4 business lessons martech companies are following to drive growth

Marketing, tech and ad leaders speak to CMO about how martech companies can overcome key business challenges to achieve growing success

In today’s highly competitive mad-tech landscape, it takes a lot for martech companies to foster scalable business growth.

We speak to leading marketing, tech and ad experts and discover four key business lessons they're now employing when looking to generate sustainable growth and win over customers.

1. Keeping laser-focused on the product and customer

Experts agree martech companies need to be laser focused on the product set they bring to market, as well as the customer base they're going after.

AdRoll's newly appointed president, Toby Gabriner says focus and seamless integration can help martech industries gain a stronger industry foothold
AdRoll's newly appointed president, Toby Gabriner says focus and seamless integration can help martech industries gain a stronger industry foothold

“Performance, service and product innovation have been the keys to our success and will continue to be core to our evolution,” AdRoll's president, Toby Gabriner, told CMO.

Yahoo7’s head of brand and Advvy’s advisory board member, Anny Havercroft, stressed focus, resilience and plenty of good humour as key ingredients to building scalable business growth.  

“Marketing communications is a dynamic industry and it takes discipline to concentrate on your own game plan,” she said. "It's too easy to let the latest issues distract you from what you set out to do.”

In order to take advantage of advancements in media technology, Yahoo7 made the conscious effort to evolve from a traditional digital publishing business to an adtech powerhouse offering an alternative in the marketplace for brands seeking data-led premium content and smart technology solutions.  

“There is a level of adaptability to the market conditions as the quarters roll by, however, the game plan should be for the longer term governed by the broader business vision and not market mayhem,” Havercroft said.

According to CEO of growth consultancy Penso, Con Frantzeskos, being truly successful and customer oriented means adopting a lean approach.

“Ship a product to market in minimum viable form, refine, test, learn, and optimise, then invest further in the areas that are working, and don’t invest in areas that aren’t,” he advised. “It makes for a far more refined, affordable and customer focused outcome.

“In every industry, the biggest disruptive competitors have come from outside the industry, focusing on the opportunity and customer first, and building in, rather than building out.”

Frantzeskos said having a forensic understanding of how your business makes money, and converting the competitive challenges/opportunities into quantifiable tasks that a computer can understand and solve, are also critical attributes.

“It’s all about getting the internal plumbing right first,” he said. “The rest is relatively straightforward. Even if the executions move at a fast pace, your business challenges are relatively constant, and that should be the focus.”

2. Recruiting the right talent

According to Havercroft, the advancement of marketing automation and machine learning platforms might have streamlined processes, but they actually mean we need more talent in marketing teams than ever before.  

“There's a common misconception that the adoption of technologies such as programmatic means humans are redundant,” she said. “Nothing can be further from the truth. While headcount and workload are re-calibrated, it is still necessary for people to run technology solutions and businesses effectively today." 

As an example, Havercroft claimed Yahoo7 has a great track record with BrightRoll, its programmatic platform, which have the highest people to technology ratio in the market when it comes to the company’s technical and sales support.  

“We understand our clients expect a high level of personalised service so investing in great talent in programmatic has allowed us to deliver a better customer experience and campaign performance management,” she said.

Gabriner agreed, stressing one of the core foundations to building a successful martech company is having the right talent on-board.

“It’s about having smart people that work well together,” he said. “Over the past six months at AdRoll, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the depth of talent, the sizeable market opportunity and the myriad growth opportunities.”

3. Think ecosystem and overcome silos

Marketers are overloaded with adtech, martech and data technologies, Gabriner said, so it’s also important to think about how an offering can work within this cohesive ecosystem.

“There needs to be better connectivity and interoperability between various systems, and that will happen during consolidation efforts,” he commented. “If you look at some of the major players in the market, like Oracle, Adobe and Salesforce, they are accumulating a number of assets and bringing them together to make it easier for marketers.

“At AdRoll, it’s an area we’re thinking a lot about. We’re looking to simplify by bringing great products to market, but also through smart connections within CRM systems  and integrating with the likes of Marketo in such a way that the data can flow back and forth seamlessly.”

Havercroft said a frictionless experience for marketers is necessary to succeed in the world of complex technology ecosystems and that means breaking down the proverbial 'garden wall'.  

“Marketing departments are increasingly aligning their martech stack to create a single-view of their customers,” she said. “Offering products that plug into marketers tech stack first or second-hand allows for seamless integration and what we strive for at Yahoo7.

“For instance, we have developed Gemini, our native solution and Brightroll DSP, our programmatic solution, to be readily integrated with the world's leading martech data platforms so that marketers can execute an end-to-end strategy.”

CEO of customer journey and experience agency Datarati,  Jarther Taylor, stresses you need to be clear on your projected outcomes and the tech will follow
CEO of customer journey and experience agency Datarati, Jarther Taylor, stresses you need to be clear on your projected outcomes and the tech will follow

4. Be clear on your market opportunity but experiment

Vendor representatives agreed many companies in the martech and adtech space have fallen by the wayside because they simply aren’t clear on their market opportunity, or have shied away from innovation.

"There has been an extraordinary growth in martech over the last few years, some studies say as much as 80 per cent year on year growth in suppliers," Havas Media's chief strategy officer, Imogen Hewitt, said. "This has forced a landslide of adoption amongst clients, but, having the technology and being able to successfully use and scale it are not the same thing. 

"We see the best results coming from those marketers endeavouring to balance the innovation possibilities with the self discipline of ensuring that their experimentation is serving a customer need. Identifying ways to genuinely improve the customer experience, before launching headlong into initiatives just because you can, helps to make sure resources are well utilised and the focus exists to learn, adopt, adapt and scale."

“Never stop experimenting to maintain product market fit,” Havercroft added. “It's easy to play it safe and shy away from innovation but the industry needs freshness to evolve.”

At Yahoo7, the team spotted an opportunity given the growing importance of content marketing among marketers and started experimenting with content marketing solutions for advertisers.

“After months of experimentation and customer validation, we launched the first end-to-end content marketing solution, Storytellers, which gives brands a premium environment with known outcomes on their investment,” Havercroft said.

CEO of customer journey and experience agency Datarati, Jarther Taylor, said you should also be clear on what your company really wants to set out to achieve.

“I'm a big fan of the ‘Jobs To Be Done’ as a guiding principle: Figure out what the job is marketers need to get done,” he said. “The product itself will [and should] follow.

“You need to be clear on what you are trying to achieve and the technology will follow.  A clear definition of the job based on customer insight will help.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Focus on your customer experience not your NPS score. Fix the fucking problems and the customer support requests will go away.I currently...

Chris B

Bringing community thinking to Optus' customer service team

Read more

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Whose responsibility is it to set the ground rules for agency collaboration?

It’s not that your agencies don’t have your best interests at heart – most of them do. But the only way to ensure they’re 100 per cent focused on your business and not growing theirs by scope creep is by setting the guard rails for healthy agency collaboration.

Andrew Pascoe

Head of planning, Hatched

Sign in