Tag Archives: Technology

The New Marketing Technology Landscape Is Here… And It’s Music to Our Ears!

How Do You Like It? How Do You Like It? More, More More!
Andrea+True+Connection+ANDREAChiefmartec came out with their 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape, and if there’s one word that comes to mind, it’s MORE. 1,876 corporate logos dot the page, up from 947 in 2014. That’s definitely more, more, more – just about double to be exact. I’m honestly not sure it’s possible to squeeze any more in a single image?

But it’s strangely fitting, because this is the reality that we marketers live in.  There are an infinite number of new technologies, approaches, social media platforms, operations tools, and vendors that we have to figure out. New, critical categories of technology roll out constantly. New vendors enter and exit the landscape. As Chiefmartec says “at least on the immediate horizon, I don’t think we’re going to see a dramatic shrinking of this landscape. The landscape will change, for sure. What qualifies as “marketing” and “technology” under the umbrella of marketing technology will undoubtedly morph. But if mere quantity is the metric we’re measuring, I think it’s going to be a world of 1,000+ marketing technology companies — perhaps even a world of 2,000+ of them — for some time to come.”


Middleware: I’m Coming Up So You’d Better Get This Party Started!
pinkOne thing you’ll notice if you look carefully between last year’s and this year’s version, is the arrival of the middleware layer. Chiefmartec spends quite a bit of time talking about middleware, pointing out that great tools in the category are making the marketing technology landscape easier to manage – particularly those that handle a hybrid of on premise and cloud.

Marketers have long since cared about the things on the top – the red “Marketing Experiences” and the orange “Marketing Operations”. They’ve also put a lot of focus in the dark gray/black/blue layer “Backbone Platforms” like marketing autionation & e-commerce. But only recently has that yellow middleware layer become front and center for marketers. Data integration, data management platforms, connectivity, data quality, and API’s are definitely not new to the technology landscape, and have been a critical domain of IT for decades. But as marketers are becoming more and more skilled and reliant on analytics and focused customer experience management, data is entering the forefront.

Marketers cannot focus exclusively on their Salesforce CRM, their Marketo automation, or their Adobe Experience Manager web management. Data Ready marketers realize that each of these applications can no longer be run in a silo, they need to be looked at collectively as a powerful set of tools designed to engage the customer and push them through the buying cycle, as critical pieces to the same puzzle. And to do that, they need to be looking at connecting their data sources, powering them with great data, analyzing and measuring their results, and then deciding what to do.

If you squint, you can see Informatica in the yellow Middleware layer. (I could argue that it belongs in several of these yellow boxes, not just Cloud integration, but I’ll save that for another blog!) Some might say that’s not very exciting, but I would argue that Informtaica is in a tremendous place to help marketers succeed with great data. And it all comes down to two words… complexity and change.

Why You Have to Go and Make Things So Complicated?
avril-lavigne-avril-lavigne-34900869-1280-1024Ok, admittedly terrible grammar, but you get the picture. Marketers live in a trendounsly complex world. Sure you don’t have all 1,876 of the logos on the Technology Landscape in house. You probably don’t eve have one from each of the 43 categories. But you definitely have a lot of different tecnology solutions that you rely upon on a day-to-day basis. According to a September article by ChiefMarTech, most marketers already regularly rely on more than 100 software programs.

Data ready marketers realize that their environments are complicated, and that they need a foundation. They need a platform of great data that all of their various applications and tools can leverage, and that can actually connect all of their various applications and tools together. They need to be able to connect to just about anything from just about anything. They need a complete view of all of their interactions their customers. In short, they need to make their extremely complicated world more simple, streamlined, and complete.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes. Turn and Face the Strange!
David-Bowie-1973I have a tendency to misunderstand lyrics, so I have to confess that until I looked up this song today, I thought the lyric was “time to face the pain” (Bowie fans, I hang my head in shame!).  But quite honestly, “turn and face the strange” illustrates my point just as well!

There is no question that marketing has changed dramatically in the past few years.  Your most critical marketing tools and processes two years ago are almost certainly different than those this year, and will almost certainly be different from what you see two years from now.  Marketers realize this.  The Marketing Technology Landscape illustrates this every year!

The data ready marketer understands that their toolbox will change, but that their data will be the foundation for whatever new piece of the technology puzzle they embrace or get rid of.  Building a foundation of great data will power any technology solution or new approach.

Data ready marketers also work with their IT counterparts to engineer for change.  They make sure that no matter what technology or data source they want to add – no matter how strange or unthinkable it is today – they never have to start from scratch.  They can connect to what they want, when they want, leveraging great data, and ultimately making great decisions.

Get Ready ‘Cause Here I Come. The Era of the Data Ready Marketer is Here
TemptationsNow that you have a few catchy tunes stuck in your head, it’s time to ask yourself, are you data ready? Are you ready to embrace the complexity of marketing technology landscape? Are you ready to think about change as a competitive weapon?

I encourage you to take our survey about data ready marketing. The results are coming out soon so don’t miss your chance to be a part. You can find the link here.

Also, follow me on twitter – The Data Ready Marketer (@StephanieABest) for some of the latest & greatest news and insights on the world of data ready marketing.

And stay tuned because we have several new Data Ready Marketing pieces coming out soon – InfoGraphics, eBooks, SlideShares, and more!

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CIO to CIO: A New Community to Help IT Leaders Succeed in a Data-Centric World

IT is evolving unlike it has ever before. Get the best up-to date career insights & best practices to help you succeed in a data-centric world. Check out my exciting new Potential at Work Community for IT Leaders
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Data Management Issue Categories

In my last post I started to talk about ideas for classifying the data management issues, with the reasoning that it will help to determine the feasibility that the expectation that acquiring a particular solution will actually address the core issues. I actually have used this categorization with some of our customers, and the process of classification does lend some clarity when considering solutions. There are five categories: (more…)

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Why is ETL a four-letter word?

ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) technology has been around for over a decade, and while it rocked the world in the 90’s, it’s considered a bit of a relic nowadays. Data warehousing, the original driver for ETL technology, isn’t considered as sexy anymore. That’s in part why vendors have used different names to broaden this software category and added new capabilities to keep it relevant.

Informatica is no exception. We’re “the Data Integration Company“, where data integration consists of many different capabilities, only one of which is ETL (granted, the ETL piece is the cornerstone for data warehousing and other data integration projects).

And the letters E-T-L themselves have been put in the blender to be reconfigured into newer, fresher concepts. ELT or ETLT incorporates the concept of pushdown optimization, where processing is handled in the database, instead of the ETL server. (For more detail, Rajan Chandras has a good post discussing ETL vs. ELT.) ETQL pulls data quality into the ETL workflow. And I’m sure the permutations will continue.

So, is classic ETL just not relevant anymore? (more…)

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Slowing Down, and Other Counter-Intuitive Steps to Agile BI

Are BI managers and professionals sometimes too eager to please the business? Are centralized BI efforts slowing down progress? Should BI teams address requirements before the business even asks for them? These questions may seem counter-intuitive, but Wayne Eckerson, director of research for TDWI, says that the best intentions for BI efforts in many organizations may actually result in sluggish projects, duplication of effort, and misaligned priorities between BI teams and the business. (more…)

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New Competitive Weapon: Pervasive BI and the Culture of ‘Now’

There’s no question that integrating analytical and transaction data to deliver “Pervasive Business Intelligence” can be a significant project for many enterprises. However, the good news is that it’s a capability that’s within the reach of many enterprises today. That’s the gist of a Q&A with three industry thought leaders, published in the latest edition of Intelligent Enterprise. (more…)

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Data Access – A Cultural or Technical Challenge?

I’ll admit it, as an older brother, I didn’t want my younger sister borrowing or bugging me for my prized possessions. I still hoard things at work, old computer equipment, mice, cables, all in the name of finding a use for them at some point. I just like to know they are there when you need them as you can see here.

Is data treated the same way within corporations? Do application owners like sharing their data with others? In my experience, no, they don’t. Ask any mainframe or ERP program manager about utilizing their production data for other purposes and I’m sure you’ll receive a litany of questions around impact to production systems, utilization costs, and complexity of access. And IT’s business request list for access to these precious resources is only growing. For many organizations, data access is a cultural problem.

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Why the “E” in EDW (Enterprise Data Warehousing)?

Since launching the EDM blog in early 2007, we have focused on a wide variety of data management, Informatica usage and technology topics. In 2008, I will also be discussing my experiences and research in Enterprise Data Warehousing, an area that our customers have used our software and solutions to great success.

Enterprise Data Warehousing is a term that has been around for a long time. In the mid-90’s, Bill Inmon preached an enterprise approach to data warehousing that was based on a central repository of corporate data. With the technology at the time, success was only attainable by a few elite organizations at extreme levels of funding. Informatica pioneered an incremental data mart approach that led to years of prosperity in the Data Warehousing market for Informatica and customers using our technology for their data warehousing related projects.

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Business and IT Collaboration is Essential for Data Quality

A recent InformationWeek article* described the growth in IT employment across the US as a result of a shift in skills. Rather than focusing on pure IT proficiency, organizations are looking for talent with “a more hybrid mix of technology skills, along with an understanding of the business and its customers.”

IT departments are highly motivated to increase the level of collaboration with their counterparts in the business. Nowhere is this more critical than in the area of data quality and the trend is causing a shift in the way companies are looking to solve their data quality issues. First generation data quality tools had a natural focus on technology, instead of business. Here are some of the differences between technology focused data quality solutions and business-focused data quality solutions.

Tools vs. Process
Technology focused data quality solutions provide tools that automate data processing. Evidence of this type of focus can be seen in the way that vendors will tout the sophistication and type of their algorithms over and above their ability to support ongoing data quality management processes. While technology is extremely important, its relevance cannot eclipse the overall data quality management process. Even if your data quality tool can automate the correction of 95 percent of the data, if the remaining five percent cannot be managed properly, you will continue to suffer from poor data quality.

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Real-time Integration Competency Centers – What are they?

The recent Informatica Release 8.5 launch highlighted Real-time Integration Competency Centers (ICCs) as the optimal model for successful data integration. I’d like to review the concept of the Real-time ICC and why Release 8.5 supports this advanced operational, organizational and technology model.

As data integration moves beyond the realm of data warehousing into operational integration, real-time and data services use cases have exploded in importance to the business and necessitated stronger, unified infrastructure for IT to meet the challenge. Philip Russom, Senior Manager, TDWI Research captures this trend specifically in his quote on Release 8.5.

“The movement toward real-time data access and delivery has been the most influential trend in data integration this decade. The trend has enabled user organizations to initiate a variety of valuable real-time practices, including operational BI, real-time data warehousing, on-demand computing, performance monitoring, just-in-time inventory, and so on. And the trend has led vendors to extend their data integration products, so that many functions operate in real-time, not just batch. Informatica 8.5 is a great example of this trend, because it’s re-architected to support more real-time and on-demand functions for data integration, changed data capture, and data quality.” (more…)

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