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No Marketer Is An Island

AcxiomApril 20, 2017

Marketing’s always been a team sport. But with the advent of new platforms and apps, we’ve seen the development of marketing stacks and the rise of full blown marketing ecosystems.

In a way, we were always plugged into this ecosystem, but we couldn’t see the woods for the trees. The increasing flow of data has allowed us, for the first time, to see ourselves in context. We’re part of a truly immense ecosystem of different players and partners contributing to different parts of the operation and customer journey.

It takes an ecosystem to serve a customer

But the smart flow of that data between different players – martech vendors, agencies, publishers and brands – isn’t automatic. It’s something we have to ensure, because its need has never been greater. Think about mobile experiences and all the layers they require, like location and geo-fencing.

Maintaining the smart flow of data also creates another mutualism. The network effect of sharing data across the whole ecosystem – rather than our small patch of it – amplifies the value created for marketers, consumers and everybody in between. Being able to do that in a privacy-compliant way makes a lot of great things possible.

Take the Internet of Things (IoT). If it’s to be of lasting value, all our data has to be shared: from your fridge to the supermarket or your car to the weather forecast system or traffic patterns… it’s wholly dependent on collaboration through the sharing of data.

Examples of smart partnering

If you think about it, you realize that any two companies selling complementary products and services or targeting a common segment would stand to gain from this kind of data sharing. A real estate agency and an IT reseller, for instance, could work together and target new businesses more specifically. The IT reseller could target new businesses before they move in, right when they need them.

Hotel brands and airlines are always looking to create value for both each other and their shared customers. Say an airline shares anonymized data on the customers it has in common with a hotel, which corresponds to the browser ID of a frequent business-class traveler. The hotel can then tailor its advertising precisely to each traveler’s itinerary. You can read more about the impact of 2nd party data in my previous blog, Relevant Marketing Demands More Than First-Party Data.

Once you start to think of your marketing as existing within a dynamic ecosystem, you start to realize how much businesses could benefit if they got better at working together.

Marketing’s evolution into a more scientific, data-driven discipline has led to all sorts of cool, new capabilities. But it’s also exploded the size of our ecosystem and it’s on us to nurture it. This means two things:

  1. Ensuring the smart flow of data and
  2. Teaming up strategically with other brands and partners

With those things in place, we’re free to form unlimited partnerships and reap ever-greater rewards from all this new, enthused collaboration.