CMOs are charged with managing a brand’s relationship with consumers, but the CMO’s most tangible relationships are more likely with the partners and service providers that comprise their full tech stack.
Building, selecting, integrating and managing the right tech is the first step in understanding and interfacing with consumers. At best, both the advertising and marketing stack can help create more intimate understanding between brand and consumer. At worst, it can stand in the way.
Too often, the complexity of building and managing the stack is a huge barrier to success and a problem that leaves CMOs drowning in technobabble to the point where that authentic tie with the consumer is lost.
The most complex part of the stack
Some components of that full stack present more challenges than others. The ad tech portion — namely, the technology for managing and optimizing paid media — has only gotten more complex and labyrinthine as it has struggled to adapt to the rapid changes in advertising, namely the rise of mobile and programmatic.
Ad tech presents unique challenges in partner selection, and therefore, it is more likely to become a stumbling block in the relationship between brand and consumer. Marketers rely more on their ad tech partners than on other portions of the stack — such as email and CRM — where marketers tend to own the software they need to do their jobs. Ad tech is more dynamic, more hands-on and more of an integrated service offering. Hence the perpetual risk of headache.
How can CMOs rein in the complexity in partner selection? Adhere to these rules of thumb: