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Has Martech Made Things Too Complicated?


The emergence of martech was seen as the next step in marketing. These platforms allowed marketers to collect large amounts of data to rethink their approach and increase their conversions. The idea was that the better businesses know their customers, the more attractive they can make their offers.

However, in reality, businesses collected an overwhelming amount of data – and struggled to determine what was truly valuable. Karl Van den Bergh, chief marketing officer at data platform DataStax, stated, “Companies began collecting all sorts of data because they quite frankly didn’t know what may end up being useful — or when or how! Many went overboard in collecting data that has since proved meaningless to improve customer experience, expand markets, or offer new services.”

Martech and its massive data load have created unnecessary complexity in identifying consumer preferences and intent. While every brand has the opportunity to use its digital spend to get closer to its customers, most are not leveraging it. According to data platform Jebbit, the key lies in what martech isn’t doing: building a relationship with the customer.

Behavior doesn’t necessarily indicate intention
Jebbit’s founders, CEO Tom Coburn and president Jonathan Lacoste, noticed that martech was adding layers to what marketers needed to know: How do we understand customers’ motivations and anticipate their needs? Martech platforms were gathering large quantities of transactional data, leaving significant gaps to be filled.

Instead of simply asking a consumer what they wanted, marketers captured as much data as possible about what they did to predict what they might want next. Coburn explained, “Marketers were overburdened and their processes were overcomplicated to make them think they needed tech they didn’t to solve a problem with a simple solution: Ask the consumer what they want.”

The idea behind Jebbit – to communicate directly with the consumer – originated from two founders outside the industry. Coburn and Lacoste researched the inaccuracies of third-party data and the challenges associated with capturing information from consumers. They found that most online options were not engaging, and offline methods faced the challenge of groupthink. The scale was also an issue, as everyone is striving for personalized marketing.

One-on-one questions and interactions don’t incentivize false information, but instead, allow brands to gather honest psychographic information. With that trust, the platform can ask questions to understand the underlying motivations of any purchase a consumer has made or plans to make.

“In reality, the data most martech platforms offer is based on the past or the present,” Coburn said, “It doesn’t deal in the future; it doesn’t ask people what they’ll do next. So martech has lulled marketers into thinking they’re focusing on the future when they’re really working in the past.”

Why Declared Data Stands to Change the Data Vendor Landscape
Jebbit’s focus on declared data envisions a future in which marketers have less data, but of higher quality. By eliminating concerns related to data misappropriation, the platform aims to create a transparent experience that delivers personalized offers and content to consumers.

Jebbit ran a small consumer study to gauge how accurate consumers felt the data marketers were using to target them. The result showed a lack of accuracy, which damaged trust in the brands. Coburn stated that declared data’s strength comes from how it collects information and what it answers.

“Brands can ask anything they want to know or see value from,” he said. “This method gets rid of unnecessary complexity by letting brands engage personally with customers. Not only does that give brands information to act on in the future, but it also influences the affinity a consumer has for the brand.”

Jebbit has worked with brands like Cathay Pacific Airways, running Jebbit experiences to capture visitors’ preferences and provide personalized offers, resulting in increased consideration for the company.

“Declared data takes simple data points that have traditionally been hard to scale at large and makes those points relevant. It creates a competitive data set and allows the brand to build its own differentiated first-party data,” Coburn explained. “It puts the money-making power back in brands’ hands.”

Martech was considered the savior of marketing, but it might have become a hindrance. Declared data looks to simplify what’s become overly complicated and make consent-based marketing the rule, not the exception.

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