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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. MarTech is essential for businesses of all sizes to navigate the complex ad network landscape and make informed decisions using probabilistic data.
  2. The size and growth stage of a company determine the need for dedicated MarTech functions, with various options available to suit different business types and structures.
  3. A dedicated MarTech person is essential for managing the complexity of marketing and business technology, ensuring efficiency and growth through careful tool selection and implementation.
  4. When determining the structure and reporting lines for hiring a role, factors such as company type (B2C or B2B) and the importance of reporting into a specific function should be considered. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and companies should align their structure based on their unique circumstances.
  5. A marketing technologist is responsible for managing tools and systems, collaborating with various departments, and simplifying the technology stack while being a strong team player.
  6. Balancing administrative tasks, security risks, and future planning is crucial in managing a large company. Collaborating with specialized roles can improve effectiveness in specific areas.
  7. MarTech professionals play a crucial role in supporting user acquisition and optimizing marketing campaigns, with a focus on cost efficiency and tool optimization for long-term business success.
  8. Marketing technology leaders should focus on controlling costs while upgrading tools, even if it requires investing in more expensive solutions.
  9. Businesses should carefully choose tools that can solve specific problems and design scalable systems for capturing leads and integrating with tools like Salesforce.
  10. Balancing system complexity and resource management is crucial for successful data collection and integration in B2B2C businesses, while effective attribution plays a significant role in achieving multi-touch attribution.
  11. Collecting and organizing data is crucial for analyzing growth, experimentation, and attribution results. Transitioning to multi-touch attribution requires proper data management from the start.
  12. Setting up a comprehensive data collection infrastructure, including storing UTM parameters locally and collecting user information, is essential for effective attribution modeling and future analysis.
  13. Marketing technologists should consider the entire customer journey, integrate tracking technologies, and embrace probabilistic matching and attribution to make informed decisions based on aggregated data.
  14. Businesses facing attribution challenges should consider alternative measurement methods like MTA or MMM, but should also assess their data readiness. Understanding the general impact of campaigns on revenue and hiring curious individuals is crucial in marketing analytics.
  15. Intellectual curiosity and adaptability to new technologies are crucial in the MarTech industry. Self-teaching and problem-solving skills are more important than having a software engineering degree.
  16. Project managers should prioritize problem-solving and understanding the problem set, avoid false flags and shortcuts, and be open to exploring new tools and solutions.
  17. Understand the problems, identify the people involved, and adopt a "build and buy" mindset to create a consensus-driven solution that saves time, resources, and satisfies everyone.
  18. Building a stack of third-party tools and customizing them to fit your needs can lead to improved outcomes and better vendor support, while "thinking gray" helps make better decisions in product development and hiring.
  19. Understand the philosophical aspects of leadership, seek entertainment with problem-solving arcs, conduct vulnerable interviews, and utilize efficient productivity tools for better appreciation and understanding.
  20. Understanding the setbacks and sharing failure stories can develop a realistic mindset in young professionals, while the "Golden Stack" provides valuable tools for B2C and B2B businesses. Curiosity-driven hobbies can rejuvenate personal growth.
  21. Austin Hay is passionate about drones, values community input, and is launching a marketing technology course, welcoming practitioners to join and provide feedback. Reach out to him for assistance with MarTech.

📝 Podcast Summary

Understanding MarTech and its role in managing and optimizing systems and platforms for marketing.

Marketing technology, or MarTech, is a cross-functional discipline that combines processes and systems from product, growth, engineering, and marketing. MarTech can involve a collection of third-party tools or a combination of third-party and first-party solutions developed in-house as a company scales and grows. It is the role of a MarTech professional to manage and optimize these systems and platforms. The size and stage of a company determine the extent of the MarTech function, ranging from a dedicated team with product and engineering resources to a small startup where individuals handle tool implementation and usage. Marketers must adapt to the changing landscape of ad networks, becoming more complex and sophisticated, while understanding how to make decisions with probabilistic data in the absence of deterministic data.

Understanding the Role of MarTech in Business Growth

MarTech, or marketing technology, is influenced by the size and stage of a company's growth. In smaller startups, individuals often fulfill multiple roles and utilize various tools to manage their marketing and growth efforts. However, as a company scales and reaches a critical mass of about 100-150 people, a dedicated MarTech function becomes necessary to handle the complexity and liability of data management, tool integration, procurement, and legal requirements. Depending on the business type (B2C or B2B) and organizational structure, MarTech can be housed within product operations, IT, marketing, or a standalone unit. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to MarTech, with numerous variations and solutions available to meet the unique needs of each company.

Leveraging Technology for Business Growth

MarTech, or marketing technology, entails using technology and tools to drive growth. A MarTech person's role is to focus on the tools and solve problems related to marketing and business technology. As a company grows, it becomes crucial to have a dedicated MarTech person who can handle the increasing complexity of systems and tools. This includes setting up new tools, building on top of third-party tools, and making architecting decisions. Additionally, the contract part of MarTech is important in terms of scrutinizing deals, terms, and potential cost implications as the company scales. Efficiency and pain drive the need for a MarTech person, as accumulating different tools can create inefficiencies in connecting data and backend infrastructure for measuring and driving growth.

Considerations for Organizational Structure and Reporting Lines in Hiring

The organization structure and reporting lines for hiring a role depend on various factors such as whether it is a B2C or B2B company and the importance of reporting into a specific function. In a B2C company, it is generally recommended to have the marketing technology role alongside the head of growth or reporting to the head of growth. This person should be a strong technical architect to effectively collaborate with the product and engineering teams. However, some companies opt for a product manager or platform PM to manage growth and handle internal platform systems. For B2C decentralized companies, there may be a system person in each org, but this can create complexity unless the company is large enough to handle it. B2B companies have different considerations, and the structure can either be centralized or decentralized depending on customer needs and resource allocation. Ultimately, there is no universally right answer, and organizations should align their structure and reporting lines based on their unique circumstances.

The Role and Challenges of a Marketing Technologist

The role of a marketing technologist is highly case-specific and dependent on the leader of the function. It can be situated in various departments such as product or engineering, depending on the expertise and background of the leader. Marketing technologists need to be both individual contributors (ICs) and managers, as they are responsible for being the most senior technical expert on all first-party and third-party systems. They must have firsthand experience in managing tools and systems to effectively understand and utilize third-party tools. The success of a marketing technologist lies in their ability to manage upward, laterally, and downward, as they constantly need to collaborate with various departments and stakeholders. They also play a crucial role in persuading and convincing others about the importance and benefits of marketing technology. In larger organizations, marketing technologists face challenges in consolidating and simplifying the technology stack while preventing the introduction of duplicative tools. Overall, being a marketing technologist requires a strong cross-functional team player and a true quarterback in coordinating different departments.

Managing administrative tasks and automated systems at scale: Importance, risks, and considerations

Managing administrative tasks and implementing automated systems is crucial, especially at a large company scale. Giving someone incorrect permissions or access to tools can result in embarrassing situations or security risks. Designing systems and contracts for the future is an important part of the job, along with considering financials and contracts. It's necessary to justify spending engineering time and resources by assessing the costs and benefits. Additionally, it's important to think about the future and make choices that mitigate risks. Balancing time spent on managing third-party tools and building product features can be challenging. Collaborating with other roles within the growth umbrella, such as a MarTech person, can enhance effectiveness in specific areas.

Understanding the Role of MarTech Professionals

Marketing technology, or MarTech, is often an engineering-based role that supports user acquisition and campaign optimization. While engineers or individuals with engineering backgrounds may be capable of performing MarTech functions themselves, it is common for the role to be divided between those responsible for acquiring users and those responsible for managing and optimizing the marketing technology tools and processes. MarTech professionals assist in setting up campaigns, sending email blasts, debugging, and conducting analytics work, but their focus is not on engineering-based tasks. Additionally, MarTech professionals should have goals tied to the needs and objectives of the team they are supporting, but they should also strive for cost efficiency and tool optimization to ensure the business's success in the long run.

Prioritizing cost control in marketing technology investments.

Marketing technology leaders should strive to control costs over time, even though many businesses don't. While there may be discreet goals that are not cost-efficient but have a strong net capability, it is important to prioritize cost control. An example of this is when businesses need to upgrade their tools to accommodate growth and complexity. They may have to invest in bigger and more expensive tools like Braze or Marketo but should aim to make the switch without losing money. This responsibility usually falls on the MarTech person during a change transformation effort. Additionally, when considering tooling and recommendations, the conversation highlights the evolving nature of B2C stack solutions, from CDPs to warehouse models and reverse ETLs. Businesses now have more options to manage and activate their data effectively.

The importance of having a clear methodology for data movement and using a reverse ETL tool.

Businesses should have a clear methodology or system for moving data from one place to another. It is important to avoid haphazardly moving data without a defined approach. One option is using a reverse ETL, which allows data to be moved from a warehouse to a tool. Examples of reverse ETLs include Segment, Particle, Rudder Stack, Census, and Hightouch. However, the choice of tools should be based on their ability to solve specific problems. In B2B environments, it is crucial to carefully design systems for capturing leads, integrating with tools like Salesforce, and conducting outbound activities. These systems should be scalable and adaptable to the needs of the business.

The Complexity of B2B2C User Acquisition and Retention Systems

B2B2C is a rising trend that brings complexity to user acquisition and retention systems. In B2B businesses, the focus is on acquiring companies rather than individual users, and tracking user behavior within the application is for retention purposes rather than acquisition. The challenge lies in tying users to companies and determining where the necessary tools for this integration should reside in the system. The example of using both HubSpot and Salesforce highlights the complexities involved in mapping data between different CRMs. Making decisions about data collection and integration involves a trade-off between system complexity and resource management. The conversation also touches on the importance of effective attribution and provides insights into multi-touch attribution.

Understanding MMM and MTA for Effective Marketing Resource Allocation.

Understanding Mixed Media Modeling (MMM) and Multi-touch Attribution (MTA) is crucial for effectively allocating resources to campaign spending in marketing. Both MMM and MTA rely on data collection, specifically the user object and event objects collected on websites or applications. Building and managing tools and systems that collect the necessary data is essential for analyzing complex growth, experimentation, and attribution results. Additionally, when it comes to MTA, businesses typically start with either first touch or last touch attribution models and eventually transition to a multi-touch attribution model. Collecting and organizing important data such as referrers, UTMs, and advertising network parameters is a best practice from the beginning to facilitate this transition and optimize marketing strategies.

Importance of Setting up Data Collection Infrastructure for Attribution Modeling

Setting up a proper infrastructure for data collection is crucial for effective attribution modeling. Most marketers use UTMs to track campaign types, but it's important to note that UTMs are specific to the moment a person visits your website. Therefore, it's necessary to store UTM parameters locally on the device, such as a browser, as UTM first campaign and UTM last campaign. By collecting user information and events on the website, both as user attributes and events, you can build a comprehensive user profile with first and last attribution information. This setup requires proper data warehouse management and a well-defined taxonomy. Third-party tools may have limitations, so building your own data warehouse allows for flexibility and control over the schema. By implementing this infrastructure early on, you can gather the necessary data for future attribution modeling.

Designing Efficient Systems for Effective Marketing Attribution

Marketing technologists need to think ahead and design systems in an elegant and efficient way to adapt to the complex nature of advertising and attribution. UTMs alone are not enough, and marketers need to consider the entire customer journey, including the steps in between, and integrate tracking technologies into user profiles and events. The conversation highlights the importance of staying updated on emerging tools and platforms, such as Threads and Reddit, and paying attention to how attribution works in different advertising channels. With the limitations in deterministic matching, marketers should embrace probabilistic matching and attribution to make informed decisions based on aggregated data. It's essential for marketing technologists to develop a skillset in understanding and utilizing probabilistic data for effective decision-making.

Challenges and Solutions in Measuring Attribution and the Importance of Intellectual Curiosity in Marketing Analytics

Measuring attribution has become more challenging due to factors such as browser truncation of URL parameters and cookie blockers. Many businesses are struggling to adapt to the new world of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and are turning to Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) or Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) for measurement. However, it is important to consider whether a company has the necessary data and readiness for MMM before implementing it. In the absence of precise attribution, businesses are resorting to understanding the general impact of their campaigns on advertising revenue. Additionally, hiring individuals with intellectual curiosity is highly valued, as it indicates a potential fit for the dynamic and evolving field of marketing analytics.

Valuable Qualities and Skills in the MarTech Industry

Intellectual curiosity and basic engineering scrappiness are highly valued qualities in the MarTech industry. The ability to quickly learn and adapt to new technologies is crucial, as it is impossible to be an expert in every tool available. It is not necessary to have a software engineering degree to enter the field, as self-teaching and online coding academies can provide the necessary skills within a relatively short period. When assessing candidates, it is important to ask how they prepared for the interview, as it reveals their ability to plan, think critically, and take things seriously. Additionally, it is beneficial to inquire about their approach to solving problems and their tool preferences, with a preference for individuals who prioritize problem-solving over tool-specific biases.

Prioritizing Problem-Solving and Avoiding False Flags in Decision-Making Processes

When it comes to project managers (PMs), it is important for them to choose tools based on the specific problem they're trying to solve, rather than just sticking to what they're familiar with. PMs should have a mindset of understanding the problem set and the solution space, rather than regurgitating existing knowledge. When assessing whether someone is a good fit to work with, one red flag for Austin is if a company refuses to share their financials with a director-level or above person, as it suggests they may be hiding something or lack trust in their senior leaders. Rather than focusing on red flags, it is more valuable to assess false identifiers on resumes that may lead to shortcuts. Additionally, Austin suggests the need for a one-page document containing useful life frameworks that are easily forgettable but valuable, which can help in various aspects of work and life. Overall, the key takeaway is to prioritize problem-solving over relying solely on tools and to be mindful of false flags and shortcuts in decision-making processes.

Solving Problems through Marketing Technology.

When it comes to marketing technology, it's important to remember that tools are meant to solve problems. It's not just about focusing on buying and integrating tools, but truly understanding the problems and taking action to address them. Instead of jumping straight to the system, it's beneficial to first identify the problem and the people involved. By doing this, it becomes easier to design a system that solves the specific problem and meets the needs of the people involved. Additionally, the conversation highlights the importance of adopting a "build and buy" mindset rather than a "build versus buy" approach. By considering both options and analyzing the problem at hand, a consensus-driven solution can be created that saves time and resources while making everyone happy.

Accelerated outcomes and vendor commitment through customizing third-party tools

Building on top of a third-party tool can lead to accelerated outcomes and vendor commitment. When you customize a tool to fit your needs as a customer, the vendor becomes invested in your success and is more likely to accommodate your requests for changes or new features. This concept of building a stack and leveraging third-party tools can be valuable in various fields, including product development and decision-making processes. Additionally, the conversation introduces the concept of "thinking gray," which emphasizes the importance of delaying decisions until necessary, allowing for better evaluations and potentially better outcomes. This mindset can be applied not only to product decisions but also to evaluating people and making hiring choices.

Leadership, entertainment, interviews, and productivity tools explored for personal and professional growth.

Leadership books like The Contrarians Guide to Leadership and The Art and Adventure of Leadership focus more on philosophical aspects of leadership rather than technical specifications on running a business. For those who desire a satisfying story arc with problems being solved, TV shows like Suits and Silo, Witcher are recommended. Our Flag Means Death offers comic relief with its hilarious portrayal of black beard and a gay pirate captain. Additionally, What We Do in the Shadows provides dumb comedy entertainment. When it comes to conducting interviews, asking candidates about the most difficult or challenging thing they have overcome in the past year helps to create a vulnerable and sincere atmosphere. Furthermore, is recommended as an alternative to the expensive and less efficient Calendly for easy management of multiple calendars. Finally, the power of appreciation and understanding the challenges people face in their personal lives can lead to a greater appreciation for the good moments in life.

Embracing Challenges and Exploring New Interests: Insights from Austin Hay

Austin Hay emphasizes the importance of understanding the challenges and setbacks before experiencing success, both in life and business. He believes that sharing stories of failure and loss with younger professionals helps them to develop a realistic mindset and gain valuable experience. Additionally, Austin provides insights on the "Golden Stack," a recommended combination of tools for B2C and B2B businesses, including customer data platforms, analytics, email tools, data warehouses, and attribution tools. In a lighter note, the conversation reveals Austin's intellectual curiosity through his unconventional hobbies, such as drone piloting, which he pursued during the COVID-19 pandemic to explore new interests outside of work.

Austin Hay: Drone Enthusiast, Technology Advocate, and Educator

Austin Hay is a drone enthusiast and is open to flying drones with others, but not in Washington, DC due to regulations. He has two drones, the Mavic Air 2 and the Skydio Enterprise. Austin Hay can be found on LinkedIn and Threads, and he is open to connecting with people and having conversations. He believes that Twitter can be detrimental to people's careers and prefers not to use it. Austin Hay will be launching a marketing technology course with Reforge in the fall and welcomes practitioners and those interested in MarTech to participate and provide feedback. He acknowledges that he is still learning and values input from the community to improve the course. Additionally, if anyone needs assistance with MarTech, they can reach out to Austin Hay.