The Marketer, The Enterprise And Their Ad Tech – @Nextargeting Summit

At X+1’s Nextargeting Summit last Thursday, the advertising technology company produced a half-day long event that spoke to how the programmatic buying business is becoming an “enterprise” class challenge especially when you look at it from the big, brand marketer’s perspective.

As part of the Summit’s “Process and Organization” track, Deloitte’s Ed See (who is also an X+1 board director) delivered a presentation that he has likely given to marketing executives in his work as a Principal at Deloitte Consulting. His core message was that the information needs of the marketing group are rolling headlong into the IT department. He framed his case with a juicy quote from Gartner Group: “By 2017, a CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.” This compares to the back office and supply requirements that rule in the CIO office today.

See explained that because IT enables a process with information and that because marketing does business with information, well… CMO meet CIO.

He added that this isn’t just about how marketers are going to drive efficiency – they’re going to drive entry into new lines of business, too. -This is something P&G might like to discuss as they talk about their very public plunge into digital marketing spend. Currently, P&G talks efficiency.

Given all of the skill sets of the IT team and its integration with marketing, one might think See would argue that solutions will be coming “in-house” to the marketer. Ironically, when it comes to technology, See believed the new CIO would be a “sourcing master” – particularly as cloud-based solutions proliferate. Not only that, new roles will develop in the marketing organization such as marketing having its very own CTO.

Next up on the panel schedule, “Taxes, Credit Cards, Telecom – oh my!” (my title) as another X+1 board member, Sarah Fay, led a discussion among Intuit’s Director of Online Acquisition, Cezanne Huq, JP Morgan Chase’s Digital Marketing Group Managing Director, Robert Tas, and Mark Kelly, who is director of Digital Marketing at Verizon.

Chase’s Robert Tas said that innovation on the consumer side of his business has exploded – especially in areas such as mobile. Regardless, he still thinks innovation has a ways to go. Intuit’s Huq followed and said his company is hoping to glean still more insights given all the new data. Verizon’s Kelly added that the skill set of his organization has moved from traditional to performance-oriented skills and that he’s looking at daily or weekly reports that are fairly holistic. Kelly echoed Intuit’s Huq saying he wants still more granular, audience-specific insights as his company learns about customer needs beyond the conversion.

As for the marketer taking technology in house, it was a mixed bag as Intuit appears to be doing both. Huq claimed that Intuit’s consumer marketing group (“sourcing masters”?) is all outsourced, but the SMB team he’s a part of at Intuit is building out more technology capabilities in-house. From a competitive set point of view, American Express and Intuit are likely to butt heads as they service small business owners with automated, digital marketing tools.

Mark Kelly revisited the relationship between marketing and IT saying the “analysis” skill set remains an acute need for his group. He said that even though the CMO will be buying tools more than ever, the IT department is still needed to deploy everything. Kelly tapped the lexicon of the software development world and argued for an “agile” process which allows for ongoing iteration and innovation.

Next, with moderator Fay’s prodding, each of the panelists responded to whether they saw themselves as a traditional marketing organization “doing” digital – or a digital marketing organization. Tas answered first saying traditional channels are still being used at his company, but with a steady shift to digital. In fact, he wants innovation across offline and online and said, “My group, the digital marketing group, has to go away. It has to be part of every single person’s job at [Chase].” Digitize the org! Easier said than done, but Verizon’s Kelly and Intuit’s Huq agreed.

Intuit’s Huq talked a bit about how integrated marketing (includes cross-channel buying) works at his firm. It’s all about collaboration as Huq explained that each business channel unit has a say in the ideation phase. He says it works, but he didn’t drill in to how back-end metrics might be aggregated across channels of ad spend in order to offer better attribution or media mix models.

Towards the end of the panel, the challenge for the agency was bubbled up. Verizon’s Kelly commented that agency and tech solutions need to come together in the future – agencies need to add more tech, or, tech companies need to add more service. Surely, many in today’s ad tech ecosystem – whether agency or tech – could relate.

By John Ebbert

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