MarTech pulls back the curtain on what works in marketing

Latest digiTALKS discussion highlights key digital marketing tools and emerging MarTech trends.


A dialogue on the evolution of technology and the impact digital transformation is having on business, industry and careers

This week, SAIT School of Business instructor David Gaudet hosted Vasilios Douros, Head of Performance Marketing at WestJet, Jason Wellman, Vice President of Operations and Member Solutions at POD Marketing Inc., and Kellan Van Cauwenberghe, current SAIT student and POD’s newly hired SEO/Marketing Science Coordinator, for a discussion on the future of MarTech.

If you missed this latest digiTALKS dialogue, learn a little about key digital marketing tools, balancing your budget, and some of the emerging trends these industry pros have an eye on.

👥️ What does MarTech mean to you?

Kellan Van Cauwenberghe: MarTech is using different technologies to complete marketing strategies and objectives — to effectively reach a specific audience that is willing and able to purchase a product or service.

Vasilios Douros: Martech allows us to gain a 360-degree view of potential consumers. It allows us to target them with the right content, at the right time, with the right context. Ultimately, it becomes an enabler and allows us to marry digital tactics to business objectives into a holistic strategy.

Jason Wellman: In addition to the 360 view of a customer journey, MarTech allows you to superpower your marketing efforts, finding efficiency for your dollar. It also pulls back the curtain on the mystery of what works.

📱 What are the most vital weapons in the digital marketing arsenal?

VD: At the heart of a truly successful MarTech is really a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system, with all the data points across the business being funneled into one data lake.  

All too often you’ll walk into an organization and realize there’s a lot of data, but it all lives in data ponds or little pockets of an organization. Once you consolidate it, you get closer to the universal view of the consumer. That’s your foundation.  

JW: Second fiddle to a solid CRM is your analytics. There are endless things to measure, there are tons of metrics, but the structuring of your data is the big one.

If you operate a website, you’ll have Google Analytics tied to the website. But, are your analytics set up to structure that data in a way that’s consumable and usable to you — for example, do you have goal conversions set up in the analytics?

Google Analytics can help you organize your data. Google Data Studio can help you visualize the data, simplify it and make it consumable.

🛒 How do you figure out your budget and where it goes?

KVC: You have to spend enough to know when something works and doesn’t — and not spend on something just because it’s popular. It’s important to analyze your company and decide what fits. Don’t use something just for the purpose of using it — if TikTok isn’t a fit for your company, don’t use it.   

VD: In the Google space, ads are pushing organic ranking further and further down, especially when you look at mobile.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is essentially an opportunity to capitalize when you don’t have search engine optimization (SEO) strength.

SEO expertise is 100% a resource every organization should invest in. But you’re going to have to play in both spaces.

JW: The budget can be anything you want it to be. There are plenty of models to explore.

What’s nice about paid ads is you can tell your return on investment. But it’s not one or the other — it’s a tango of paid versus organic, both strategies play off each other.

I remember the early days of Google when we trained ourselves not to click the ads. How we search is different than it used to be. These days we search, then refine, search and refine. Page two doesn’t get a lot of eyeballs. It’s important to understand how we use Google is continuously adapting.

There is a circle of trust between Google the user and your business — if you deliver a strong experience as a business, the next time someone is searching for content like this, they will bring users back.

🔒 What are you most excited about in terms of emerging trends?  

VD: Navigating this space as consumers become more conscious of their digital footprint. As we move toward the cookie-less world, we’re moving toward a model where users will have to say what they’re opting in for.

It will force us to make sure our content is timely, personal and in the right context the user needs it in that moment. Yes, it’s adding restrictions. But it will force us to become more creative with the technology available.

JW: The privacy piece is exciting and definitely something to be aware of. It’s not new. If you look at the European Union and the U.K., and their restrictions around privacy, it’s how they operate. In North America, it’s implied consent versus explicit consent when we go to a website. That regulation will come to North America in the next couple of years. And that structure will change the game for digital marketers.

But it’s a cool opportunity to make sure we can lead in that space. The digital laggers will slip, and those that are ready to take advantage of it can find a lot of wins.

Shelley Kuipers and Nancy Taipale join Dr. Raynie Wood for a digiTALKS discussion on female-powered movements and digital disruption.

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