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Making sense of the marketing technology glut

James A. Martin | May 25, 2017
Marketing tech is booming, leaving CMOs scratching their heads as to how to create the ideal martech stack.

“Integration between tools keeps getting better every year,” Brinker said. “And traditional suites have opened up their platforms to outside developers. So, more marketers are going with a suite and a best-of-breed approach. They’re using suites as tent poles they can augment with more specialized, best-of-breed technologies specific to their business.”

Brinker added that he’s seen as many as 39 different technologies incorporated into an individual company’s martech stack.


Is marketing an art or a science?

During his keynote, Brinker invited onto the stage Mayur Gupta, global vice president of marketing and growth for Spotify. Brinker and Gupta collaborated with MarTech conference producer Third Door Media on a survey about the art and science of marketing.

In their survey of 637 participants, 59 percent were marketing professionals, 32.2 percent were hybrid marketing/IT professionals, and only 1.3 percent were software development/IT folks. The survey yielded some noteworthy results:

  • 71.5 percent of all participants had some computer programming background, suggesting that marketers are becoming even more tech savvy.
  • When asked if data-driven marketing is more of a science than an art, 63.4 percent said it was more of a science, 33.1 percent said it was equal parts art and science, and 3.5 percent said it was more of an art.
  • Most marketers, 93.7 percent, reported running experiments on at least a few marketing activities. But when asked to identify the hardest part of applying science to marketing, 43.3 percent said “designing effective experiments to test hypotheses,” and 42.1 percent responded with “running the actual tests.” 

While there’s no decisive answer to the question of “is marketing an art or a science,” Gupta’s answer is worth considering:

“Marketing is no longer about being an art or a science,” he said. Marketing “is art in science, and science in art. We need the left and right sides of our brains working together” to meet marketing’s ultimate challenge — creating a great customer experience.


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