If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ve heard about MadTech. But if you haven’t, don’t worry – it’s never too late to join the party. So let’s dive into what MadTech is, why it’s important, how we got here and three tips you can use to get ready for marketing in a world driven by MadTech.

What is MadTech?

The term “MadTech” was coined in 2015 by David Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute. In its most basic sense, it’s the merger of marketing technology (MarTech) with advertising technology (AdTech).

Raab first commented on MadTech in his Twitter feed and later in a CMSWire editorial, where he noted:

“Most companies today struggle to integrate data and technologies within their marketing departments. But an even greater challenge lies on the horizon: integrating marketing technology with advertising. And inevitably, this mash-up of MarTech and AdTech will be called MadTech.”

While MadTech business cases rely on targeted, contextual personalization from marketing technologies, they also need the massive pools of data found within advertising technologies.

As advertisers collect data through more advertising outlets and channels, they merge it with analytically infused customer journeys. The result? More MadTech business cases that are higher in scale and complexity.

So think of MadTech as the result of combining the strengths of MarTech and AdTech.

One of the best ways to fully grasp the concept of MadTech is through this graphic that Raab shared in his CMSWire editorial. Here, you’ll see the key data, decision and delivery components of MarTech and AdTech and how they ultimately combine in the MadTech world.

Why is MadTech important?

The reasons for implementing MadTech are the same as why organizations want MarTech integrations.

According to Raab, the need for MadTech starts with customers, who have “expectations that companies will deliver a unified, consistent and highly personalized experience across all touch points … even a fully integrated MarTech stack can’t deliver a wholly consistent customer experience.”

He also notes, “Advertising still plays a major role in a customer’s brand experience. Moreover, advertising itself is becoming increasingly personalized and interactive. Consumers don’t make a distinction between marketing and advertising interactions. And to meet their expectations, neither can marketers.”

These observations demonstrate the value of finding ways to make MarTech and AdTech work together to provide the best user experiences – through a MadTech approach.

And combining the data from marketing and advertising can result in a clearer picture of what audiences marketers should target and the best ways to target them.

How did we get here?

Just as organizations are looking for ways to modernize their MarTech stacks – and combine marketing and advertising data to target customers better, personalize offers and deliver a seamless customer experience – comes the demise of third-party cookies.

Without third-party cookies, it’s much harder to access all that rich customer data needed for marketing and advertising purposes. How data is collected, managed and activated is about to change.

Marketers will have to find new ways to manage zero- to third-party data, glean information from merged marketing and advertising use cases, and activate and monetize zero- to second-party data.

What’s the rub with third-party cookies? Consumer privacy. These cookies can follow users around the internet by compiling long-term records on browsing histories.

As a result, consumer privacy laws have been put in place to protect consumers – and Gartner predicts that 75% of the world’s population will have personal data covered under current privacy regulations. Plus, Google plans to phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2024.

Beyond losing cookies and adding privacy laws, there’s an increase in digital media consumption. Digital ads, streaming TV apps and in-game advertising are incredibly popular and still gaining steam. With ever-expanding digital media and technology platforms and devices crossing paths, it’s even harder to get a grip on all the data pouring in.

When these factors converge – fewer cookies, more privacy and greater digital media consumption – it’s abundantly clear that something’s got to give and change is needed.

And that change is MadTech, which lets marketers develop larger and more strategic business cases based on advertising data merged with marketing customer journeys.

To make the most of MadTech, you’ve got to have a strategy. Here are three tips to make that strategy a success.

1. Double down on your first-party data strategy

With limited access to third-party data, it’s time to ensure you’ve got control of your existing customer data. This means looking at not only the purchased third-party data but also zero-, first- and second-party data.

Focusing on first-party data (i.e., data gathered during customer interactions) will be crucial to your MadTech strategy since zero- and second-party data are tougher to come by. Futurum’s Experience 2030 report hammers home the importance of this data when it comes to customer experience. The report notes that 82% of brands believe that winning at customer experience is directly linked to the ability to capture and analyze real-time data.

But this first-party data strategy works best when it’s anchored with modern technology that consolidates customer data and makes it available to other systems. One of the best ways to do this is with a customer data platform (CDP).

The ideal CDP ingests data, manages identities, segments audiences and provisions/activates the data.

2. Use customer understanding and enterprise decisioning

Merging marketing and advertising business cases provides many benefits, such as:

  • A clearer understanding of customers across the organization.
  • Better control over marketing and advertising processes.
  • More information that leads to continuous and iterative engagement planning.

A holistic picture of customer data leads to a better understanding of metrics such as net promoter score, individual conversion propensity by channel and business decisions backed by data.

Using a MadTech perspective, it’s possible to execute hybrid business cases that weren’t possible without control over all marketing and advertising activities. Complete control enhances trust between brands and consumers and improves engagement and business metrics.

3. Embrace data-driven customer journey activation and measurement

Customer journey activation and measurement fall into place once you’ve got a first-party data strategy combined with better customer understanding and process control. Moving forward, it seems that marketing and advertising will have a symbiotic relationship.

Marketing hyper-personalization and on-demand relevance need interactive content. And digital advertising needs integrated marketing technologies for its end-channel delivery. So MarTech needs the massive data pools and content from AdTech while AdTech requires MarTech’s contextual targeting capabilities.

Consumers seek relevant relationships with brands – and want control over how their data is used. Brands that master data management and processes, combined with the right advertising and marketing technologies, will have a superior advantage in consumer trust.

Implementing a MadTech approach opens the door to many other customer engagement opportunities, such as retail media networks, internal and external data monetization, and on-demand (advertising and subscription) video business models.

Ready to learn more? Take a deeper look at how to navigate the new world of  MadTech.


About Author

Jonathan Moran

Head of MarTech Solutions Marketing

Jonathan Moran is responsible for global marketing activities for SAS’ marketing solutions. He has more than 20 years of marketing technology and customer analytics industry experience. Jonathan has designed, developed and implemented analytical software solutions that helped Fortune 500 customers solve unique analytics business issues.

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