Yes, it’s martech, Facebook ads outage

Plus texts from brands, the agile CMS race

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Good morning, Marketers, and here’s another perspective on “What is martech?”

Steve Petersen’s latest contribution (see below) argues that if marketers (or marketing ops professionals) use a solution, then it counts as martech. That’s not what I believe, but I’ll come back to that. One important contribution Steve makes is that he qualifies that affirmation by suggesting that these solutions count as martech if they are part of the orchestration which should overlay operations and technology. If they are in tune with the more conventional parts of the martech stack, one might say.

This argument does have some legs, and I think it explains why marketers include tools like JIRA and Zoom when auditing their stacks: they are integrated with the overall martech process. I’m going to be stubborn, though. Of course marketers should use these tools, and of course the tools shouldn’t be siloed from the rest of the marketing stack.

But insisting that calendars, and project management solutions, and slide deck presentation programs (PowerPoint, anyone?) are martech is only going to inflate more grossly an already overinflated metacategory. That’s a topic I’ll be returning to.

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

If marketers use it, yes, it’s martech 

An article by us seeking to draw a line between martech and other technologies marketers just happen to use sparked a lively debate on LinkedIn and on an episode of the Ops Cast podcast. Regular MarTech Today contributor Steve Peterson, a marketing ops practitioner at WGU, takes an affirmative view toward incorporating a wide range of solutions under the martech banner — provided vision, commitment and orchestration are reflected in the way these solutions are implemented and integrated.

“For instance, are project management platforms like Workfront and JIRA martech?” writes Petersen. “What about collaboration platforms (as tools – not just channels) like Slack? I think they are. Making this affirmation requires a combination of vision, commitment and orchestration. Imagination and out-of-the-box thinking couldn’t hurt, either.”

The real question is not whether tools were designed for marketers to use. “Marketers don’t need to monopolize the use of a product for something to qualify as martech. Marketing departments can use a variety of systems like collaboration and project management platforms — which perhaps are owned by other departments — as martech. As boring as that sounds, why not see the fun of working smarter and more effectively using the same tools y’all are already using?”

Read more here.

Facebook Ads experiences weekend delivery outage

Yes, it’s martech, Facebook ads outage

If you noticed huge drops in your Facebook Ads traffic and conversions, it was due to a delivery outage over the weekend. The social media platform saw major disruptions in ad delivery starting February 18 and only resolved the issue (February 26, 2021). Most search marketers reported that only their Instagram Story campaigns remained unaffected in the outage.

Why we care. When asked for comment, Facebook sent us the boilerplate “We’re still investigating this issue and will take any learnings to improve our systems going forward.” Many marketers saw great campaigns and ROAS torpedoed over the weekend. 

The ad outage comes on the heels of iOS14’s new privacy release which gives users more control over how they share their data with mobile apps, including Facebook (who says the outage was not related to the iOS update). Apple will pop up a prompt asking users for permission for cross-app tracking, giving people the option to opt out.
Some speculate that this outage is just an example of how Facebook will have to adjust given new privacy options: “Feel like their entire marketing architecture has been designed around the Pixel. Regardless, if it’s used or not. Thinking they need to rebuild their architecture from the ground up, to not be based around the Pixel,” said Edan Ben-Atar on Twitter.

How receptive are consumers to texts from brands?

The short answer: More than you might think. Text messaging solution Attentive released a new survey looking at how consumer messaging behavior has changed. (We recently dove into these changes as well, connecting them with longer-term decisioning strategies.)

Perhaps more downtime for consumers in the past year has increased the demand for brand messaging overall. Regardless of the specific cause, consumers want more. According to the survey:

  • 90% of consumers said they’re open to signing up for texts from brands; and
  • 58% said they’d be fine if brands texted them multiple times per week.

Why we care. Marketers want to avoid burning through their lists at all costs. They don’t want to put customers off by messaging them too often, or on the wrong channel. In this case, there appears to be consumer demand for more messaging. Having a presence through texts will better position a brand as retail and other sectors transition to mobile-first. Texts are also a good 1:1 channel, building brand loyalty through a personal connection.

Adobe, Acquia and Optimizely lead in agile CMS

A new Q1 Forrester Wave report evaluating agile content management systems underlines the key trend in the space of creating solutions which equally serve the needs of developers and no-code practitioners. As the report says, an agile CMS offers “a collaborative environment for developers and practitioners, along with the tools that techies and creatives crave.” And right now that can come in the form of traditional, hybrid and pure headless offerings.

Leading the space is Adobe, Forrester says, with both the strongest offering and strongest strategy, as well as significant market share. Interestingly, Acquia (which bases its offering on the open source Drupal CMS) and Optimizely (until recently known as Episerver) are practically tied in second place, although Optimizely is rated as having the better offering, Acquia the better strategy.

Sitecore lags behind the three leaders, despite its significant market presence. It does not yet have a pure headless offering, but what it does have is a recent infusion of $1.2 billion from private investors, which it doubtless intends to use to close the gap.

Why we care. Perhaps two or three years ago, CMS might not have been the hottest space in martech, but two factors are making us follow it closely. First, the broad digital transformation which is driving businesses in every sector to reinvent their ecommerce offerings. Second, the shift of consumers to channels other than the good old website, which is forcing CMSes to reinvent themselves as headless, or as hybrids at least.

Quote of the day

“Like many other parents, I’m working shoulder-to-shoulder with my kids as they attend school online during the pandemic. It’s mind blowing how much more they know about technology than I did at their age, and how much they can teach us about why unique experiences matter.” Nate Skinner, Global SVP of Marketing, Oracle Advertising and CX.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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