Digital marketing’s strongest advantage over traditional marketing is the availability of backend data.
And when you understand that data, you can connect the dots in ways that give you strategic advantages to your marketing and your career.
Pam Didner discusses the importance of Marketing Technology—MarTech—and how to get started with MarTech backend data in this clip from her 2022 B2B Forum presentation.
Watch this excerpt from Pam Didner now, or read the transcript below.
I was a traditional marketer. And for me to transition to a digital marketer, it was a hard transition. It was hard. I mean, I have to learn SEO. I have to learn everything. Just like everything that you guys are learning right here.
What I’m trying to say is, digital is not about frontend, about what you see every day on your phone or on the website. It’s as much as about the backend, how much you need to understand.
First of all, the question: do you need to know MarTech?
The answer is absolutely yes—even though it’s not related to your job.
The second thing is: how much do you need to understand?
But let me give you one concrete answer. You need to know enough to be dangerous. That’s not concrete enough?
Let me give you another concrete answer.
You need to know enough to ask intelligent questions. Do you see where I’m coming from? If you ask intelligence questions, you understand. When you understand that much, you can connect dots. All right?
When you connect different dots, that means you can think strategically.
When you can think strategically, you can help other people to identify areas they can do better. That’ll help you to move up.
Most important thing: when you understand backend, it provides a sense of clarity.
That’s the most important part. Moving forward, as you, marketer, want to move up, can you communicate with a sense of clarity? That’s number one.
Then you have a sense of clarity now about the backend. If you can understand the backend nobody else understands, you go up.
When you understand the customer journey, you understand your customers, then you can quantify your marketing’s contribution. You can monitor how data flows.
Now you make an impact on conversions.
Do you see how I put everything together? One by one?
Start thinking about the workflow that you want to build.
First, state it with your job. What job are you doing? Can you document it in the way other people can understand? So it is not tribal knowledge. Everything you have in your mind—you are awesome, you are solid, you know a lot—but it is tribal knowledge.
Get that out!
In the meantime, when you are doing the MarTech integration, I guarantee you 99.9% of the time you’re gonna fail the first time.
“What’s that? Data doesn’t flow!”
I know. Then you have to go back and check it again, check your call, work with your IT person, work with your administrators, and then you have to do it again.
I want to tell you everything I said right now, data integration, it’s not gonna work the first time. Just be very patient and also set expectations with your management.
“This is not gonna work well the first time. It’s gonna require several tries.’
Make sure they understand that, okay? While you are going through this journey, you’ll be drinking a lot of smart water, a.k.a vodka. No, I’m kidding.
So you are gonna feel frustrated, but that’s totally okay.
But when you get there, [your marketing] will get there.
If you start just walking that path, it will get there.
You know what, you can do this. Thank you so much!
Pam returns to B2B Forum in Boston, Oct 4-6, 2023. Join Pam and 598 other B2B marketing professionals at B2B Forum—two-day and three-day passes are available now!