Good morning, is your tech stack really aligned to personalized marketing?

Brands are continuing to invest in personalization, but data shows that marketers are struggling to implement and execute full-scale personalization initiatives. In a recent survey of 200 marketers, 86% told Merkle they have budgets defined for personalized initiatives and 82% had martech solutions in place to implement it. And yet, Gartner predicts that in the next five years, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will drop those efforts.

For personalization to prove valuable, Garter says marketers need to reconsider how they measure its impact: “Marketing leaders focused on a marketing use case must shift from campaign performance to business impact as a measure of personalization effectiveness.” Companies that continue to focus on campaign-level outcomes are missing the bigger picture in terms of what personalization can deliver. Reframing the meaning of “personalization success” requires more coordination, but doing so can offer a more comprehensive measure of its big-picture value.

Earlier this month, performance marketing agency Merkle launched New Stream Media, a service aimed at helping retailers develop and support media programs to monetize their customer data and sell advertising on and off their own websites. The ad tech and measurement pieces are fulfilled via Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. Retailers can manage advertising inventory on their own properties and target more broadly across Google properties using their own first-party data. Whereas retail giants like Walmart have brought both media sales teams and tech stacks in-house, New Stream Media is an example of a solution that gives retailers control over their media programs without having to build out their own tech to support them.

It’s a new decade, which means it’s time for a new approach to the marketing technology landscape. We’re opening up our martech infographic for the whole community to add, edit, or delete companies from the landscape — and we need your help. To participate, submit your suggestions by the end of February.

Scroll for more news and insights, including why Snap’s CEO thinks TikTok could eventually become bigger than Instagram.

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor


When a natural disaster hits, know when to talk business (and when not to)

Social media channels play a bigger role than ever before in communicating about and recovering from natural disasters. Australian comedian and actor Celeste Barber just raised more than $32 million to support fire companies fighting bushfires throughout Australia on Facebook, setting a global fundraising record for the platform.

This is a great way for personalities and big brands with larger audiences to use the community they’ve built to provide support. Others, however, are tying their support to their own audience building, offering a donation for each new follower, or like on a particular post. While this may offer a quick boost for social numbers, it’s an effort that runs the risk of backfiring. Consumers can see this approach as too self-serving, and your channels may just gain a lot of temporary followers that don’t really care about engaging with your brand.

Smart organizations recognize that there is a role for them to play in responding to natural disasters and it’s often one that doesn’t speak immediately to their bottom line. By focusing on the needs of impacted residents first, and their own needs second, businesses can make sure they’re seen as supporting and not exploiting recovery situations. Sacrifice a bit of sales and profit in the short run, and you’re sure to build the goodwill and trust that will best serve your business in the long run.

Glorimar Perez is a vice president of communications with Hot Paper Lantern


Build Brand Humanity by mastering empathy at scale

More human communication leads to demonstrably better business results. But putting humanity into action is easier said than done. Technology can help businesses forge more human connections between consumers and the brands they love. That’s why Braze commissioned two powerful studies conducted by Forrester Consulting to dig deeper into this important topic. Join this webinar with Braze and Forrester where they discuss the latest Brand Humanity research findings.

RSVP today »

Social Shorts

Snap CEO thinks TikTok could become bigger than Instagram, the IGTV icon makes an exit

TikTok could take over, someday. During a fireside chat at the Digital Life Design conference in Germany over the weekend, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said the short-form video app has an edge over Instagram because its content is driven by talent rather than a quest for social status. “People who have spent a couple hours learning a new dance or think about a funny new creative way to tell a story… they’re really making media to entertain other people,” he said. It’s a bold statement that speaks to Instagram’s current reputation of being a status-oriented platform (which Instagram is addressing with new changes, such as removing public like counts).

Instagram removes IGTV button. Since its launch nearly a year and a half ago, only around 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded the IGTV app. Now, according to TechCrunch, Instagram is getting rid of the orange IGTV button from its home page. For reference, TikTok received 1.15 billion downloads in the same period since IGTV launched. In the U.S. alone, TikTok claimed 80.5 million downloads – compared to around a million downloads for IGTV during the same period, according to research commissioned by TechCrunch from Sensor Tower. “As we’ve continued to work on making it easier for people to create and discover IGTV content, we’ve learned that most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators’ profiles and the standalone app. Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app,” a Facebook spokesperson tells TechCrunch. “We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we’re removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community.”

Facebook deals with more lawsuit trouble. Four tech firms have launched a lawsuit against Facebook on antitrust grounds, demanding that Mark Zuckerberg give up control of the company. The four little-known firms – two of which are now defunct – teamed up to accuse Facebook of running “the most brazen, willful anticompetitive scheme in a generation,” according to the action filed last week. Chief among the complaints is Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, which “intentionally eliminate[s] its competition,” one of the firm’s lawyers told Business Insider. A Facebook spokesperson responded to Business Insider, stating: “We operate in a competitive environment where people and advertisers have many choices. In the current environment, where plaintiffs’ attorneys see financial opportunities, claims like this aren’t unexpected but they are without merit.”


Up your email marketing game in 2020

Explore emerging elements and trends all email marketers should know in a free, live webinar TOMORROW, Thursday, January 23, at 1:00 pm EST!

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Brand Journalism Is Alive And Well – Forbes

Olympics, election power 7.2% lift in 2020 US ad spending, study predicts – Marketing Dive

Swedish tech start-up Bambuser gears up to expand livestream shopping – Reuters

Yes, Smaller Ecommerce Stores Can Evolve (and Prosper) – Practical Ecommerce

5 Mandates To Help Marketers Seize The Linear Addressable TV Opportunity – AdExchanger

Alphabet CEO Sides With EU on Facial-Recognition Tech Moratorium, But Microsoft Isn’t Convinced – Gizmodo

A cool (and personal) example of a “2nd Golden Age of Martech” company – Chief Marketing Technologist Blog