Good morning, and are you ready for the holidays?

First up, in our last newsletter we invited you to reach what Christi Olson, Microsoft search evangelist, had to say about how different back to school is this year: but we sent you to a dead link. Here’s Christi’s piece.

Secondly, as for holidays, we don’t just mean Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever else you choose to celebrate. We’re also thinking of all the big marketing days of the fall season. Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles’ Day, and so on.

I’m aware that planning the strategy and preparing to execute usually begins months ahead of the days themselves. Was that true this year, in this fragile and uncertain economic environment? Were budgets confidently allocated in advance? Did you have any expectation of whether consumer spend would go up and down? I’d love to know:

Kim Davis,
Editorial Director, MarTech Today

MarTech Live

The work of marketing technologists

The first episode of the first season of MarTech live kicked off as a live video stream on August 26, but you can now watch it on demand. The focus of the discussion with Scott Brinker (ChiefMartec and VP Platform Eco-system at HubSpot) was Brinker’s own typology of marketing and marketing ops roles.

Brinker admits to a passion for alliteration. The five main roles he identified were Managers, Marketers, Makers, Maestros and Modelers. In conversation with MarTech Today’s Kim Davis, Brinker reflects on the nature of the roles, their overlaps, and their relative importance to brands at different stages of digital maturity.

The discussion turns to how the current health and economic environment has impacted how marketing technologists see their roles, how they do their jobs, and how they view the future.

View it here »


Compare 13 top marketing automation platforms

MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms. This report includes profiles of 13 leading B2B marketing automation vendors, capabilities comparisons, pricing information, and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Get it now »


Consumers want variety as well as relevance

A survey conducted by market research firm Dynata, on behalf of creative automation platform Celtra, showed consumers wearying of over-familiar creative assets in messaging by brands.

The survey targeted 1,000 adult U.S. consumers. Here are some highlights:

• 66% of consumers find ads and social media messaging from brands to be repetitive. Reflecting that figure, 67% want to see greater variety;
• Relevance and irrelevance run almost neck and neck, with 56% finding messaging to be relevant to their interests;
• Surprisingly, only 51% find relevant messages more memorable; and
• Although they ask for variety, 60% also expect brand messaging to remain consistent.

Although the main message of the findings is clear—consumers don’t want brands to bore them—the fact that around half of those surveyed didn’t find even relevant messages memorable is harder to interpret. It might mean that relevance doesn’t much matter; but it might also mean that they’re not seeing much memorably relevant messaging in the first place.

Why we care. Clearly, a creative automation platform like Celtra thrives on the demand for volume and variety in creative assets. Nevertheless, the results show the challenge of catering to consumer expectations: surprise us, but be consistent; about relevance, we’re not sure.


Commercetools debuts as leader in Gartner Digital Commerce MQ

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce was published this week, and featured some very familiar names among the Leaders group: Adobe and Salesforce running a close race at the front—Adobe has the edge on execution, Salesforce on vision—closely pursued by Oracle and SAP. Enter the outsider, commercetools, previously in the Visionary group (which does feature VTEX, a platform we wrote about this week), now challenging Salesforce for strength of vision, although running behind the other leaders on ability to execute.

If commercetools is a less familiar name than the others, it may be because it’s based in Germany. Founded in 2006, it must have competed with the commerce platform Hybris, acquired by SAP in 2013, and subsequently blended into its global commerce and CX offerings. Gartner acknowledges recent growth, not only in its customer numbers and revenue, but also geographical span.

Challengers in the MQ are BigCommerce, Episerver and Shopify.

Why we care. The big four commerce and CX vendors are with us always. It’s refreshing to have a new competitor on our radar.

The full report can be downloaded here »


Calling all multi-location brands!

Searching for the perfect local marketing solution? MarTech Today’s free guide can help! In-depth vendor profiles, pricing charts, and essential things to consider prior to purchase — it’s all here.

Get your free copy now »

Quote of the Day

“Paying attention can help you find opportunities to create higher levels of customer amazement. My definition of ‘customer amazement’ is to be better than average all the time. Typically, you just need to be a little better than average.” Shep Hyken, author and keynote speaker.