from an audit that started a year ago. The UK government is creating a dedicated competition regulation authority for big tech companies. With the transition into the Biden administration one of the key policies is to pursue regulating tech companies, with a push into a federal regulation of how personal data is used and protected (similar to what the EU is doing with GDPR and what California is doing with CAPR). Make no mistake, big tech is going to be a regulated industry in the same way that airlines, tobacco, automotive and healthcare is. The downstream impact of this is how data and privacy is regulated will be more guardrails against what marketers and product managers can and can’t do.
Digital marketing is the industry which powers so much of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter’s revenue, squarely because they are the people who create the strategies and execute the work to advertise on these platforms. If you ask anyone what was digital marketing in the early 2010’s, compared to the 20’s they would say it was like the wild wild west, very little oversight, build what you want and a lot of fluidity in how customer data was used (remember beacon anyone?). The changes to regulation in how data is used by companies is happening slowly, and then it will happen all at once, which is good for companies as it reinforces ethical norms on the use of customer data across industries and will hopefully create more space for new companies to compete against the big four. Who knows? We may see a day when you will need a license to work as a digital marketer. (like a teacher, financial advisor or a forklift driver). AU UK US
🎡 Flywheels are the new funnels. Ever heard of a flywheel digital strategy? I look at a concept that is gaining popularity among product and marketing teams and why it’s important. Sign up here to get a link to the full version.
📈Chart Of The Week
I look at the WARC’s 2021 toolkit survey and what it says about how marketers will be spending on advertising moving into next year. Bad news for advertising anywhere there are people in physical places. Good news if you are doing anything with video content. Sign up here to get a link to the full version and the chart.
📚 Everything Else
Shopify’s BFCM live map. It ran over the weekend, a very cool live data visualisation from the data teams at Shopify, tracking every transaction. Shopify businesses transacted over $5 billion in sales, which is up since 2019 🤯 Link
guide to mental models. Why do people in tech talk about mental models all the time? It’s become a bit of a catchall to explain a framework. Here’s an interesting way to look at the benefits of creating mental models. Link
The decline of the world’s oldest ad agency. J. Walter Thompson was a titan in the advertising business. The name disappeared in a 2018 merger into WPP and it’s legacy is lost. A cautionary tale on what digital disruption can do to traditional agencies Link
Everything wrong with brands. The pandemic caused toilet paper hoarding, and it also caused marketers to run for the numbers, forgetting the brands they built over time. An argument for returning to brand marketing from Publicis’ head of futures and insight. Link
An unexpected COVID-19 casualty. Scented candles sales are trending down in sales significantly in the US, why? Because people can’t smell when they are sick. Link
LinkedIn’s ad auctioning process. LinkedIn is lifting the lid on how their ad auctioning process works. The platform is known for expensive advertising, and high quality professional audience. Link
Combining online and offline is next for retail. A read on how marketing automation platforms like Emarsys are stepping up to bridge the online and offline retail worlds. As things start to open up again after the pandemic, congruence between how people shop in store and online will be the focus of most retailers. Link
Australia’s fastest growing company. A PPC ad agency, growing by 2390% in two years. Most of their clients are brands that are fairly new to digital. Where are Australia’s high growth tech companies? Do they even exist? Link
Tiktok banned in India. There are now dozens of companies trying to fill the void TikTok is leaving with so many copycat apps it’s mind boggling.. Link
Morning Brew and referrals. The morning brew newsletter has 2.5 million subscribers and is upending financial and marketing news. An interesting study into how they used marketing automation and personalisation to power their referral strategy. Link
The passive aggressive use of 🙂. A hilarious analysis into the use of the slightly smiling face and how it’s mostly used with negative connotations. Emojis are highjacking how people communicate. Link ($)
Measuring the performance of a CDP. How does one go about measuring the impact a CDP has made in an organisation. It’s complicated because these products unify data from various sources to apply in many different ways. Here’s a write up from Lexer on how you might go about it. Link
Spotify never stops innovating. Apart from the wrapped going live this week (how they built it in TMW #012). The tech company announced a new ML algorithm to detect musical plagiarism. The algo is slowly hacking away at the creative process and by doing so, creating a sea of sameness in musical expression. Link
The overlooked channel: Gaming. A lot of big opportunities in online gaming for brands and I don’t mean in advertising. Of any type of media, gaming is where you have the longest duration of eyes on screen and commitment. Here’s some examples of how brands are getting into gaming to reach new customers. Link
The disruption of management consulting. Software is eating the world, and strategy is eating consulting. A great study into how consulting is being surpassed by newly minted strategy departments in companies, especially in tech. It’s because strategists work together to provide a coherent direction for how to enable technology to solve customer and business problems. Link
Make sense of marketing technology.
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