The rise of the chief marketing technologist | IBM THINK Marketing


Source: The rise of the chief marketing technologist – IBM THINK Marketing

This article was written by Marco Antonio Cavallo from CIO and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Whenever we hear the word “digitalization,” we must understand that it is the sound of inevitability and irreversibility. The digital economy isn’t on the horizon anymore, it′s here and it is here to stay. It’s no longer a secret that the digital economy is changing the world at an unprecedented rate. Companies that are looking to succeed in this fast emerging new economy must transform themselves by reinventing their business models, strategies, processes, and practices, and that impacts on the roles of all of its employees, as well as bringing departments to work together, once everyone is more and more dependent of technology to function.

It’s no surprise that marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions across all businesses. Gartner has predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer (CMO) would be spending more on technology than its CIO, and that is becoming more credible every day, as many CMOs have adopted technology in their everyday activities, showing that technology became the core of marketing nowadays. Every year, CMOs are globally directing their budgets to the usage of technology or software in many different marketing areas.

IDC Research has released a few predictions on how marketing will strategically use technology to accelerate client acquisition, brand awareness, to gather and analyze market and customer information and even to optimize its operational efficiency in order to generate more revenue for companies and be more accurate when directing resources, mainly by enhancing customer experience.

1. In 2017, CMOs will spend more on content marketing assets than on product marketing assets: For decades, the product launch has reigned as the kingpin content event. With a “bill of materials” stretching through multiple Excel pages, product marketing assets suck up a major portion of the marketing budget – and much of that content is wasted. The days of product content dominance are numbered. Product content will remain important, but it will take its place behind the content marketing assets matched to decision-journey stages.

  1. By 2020, 50 percent of companies will use cognitive computing to automate marketing and sales interactions with customers: A few leads go right to sales. But the majority need further qualification and extended nurturing. Companies will increasingly turn to smart systems that automatically assess and respond to buyers at the point of need. IBM recently added Watson to its marketing cloud offerings. The question is not when cognitive marketing will become mainstream – but rather, will anyone notice?
  2. In 2017, 20 percent of large enterprise CMOs will consolidate their marketing technology infrastructure: Marketing has been absorbing marketing technology a bite at a time for more than a decade. Many organizations now manage dozens (if not hundreds) of point solutions. Just as marketing environments are hitting the wall of this operational complexity, marketing tech vendors are building solid integrated platforms – able to be tailored through a partner eco-system. A fortuitous convergence of supply and demand.
  3. By 2018, predictive analytics will be a standard tool for marketers, but only a third will get optimal benefit: Early adopters of predictive analytics for buyer behavior report amazing results. The benefits come from the ability to discover hidden segments that have a high propensity to buy. Marketers can also better serve these segments with behavioral targeting. However, the majority of marketers face big challenges to achieving the benefits. Chief inhibitors? Lack of statistical skills, stubborn organizational silos that won’t integrate data, and a culture that resists truth when it goes against tradition.
  4. By 2018, 50 percent of CMOs will make significant structural changes to their “intelligence” operations and organizations: “Intelligence” as a capability is growing in importance in modern marketing organizations. Intelligence includes market intelligence (MI), business intelligence (BI), competitive intelligence (CI), and social intelligence (SI). In the past, these four functions were spread around the enterprise. Now, IDC sees more companies consolidating into a larger, single, intelligence group – often combining with intelligence functions from other areas like sales. The elimination of silos in this important area is a positive sign.

With that perspective, it is clear that technology has turned a black art into hard science. Marketing now must be well versed in customer data, analytics, mobile, social and marketing automation tools, and that requires new type of executive. The Chief Marketing Technologist is emerging at the center of this transformation as a part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher professional. Its mission is very clear: align marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers. About half are charged with helping craft new digital business models as well.

The best CMTs are able to set a technology vision for marketing in the digital age. They champion greater experimentation and more agile management of that function’s capabilities, as well as act as transformation agents, working within the function and across the company to create competitive advantage and collaboration. It is not difficult to enlist some of the main reasons why this new executive has emerged:

  • Software became the chief means of engaging prospects and customers: A marketing team’s choice of software and how to configure and operate it, along with how creatively the team applies it, materially affects how the firm perceives and influences its audience and how the audience sees the firm.
  • Digital marketing and e-commerce skills: once those two methodologies increasingly augment or replace traditional touch points, the importance of mastering those capabilities grows. Digital marketing budgets are expanding annually at double-digit rates, and CEOs say that digital marketing is now the most important technology-powered investment their firms can make.
  • The rise in digital budgets: it is not merely a migration of spending from traditional to digital media. A growing portion of marketing’s budget is now allocated to technology itself. A recent Gartner study found that 67% of marketing departments plan to increase their spending on technology-related activities over the next two years. In addition, 61% are increasing capital expenditures on technology, and 65% are increasing budgets for service providers that have technology-related offerings.
  • Efficiently manage all this technology: there are now well over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide, with offerings ranging from major platforms for CRM, content management, and marketing automation to specialized solutions for social media management, content marketing, and customer-facing apps. Relationships with agencies and service providers now include technical interfaces for the exchange and integration of code and data. And bespoke software projects to develop unique customer experiences and new sources of advantage are proliferating under marketing’s umbrella.

The reason why this is a growing role within companies is very simple. In this new digital economy environment, the CMO and the CIO must collaborate closely, although this executive-level cooperation isn’t just enough. A supporting organizational structure is also needed and vital for this collaboration to work properly. A company can’t simply split marketing technology down the middle and declare that the CMO gets the marketing half and the CIO gets the technology half. Such division might look good on paper, but it leaves yawning knowledge gaps in practice.

Marketing might not understand how to fully leverage what IT can offer, and IT might not understand how to accurately translate marketing requirements into technical capabilities. Instead, marketing technology must be managed holistically. In a virtuous cycle, what’s possible with technology should inspire what’s desirable for marketing, and vice versa. The right structure will help marketing become proficient with the array of software it must use to attract, acquire, and retain customers. It will help marketing leadership recognize how new technologies can open up new opportunities and allow marketing to deftly handle the technical facets of agency and service provider relationships in both contract negotiations and day-to-day operations.

The chief marketing technologist role itself is already an acknowledgement of just how important the marketing group is to driving revenue within the organization and, when properly resourced, how today’s marketing information systems are driving the current and future growth of the business. Only by bringing the CIO and the CMO together can the CEO have a complete picture of what insights must be acted upon quickly in order to establish or maintain the top market position. In a nutshell, the power comes from the intersection between marketing and IT.

Today, companies can no longer afford separate silos between marketing and IT. The rapid collapse of these silos means that one person must be able to converse seamlessly between both groups. While many CMOs are getting their arms around the technology side of their business, the natural evolution of this role is for the CIO to improve its marketing skills in order to grow into the Chief Marketing Technologist role. The faster we embrace these trends, the bigger the impact we will have on our bottom line. This is the imminent future of the industry, and it’s the reason chief marketing technologists will be in high demand within 2017 and in the years to come.

The Importance Of Asking Questions |

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever” – Chinese proverb.

What’s the one thing that the world’s leading innovators share with children? They both learn through asking questions. It’s the simplest and most effective way of learning. Yet somehow we have forgotten this lesson as we get older. We just don’t value questioning as much as we should.

Not asking good or even enough questions has a direct impact on the quality of choices you make. Habituating the art of asking questions enables you to gain deep insight, develop more innovative solutions and to arrive at better decision-making.

Brilliant thinkers and scientists never stop asking questions. “Asking questions is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers,” says Paul Sloane, the UK’s top leadership speaker on innovation.

  • Newton: “Why does an apple fall from a tree but, why does the moon not fall into the Earth?”
  • Darwin: “Why do the Galapagos Islands have so many species not found elsewhere?”
  • Einstein: “What would the universe look like if I rode through it on a beam of light?”

Asking these kinds of basic questions started the process that led to their great breakthroughs. And asking questions is as relevant today. Only by constantly asking why can you find better products. In his book “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas”, Warren Berger cited the example of Edwin H. Land, who invented the Polaroid camera in response to his 3 year old daughter asking why the camera that they used couldn’t produce a photo immediately. There are plenty of other cases; Airbnb exists as a response to the question “why should you be stuck without a bed if I’ve got an extra air mattress?”

The list is endless, as many companies and even entire industries can be traced back to a single question.

How do we master the art and science of asking effective questions and how do we make it a habit?

  1. Create an environment where curiosity is welcomed and rewarded.
  2. Become a keen observer of everything you see, hear and experience.
  3. Look at the world with fresh eyes, question the familiar, assume nothing is obvious.
  4. Understand the power of different types of questions – how they should be used and when.
  5. Keep asking why till you can go no further.

“Good questioning should stimulate, provoke, inform and inspire” says Sloane, while Berger feels it can “help us learn, explore the unknown and adapt to change”. What could be a great question that could shift the way you or your organisation perceive or think about something that has the potential to act as a catalyst for change?

Source: The Importance Of Asking Questions |

How to Personalize Content on the Web – Marketo

Learn how web personalization tools help you put relevant content in front of each website visitor to maximize your time and money spent on content.

Source: How to Personalize Content on the Web – Marketo

Content Marketing | 3 Rules

Today, a company’s success depends greatly on on its ability to effectively manage its brand awareness, market conditioning, and demand generation programs.

Technology enables companies to automate how, when and what is communicated to its market today. However, content must still be curated by people and in today’s digital market place it is imperative that content follow three basic rules…

1. Be Customer Centric

Buyers consume content to address a challenge or pain, and they are evaluating their options. If your content is difficult to find or doesn’t provide answers to their needs, they will ultimately arrive at another content provider that very well might be your competitor.

The trend emerging with B2B buyers is a decreasing level of engagement with sales people during their awareness phase. Engagement with Sales these days happens during the down selection process and as they narrow down their options to just a few providers.

Today, more than ever before, a company’s success requires that its content be relevant, timely and personalized so that a high level of value is maintained throughout the customer engagement process.

Perception is managed through effective content management.

2. Build and Maintain Alignment on Personas

Create buyer personas. Set up panels comprised of external buyers and internal content curators.  Align both groups against your buyer personas will help align your company to your buyer types, and will help improve how content is synthesized for your company’s target audience. Your personas should drive everything how you communicate with your buyers’ journeys as they make decisions to choose you or your competitor.

3. Communicate Intimately | Personalization

Avoid speaking in your company’s or industry’s language. Use real words and when and wherever possible apply personalization that addresses the specific pain or need of your customer.

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3 Trends Occupying Retail CMOs in 2015 – Harte Hanks Blog

3 Trends Occupying Retail CMOs in 2015 – Harte Hanks Blog.

Innovation | The Future | A Fresh Perspective

While researching trends in innovation, I read an article that ran in The Atlantic earlier this year entitled “Bill Gates: ‘The Idea That Innovation Is Slowing Down Is … Stupid.” The title of the article is what caught my attention, as many analysts have been projecting that the rate of innovation is slowing down, but it was Gates’ comments on government and education that got me to click through to watch his full conversation with Jim Bennet, Editor in Chief at The Atlantic.

Watch the full conversation between James Bennet and Bill Gates.

There’s no disputing Bill Gates’ contributions to humanity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the success he’s had in business, but thirty minutes into the interview, the gentle, kind, giving genius and sage, transformed into a benevolent dictator and I realized that this was an impossible topic for him to not have a biased opinion. So I clicked out and continued my search on this topic for other points of view.

My search would eventually lead me to Phillip Coggan’s review of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the 21st Century” in The Economist, in which Coggan, columnist of Buttonwood’s Notebook, links history and economic data that supports Piketty’s points of view on economic growth, innovation and economic inequality. Coggan ultimately suggests that we are following in the footsteps of the Roman Republic, not post eighteenth century Europe, and we are marching towards our fall.

So, has the rate of innovation slowed down? It’s highly likely that it has and that there’s a correlation between economic inequality and the rate of innovation.

Piketty writes –

“in a quasi-stagnant society, wealth accumulated in the past will inevitably acquire disproportionate importance. The return to a structurally high capital/income ratio in the twenty-first century, close to levels observed in the eighteenth century, can therefore be explained by a return to a slow-growth regime. Decreased growth – especially demographic growth – is thus responsible for capital’s comeback.”

The present economic inequalities compared to other periods over the past three centuries has us on a trajectory similar to that of late eighteenth century Europe where a small aristocracy controlled most of the wealth. Thomas Piketty insists that a “return of the slow growth regime…is responsible for capital’s comeback.” The Digital Revolution in the post Great Recession era is benefiting a very small portion of the population. If you are reading this post it is likely that you are part of this new tech-savvy elite and would not identify with the others that have been left behind. To this much larger group, that continues to expand upward into the upper middle class, average is over, and the level of economic equality from the past is never coming back.

Phillip Coggan reminds us of history and suggests that we are living in a plutocracy similar to years that preceded the fall of the Roman Republic. So maybe we should care more about economic inequality than we do about innovation, because if we don’t we might be doomed to repeat the past.

Empathy should become part of the innovation conversation, because it is ultimately the human sense that failed societies lacked.

Happy holidays!

Rick Vargas

Video: New Thoughts on Capital in the 21st Century – Thomas Piketty

Piketty explains the simple, brutal formula of economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth).



Effective Email Marketing

Thanks to anti-SPAM laws and ongoing efforts by vendors and marketers who have worked to ensure credibility, consumers can trust their email. However, it’s critical that email marketers stay abreast of evolving trends and technologies because what worked before may not work today.

One important trend is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have emerged as a kind of meta-audience, which email marketers must understand and with whom they must cultivate relationships. ISPs serve as gatekeepers who decide which emails get through and which do not.

Once you’ve gotten your message through, you still combat the email overload your recipient may be experiencing. Permission-based marketing offers guidelines for opt-in programs based on the simple and proven premise that people will read what they ask for, and tend to delete or flag as SPAM what they have not requested.

Understand How to Build Reputation

Since ISPs act as gatekeepers, it’s critical to build your reputation by establishing the credibility of your domain name and the deliverability of your recipients’ addresses. You’ll want to test your email to smaller audiences before you execute a major campaign.

To establish your company as a legitimate email marketer with ISPs, follow these eight guidelines:

  1. Establish email accounts with the free email providers. Use Yahoo, Gmail, etc. to start building your deliverability rating and to test sample lists.
  2. Create seed lists to test mailings. Try before you fly. What you are after prior to an actual email campaign is a well-vetted list of people who have opted-in to receive your information. You may have “warm leads” from other marketing initiatives, if not, you will have to build your own list.

  3. Warm up your IP address. This builds your reputation with ISPs. The process involves sending small amounts of email through a new-unused IP address in order to establish a positive deliverability reputation. This takes several weeks, so plan ahead. 
If you want to warm your own IP, don’t send to your entire mailing at once. Break it into smaller groups. Give ISPs a chance to see the types of messages that are coming through and let them establish a sending reputation. If you give the ISPs a chance to get to know you and the types of email you are sending, it will give them a chance to gradually establish a sender reputation for you, which will work to your advantage.

  4. Honor abuse reports. Treat them like unsubscribe requests. Set up and monitor accounts such as or

  5. Be aware of ISPs’ acceptable use policies. Stay up-to-date with the various ISP policies to ensure your emails get delivered now and in the future.

  6. Implement a thorough SPAM complaint, bounce, or reply emails resolution process. To ensure clean contact lists and prompt follow-up of legitimate customer replies, implement a process to handle “out of office” replies, unsubscribe requests, SPAM complaints, and general replies.

  7. If you plan to use a branded domain (e.g., publish 
your authentication. This practice helps ensure good delivery rates and reputation. Authentication does require some action by your IT staff to implement.

  8. Do not attach Word or other documents. Many ISPs now identify attachments as SPAM. And if they haven’t, some users have blocked it from their inboxes to save storage. Include links to sites where people can download information instead.


Acquire Email Addresses the Right Way

Rates of return on email campaigns correspond directly to the quality of email recipients. If your organization harbors any old notions of buying mass mailing lists and sending 
out vast, indiscriminate marketing pitches via email, blow those notions up now!

In this era of permission-based marketing, it’s critical that your audience opt-in to receive the information from you. Make opting-in very easy with highly visible single-click options, and unsubscribing should be that easy too.

To make sure you’re acquiring email addresses the right way, follow these three guidelines:

  1. Send email only to those who have opted-in. Again, the idea is simple; people are overloaded but they will generally read what they’ve asked for.
  • Obtain opt-in permission via common methods. These include single opt-in, double opt-in, or confirmed opt-in (see glossary for detail on these terms). Be sure your marketing automation provider delivers the tools to easily track who asked for what and when. Not only is this critical to communicate effectively with customers, but 
you can learn a lot about how to influence them by noticing their communication preferences.

  • Always be up-front. State clearly what the contact is opting-in for. After gaining their permission, the credibility of your brand and the quality of their customer experience hinges in part on giving them what they thought they were receiving. Do not be misleading.

  • Do the Internal Work and Align with Sales

    Marketers do not work alone. Define the internal dependencies on which the success of your email campaign depends. Ensure that all customer touch points within your organization, such as customer support or sales, know about upcoming campaigns.

    Remember, many customers are touching or being touched by other facets of your organization, maybe even within marketing, increase your success by being consistent across all channels.

    Using CRM applications, many marketers today make it a standard practice to check whether there’s an open customer support incident before sending out proactive emails. Similarly, some customer support organizations share incident information with marketing so they can follow-up with timely emails regarding upgrades or new programs.

    To make sure you’re doing the inside work, follow these three guidelines:

    1. Ensure cross-organizational support for and knowledge of email campaigns.
  • Make sure you have the reporting tools in place to support campaign goals. This means you need a marketing automation application that tracks intended action completion, such as a form submittal, form download, or purchase. Integration between your web and email marketing tools is vital here.

  • Review invalid contact reports. Stand by the integrity of your mailing list at all times. Be aware of how many contacts are invalidated with each mailing. Undeliverable email is inevitable, but a high volume suggests the need to reevaluate or clean up your list.

  • Content is King

    Once you’ve followed these best practices to ensure that your messages get through, it’s time to work on the most important part, content.

    Remember that content is king…

    Here are some content guidelines:

    1. Remind the contact why they are receiving this email. Include a link to opt-out and to update their profile information. Have both of these at the top of the email.
    2. Ask contacts to add the “From” address to their address book. This ensures consistent delivery.
    3. Use a consistent template. The basic formatting of your email marketing messages is not the place you want to differentiate yourself. As with a business letter, putting things where people expect them speeds expedition of requested actions and ultimately supports better rates of return. A common template provides a consistent customer experience and should include spaces for: email opt-in, email format correction, add-to-address book, company website and contact information, relevant copyright references, opt-out, privacy policy, profile update, and “reply-to” policy if different from the “reply- to” address.
    4. Include your privacy policy. Tell contacts how their profile information will and will not be used. Assure contacts that their information will never to rented or sold unless they specifically opt-in to partner email programs.
    5. Allow contacts to easily update their profiles. Have information already filled in, so contacts can simply enter a cursor to type in a new address, information about their internet connection, and so on.
    6. Ensure the “from” and “reply-to” addresses make sense to your contacts. A clear “from” address increases recognition of the message to recipients and ISPs.
    7. Make the “subject” line and body copy sensible and intuitive. State up-front any terms or special conditions, such as with an offer or promotion.
    8. AVOID special characters or jumbles of letters and numbers as these can identify your mail as SPAM. Consider that commonly known acronyms in your industry may be senseless jumble to an ISP.
    9. Ensure your content is internally approved by all necessary stakeholders, including the legal department.
    10. Target your campaign to specific audiences. The narrower the better. By tracking demographics, previous campaign history, offer acceptance, and interests stated in the customer’s profile, over time you should be able to deliver increasingly timely messages demonstrating ever-greater levels of specificity.
    11. Balance images and text.
    12. Use test cells to optimize mailings. Test randomly selected segments of your audience to try out different approaches. For example, try different subject lines or body copy to different groups of the same or very similar audiences.
    13. Test email content for SPAM identification.
    14. Include the physical postal address of your organization within your email. All emails governed by CAN-SPAM must contain a physical address or valid P.O. Box of your organization.


    SO YOU WANT TO BE “ALWAYS ON.” by Charlie Tarzian

    Two things happened to me in 1997 that changed the way I viewed the possible. The first was reading Regis McKenna’s book, “Real Time: Preparing for the Never Satisfied Customer.” At the time, this was the seminal book about marketing automation before there was a vibrant, web-based marketplace to attach it to. Regis was THE pioneer that told us that it was possible – that you could connect the dots across a marketing landscape in ways that have people like Larry Ellison proclaiming today – that Oracle truly is a leader in real time marketing – or “Always On” marketing as we now call it.

    The second thing that occurred that year was a visit to the UPS Command Center (nuclear hardened at that) in Northern NJ. There in the bowels of a very sophisticated logistics center was the makings of Always On: a map of the US with thousands of lights and lines moving across with data streaming as crawlers and alerts popping up with men and women responsible for timely conveyance arrayed in front of large screens, headphones on, watching intently as a good amount of American commerce flashed across the screen.

    THIS was real time, baby!

    I was absolutely amazed at how UPS was managing its business – in real time – in 1997. Flash forward 17 years and here we are – finally conceptualizing our own versions of an Always On company. The days of linear campaigns, manual processes, fragmented communications sans governance are coming slowly to a close.

    In its place we have real time bidding and data driven digital media – 50 billion impressions a day strong. We have incredibly smart companies inhabiting the LumaScape, creating value in an eco-system that did not exist a mere 3-4 years ago. We have marketing automation players – that have created logic and decision trees that can support Always On activities. We have data and cookie syncing and device and canvas finger printing and we have those evil ever cookies.

    It is all there, right before us. And we have an enormous task at hand. Like the RTB guys who had to create the plumbing and pipes for the programmatic revolution, we too, must create the standards that will transform some wicked smart tech stacks into an Always On eco-system. So, while two years ago it was incredibly important to onboard your data so you can target your customers across the Internet (mission accomplished, kind of), now we must lay the pipes, the logic and the creative thinking to take the great effort of the last 5 years and turn it into a real time marketing infrastructure.

    That means figuring out how not only to push, compress, sort and analyze data in real time, but also to do something with it – to allow that data to inform just about everything we do – across everything we have that allows for the bidirectional communication flow that is modern marketing and sales.

    I am shocked, for example, when colleagues in our industry tell me they really are not doing predictive analytics against multiple data sets that are right there in front of them. With all that investment in pulling social media, page indexing, buying preferences, shopping cart abandons, white paper downloads, etc… very few have integrated it into one seamless whole – producing the empirical environment for Always On.

    But we can – and we will. I am just not sure it will be the likes of Larry Ellison or any of the big dawgs that will get it done. I think companies like Oracle will be very helpful laying the pipes but will not be the ones driving the innovation. Which reminds me: I had a very interesting conversation with an incredibly bright architect for a leading B2B publisher who was talking about how they made the decision a year ago to use Blue Kai (Oracle) as their DMP. So I asked him the obvious question: how has that worked out? He smirked and said: Blue Kai doesn’t even know what Blue Kai is – we are using it as a garage right now – parking data. And he laughed.

    While that is a ding on Blue Kai – it is a ding on all of us. Walking around with a new lexicon does not a new era of marketing make. This is tough stuff. In the end – we will get there – I am sure of it.

    Stick to the practical and take the baby steps first. But never stop dreaming big. That is how you will get to being Always On.

    Oh, and the reference to Jimi Hendrix? I think the answer to the question: So you want to be Always On? Is a question itself and is the title track of his seminal album: Are You Experienced?


    Ghosts In Your Machine

    Ghosts In Your B2B Machine by Charlie Tarzian

    I have been absolutely deluged by companies telling me I should put their pixel on my clients’ sites so we can tell who is coming to the site. It’s as if all these guys (you know who you are) discovered reverse IP lookup at the same time (maybe the same industry show?) and now have a bright, new, shiny object to launch their ambitions for world domination.

    Having been in the IP targeting, IP aggregation, IP reporting world these last 3 – 4 years I am amused at how easy these guys make it seem.

    ‘Yes, that is exactly right. Just add water and stir and you will be creating deliciously magnificent lead gen – right before your eyes! No muss, no fuss.’

    Folks, I have news for you – if it were that easy – none of us would have jobs.

    Let me try and lay this out for you:

    • There is a reverse IP lookup capability available for licensing from a number of vendors – and it is real time
    • These vendors (actually my 13 year old geek at home) can use the published API and pass IP addresses and have returned the provenance of that IP address – who manages it and what is the master domain
    • There are currently between 3 – 4 billion IP addresses that are out there in the world – so there is obviously a great opportunity to utilize lookup services
    • So we are all good here as far as value, right?

    Not really.

    Here is the harsh reality:

    • 70 – 80% of your traffic is masked because it is ISP traffic. This means that the individual coming to a site has broadband access through one of the many (I think there are close to 3,000 in the US) ISP’s.
    • Depending on what your product/service offering is you will also have up to 50% of your traffic coming from overseas – which could be a good or a bad thing depending on your sales strategy
    • Identifying the IP address is just the first of a few steps you need to take in order to benefit from this exercise. An IP address can and will be shared by many people in a corporate infrastructure
    • The singular fact that someone from some company came to the website and poked around tells a fractional story about the buying team inside of that company and how decisions are made
    • Rolling up this data into intelligence you can execute against is a commitment to a Predictive Automation architecture where data drives many channels

    So before you jump at this once in a lifetime opportunity of reverse IP lookup, ask the following questions:

    To the vendor

    • What is the % of IP addresses you resolve for your client base?
    • Of the % that you don’t on the real time first pass, how many can you resolve if it was not a real time need?
    • If you claim to resolve ISP addresses – explain your methodology – how to you get from a dynamic ISP address to a specific company in a specific location?

    To your internal marketing ops team

    • Can we knit this data together with our marketing automation, Google Analytics/Omniture/etc…, social listening, campaign, web logs, and so forth to give us a more rounded view of how we should prioritize and score this data?
    • Have we or will we be integrating these data channels into an executable architecture so that it doesn’t take weeks to move what is real time data into some form of communications stream?
    • Do we have enough prospects in our own customer database to push our content into these companies (rather than wait for someone to download) and if we do not – can we find reputable 3 party data sources that can help fill in the holes?

    Once you have your answers to these questions, you can begin to plot out a Predictive Automation strategy that allows you to deploy the right messaging in near real time to the right companies in the right locations to the right individuals.

    Not only can this be done – it is being done. Companies like Prelytix ( have integrated all of the above into an easy to understand, highly actionable dashboard with API’s into a variety of MarTech platforms.

    And with the recent announcement that Adobe and Publicis are all in on Always On – you will begin to see more and more players jump into Predictive Automation.

    In the meantime, get ahead of the curve and start plotting out what you need to be successful when the snake oil IP resolution dudes come aknockin’.


    About the author:

    Charlie Tarzian is a big data and digital marketing thought leader who has held various C-level positions in the agency, direct marketing, information technology and database services industries. 

    What Balanced Marketing Looks Like

    With the demands and expectations that businesses have of marketing on the rise, marketers may find their efforts out of balance with business goals. Now more than ever, marketers must be on alert and be aware of the three operating scenarios, ubiquitous in marketing, to prevent falling out of balance.

    3 Operating Scenarios in Marketing:

    Balanced Marketing – Marketing is balanced when people and teams are focused at every stage of the marketing closed loop process.

    Tactical & Reactive – In a tactical and reactive marketing organization people a lot of work is being done without much planning and very little thought put into deliverables.

    Analytical and Strategic – Over analysis leads to marketing paralysis – A lot of talking and planning without any action.

    If your team is ideating, planning, building, running, observing, analyzing, reporting and repeating their programs and campaigns – marketing is balanced.