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When I joined Transparent Partners earlier this year, I thought I had a good sense of the headaches marketers face – after all, I’ve been in this business for 20 years.  I speak to brands everyday here – and it’s even more challenging than I thought!  The breakneck speed at which this data-driven marketing landscape changes shows no sign of slowing down – adding economic uncertainty and privacy concerns/regulations into the mix only intensifies the turbulence.

This leads to some very ‘human’ but predictable reactions.  Unfortunately, each can come at a hefty cost.

Navigating the Headaches

Several factors are contributing to marketers’ sleepless nights:

  1. Economic Downturn: A staggering 74% of advertiser budgets have been hit, with 47% grappling with the relentless rise in campaign costs
  2. Signal Loss. The dropoff in third-party identifiers is already wreaking havoc on marketing strategies
  3. Privacy Concerns: Today’s privacy concerns are merely a taste of what’s to come
  4. Martech Trends:  Keeping up with the ever-shifting Martech landscape has become an arduous task

And yet, almost half of advertisers have clung to the same strategies for the last five years. It’s a conundrum that leaves marketers pondering the need for a consumer data strategy and considering upgrades to their Martech stack – then they throw their hands up in confusion. There’s so much noise, fear and double talk out there, who could blame them?  And, they’ve been burned repeatedly in the past!  By the promise of DMPs, the promise of unified measurement, the promise of data for targeting….

So, what’s a marketer to do?

I’ve worked closely with brands for over 20 years, and when faced with the need to change (for example, to invest in a new technology provider) I’ve found marketers, as human beings, will typically react in one of four ways:

And the problem is?

Challenges emerge immediately with each.  You can buy the most popular platform, you can copy P&G or GM — but your customers might not want shampoo or a Cadillac – they’re different; you’re different.  You need a solution suite that is right for you and maps to your specific business use cases.

You can buy everything, but it will cost a lot to retrace your steps, even more to rip it out.  

You can buy nothing, but when you’re caught flat-footed, it will cost you even more — customers, market share, loyalty…

You want to be ‘future-proof’?

Everyone promises to be the best kept secret in martech, that they can ‘future-proof’ you.  A promise to be future-proof is futile, and the best kept secret may be unadopted for a reason. It’s about preparing for the future, and building a foundation to be ready and adaptable.

At Transparent Partners, I’m so proud to represent a team of data and martech experts who have no agenda, who do the work, and prepare our clients for the future everyday.  Nothing feels better than empowering and equipping marketers like Kellogg’s, lululemon, and more to make the right choices – the first time.  In the Martech maze, where costly mistakes abound, we are a beacon of clarity and strategic guidance.

Wes Waterston, Managing Director