“Marchitecture” could turn out to be the marketing buzz word of 2016. Here’s a quick overview of what it means and why it matters.
There are a lot of marketing technology apps out there, which help marketers to do any number of things, like audience targeting, analytics, reporting, advertising bid management, and social media posting.
The number of these apps is showing enormous growth, and we expect that to continue. There is a wonderful visualization of this trend over on the Chief Marketing Technologist blog.
Many of these apps are integrated, so they can share functionality across one another. So, for example, I can send my social media data to my analytics tool, so I can see that data alongside other channels. Or I can pipe data from my audience targeting tool into my advertising platform, so that I can spend more on audiences where I expect better advertising efficiency.
A “Marchitecture” is the blueprint which encapsulates how marketing technology services fit together, in context of business goals.
What it means
A “Marchitecture” is the blueprint which encapsulates how marketing technology services fit together, in context of business goals. It answers questions like this:
How do the tools managing delivery interact with the tools managing data?
What is the flow of information and activity?
How are customer touch points impacted?
How does the overall framework support marketing objectives?
Why it matters
Lack of architecture increases risk
Broken stacks cause unintended chaos. Each individual tool promises functionality and can even be very easy to setup. However, sometimes that can introduce mistakes that either reduce the intended value of the tool, or (at worst) break the overall system.
A lot of this is about passing data back and forth between apps, but it’s also about the context of how those apps automate actions, or how people act based on what tool is suggesting to them. Because it’s about data, we can rely on the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” A marketing stack will need to account for the source and contextual value of data, and ensure it’s organized and maintained properly across the system.
The most important reason to have a good marketing architecture in place is to support the business goals and needs.
A good architecture supports the business
Minimizing risk is one value to having a solid architecture in place. But that’s not the only, or even the most important reason to have a thoughtful architecture in place. The most important reason to have a good marketing architecture in place is to support the business goals and needs. It should make marketers more efficient, impactful and accountable.
All apps don’t work perfectly with one another, so the choice in a single app today can impact subsequent app selections, and marketing capabilities, down the line.
It creates the need for a new kind of role
If the CMO traditionally develops the overall vision and strategy for what marketing needs to do, in order to meet its goals, a CMT (Chief Marketing Technologist) is needed to make the right recommendations around the technical infrastructure which supports those goals. This person is more CTO than CMO, but specializes in marketing stacks.
Whether or not “marchitecture” sticks around as a buzz word, I can confidently say that the idea of treating marketing infrastructure more like a development infrastructure will stand the test of time.