Is a Martechinn on the Menu for Your Business?
By Barbara Emener Karasek / February 2017Insights
A Savory Recipe of Marketing, Technology and Innovation to Serve Your Organization
The quirky, ever popular turducken was to have been famously “discovered” in 1984 by Junior and Sammy Herbert1 in Maurice, Louisiana, though the late Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme claimed to have invented it in the 1970s and even trademarked the name in 1986 (Turducken™)2. The result of this turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken is a fairly solidly layered, boneless poultry dish, suitable for cooking by braising, roasting, grilling, or barbecuing3. So what’s all the big fuss about a turkey-duck-chicken culinary twist that has since been bravely prepared and cautiously devoured in tens of thousands of homes every holiday season and what does it have to do with business or marketing, or retail, for that matter?
In reading a recent CMO Spend Survey conducted by Gartner Inc. (side bar), what
perhaps stood out most, as compared to years past, was the number of references and data points directly connecting technology, innovation, and customer experience to the marketing leadership function.
In reading the article, I put myself in the shoes of the reader, a leader with responsibility for the entire organization or perhaps a divisional function of sales, marketing, IT, R&D, finance or operations. How do we drill down the content of the survey into as few important takeaways as possible? I’ve always liked the number three. It was my jersey number as a collegiate volleyball player, Yankee great Babe Ruth’s number (my favorite athlete ever), it represents a triad of a beginning, a middle and an end, and quite frankly, most people do not remember more than three things at a time. Really, why overwhelm anyone?
After exhaustive review of the survey findings and top ten takeaways, what struck me was that the three primary pillars anchoring the spending perspective of the CMO’s surveyed were evident: Innovation, Technology and Marketing. My brain tends to naturally compartmentalize data into linear patterns, yet for some reason with this survey’s data and conclusions, I quickly drew three concentric circles in my head. Oddly enough, as if in a form of a turducken.
To effectively break down these Innovation, Technology and Marketing components a bit and further dissect the individual and collective impact, I ask myself “How can we make three things about innovation, technology and marketing fun and memorable?”
Let us consider creating a martechinn, an important three ingredient recipe — innovation, technology and marketing — for your business or brand. Though not suitable for cooking by braising, roasting, grilling, or barbecuing, the martechinn, when prepared correctly, is poised to externally withstand and thrive in any elements and conditions brought on by your business or industry.
Innovation (the chicken): At the core, and also the heartbeat, the positioning of innovation in the center is commonplace for the most successful of businesses. Innovation, as a foundation, will drive the technology needs for an organization and test and serve up assets to market, promote and sell. When innovation-centric companies and leaders systemically, and systematically, empower employees to “think like innovators”, enact a “sharp, shared definition of innovation,” and apply strict, calculated metrics along the way, success will inevitably follow5. Without innovation centrically-led at every level of an organization and fiercely embraced, the Post-It Note, Google Maps, donut holes, the Sony PlayStation, and hybrid vehicles would probably cease to exist.
Technology (the duck): Comfortably and appropriately set in the middle is technology, representing internal, external, and product technology as well as enterprise, tactical and innovation technology. Some might assert that the customer, customer relationships and customer experience are more appropriate to be in the centerfold as opposed to technology. “Don’t be technology obsessed, but be consumer obsessed. At the end of the day it is about what problem are you solving for the consumer and what you really need as a brand to add value to their life,” says Mayur Gupta, Chief Marketing Technologist, Kimberly-Clark6. I do not disagree, rather I offer a different perspective. Yes, the customer is paramount, however, technology is the necessary tool which attracts, manages, engages, and measures your customers and their experiences. As an ingredient, the middle layer invariably is poised for the greatest impact given it is surrounded by two layers. It envelops innovation and allows everything inside to marinate, grow, and evolve, while serving as a multi-functional conduit between marketing and innovation. The survey indicates many organizations are placing the budgeting and P&L responsibility for integrated marketing-technology decisions in the CMO’s hands. One can focus on your customer all day every day, however, technology must be the reliant resource to know who the customer is, how to reach them, when to reach them, with what content to deliver every time, and deliver metrics against your efforts. One can invest all you want in your customer, but one must equally invest in the right technology tools to manage the customer relationship at every level in extreme detail in order to yield the best results.
Marketing (the turkey): Encircling the primary ingredients, innovation and technology, marketing finds itself aptly placed on the exterior. This ever-important layer, shrouds the other two ingredients wholeheartedly in an overt inclusionary way. Marketing holds itself accountable and takes full responsibility for the innovation and technology elements it needs to thrive and be successful. So as the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. “The way we kill the silos is by making the silos complement each other. We have created a model,” says Gupta6, “where we agree that there are core skills and competencies that marketing brings to the table.” And with that, we must simultaneously recognize and value the critically important capabilities that technology and innovation bring to the table. In this format, and for the designed recipe to truly work as intended, the marketing will be successful when the innovation and technology are equally successful as ingredient parts.
Contributed by Barbara Emener Karasek, Owner, Karasek Enterprises
An accomplished executive with 20+ years of experience leading and operating in e-commerce, B2B and B2C marketing, retail, licensing, sports and entertainment marketing, and business development for market leading brands to high growth startups. Having lived in 8 countries and traveled to 15+ countries during her career, she is now a sought after keynote speaker and panelist to motivate global audiences about sales and marketing alignment, leadership, intrepreneurship and entrepreneurship. As co-owner of Karasek Enterprises with her husband, she is an investor and strategic business growth advisor to a variety of companies and social enterprise organizations, and is working her first business acquisition. She received a B.A. in Sociology from Furman University, where she attended on a four year scholarship and was a standout Division I volleyball player and team captain, and earned M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of South Florida, which honored her in 2008 with its Outstanding Alumnus Award. She completed coursework in Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School, Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, SalesForce leadership training, and is involved with many industry associations. She and her former professional basketball player husband, Tony, stay busy with sports-related hobbies, philanthropic activities, and a never-ending search for the perfect fishing spot. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on LinkedIn.