SAP SE has announced it will acquire experience management platform Qualtrics

SAP SE has announced it will acquire experience management platform Qualtrics. The deal will enable SAP and Qualtrics to accelerate the new XM category by combining experience data and operational data to power the experience economy. SAP will apply its operational data will to enable customers to better manage supply chains, networks, employees and core processes.

From the release: “We continually seek out transformational opportunities – today’s announcement is exactly that,” SAP CEO Bill McDermott said. “Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market-making shifts in personal operating systems, smart devices and social networks. SAP already touches 77 percent of the world’s transactions. When you combine our operational data with Qualtrics’ experience data, we will accelerate the XM category with an end-to-end solution with immediate global scale. For Qualtrics, this introduces a dynamic new partner with the belief, passion and scale to bring experience management to millions of customers around the world.”

Link: SAP News

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The Seven Stages of MarTech Governance

By Guest Author Jason Katz, Founder & Principal of Growth Marketing Advisors

9,000+ Software Solutions.  $65B Funding.[1]  70+ Average Stack Size.[2]  Budget at ~10% Company Revenue aka Tens or Hundreds of Millions.[3]  500,000 Agencies Worldwide.[4]  At this level of Marketing Technology (“MarTech investment”), there is a great opportunity for governance. Awareness has boomed with organizations like Chiefmartec, CDP Institute, CabinetM, and Investors like Salesforce Ventures, Accel Partners, Y Combinator, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, etc…[5]  An increasing number of dedicated MarTech teams are forming in Fortune 500, Russell 2000, and Series C/D companies.  And there are 1,000+ open job postings for dedicated MarTech roles on any given day. Momentum is building fast and should only get faster with the booming ecosystem and market factors like M&A, startups, and general disruption.

As a proponent and/or leader of MarTech governance in your organization, there are great opportunities to orchestrate its realization along with its substantial benefits. Below are seven common stages of MarTech governance that can be applied broadly.

Take Inventory

In companies who incubate, merge, and/or acquire new divisions, there an be hundreds of software solutions with active contracts many of which are duplicative.  Creating an inventory is crucial. Since the list is dynamic with so many software solutions, factors to track, and change, a solution like CabinetM can be helpful as it’s built from the marketer’s perspective to deal with all these considerations.  At a single company, there were 7 different email providers, 24 if you count homegrown services. This is a regular occurrence, more common than you’d ever imagine. The other surprise is that many contracts are multi year to get the “discount”. Once your inventory is complete, there will be sticker shock for the total value of active contracts which easily clears tens of millions.  Then it’s time to go out for a drink with your partners in Finance and Procurement as well as the CMO and CTO who will be very motivated to understand the current state and support efforts toward a better future state.

Turf Wars

The MarTech stack de-duplication and rationalization exercise will begin before you even know it started because of executive focus on the amount of resources the company can potentially save.  There are at least three scenarios to navigate:

Forgotten Software: The forgotten software with no active users will be easy to terminate without much fuss.  These vendors should have already offered if they have good governance. Either way, enjoy these quick wins.  

Duplicative / Insufficient ROI: The tougher ones include the duplicative software as well as insufficient ROI and/or strategic relevance.  For duplicative software, there are usually different stakeholders who value each software solution differently and will passionately fight to keep theirs.  These decisions will be tough but they must be made. The best scenario is you can build relationships with the stakeholders in the process. When removing software without replacement, you’ll need to make the case that the benefit e.g. cost saving, website performance speed, etc… is greater than benefit of keeping it.  This is much trickier and likely involves executive-level intervention, and sometimes proofs-of-concept of professional life without it.

Tap Into Unused Functionality: There is also a creative approach of potentially finding and leveraging unused functionality of some existing vendors to replace others.  At one company, ~50 different email journeys were active using a primary marketing cloud. The general manager of one of the divisions wanted to accelerate preparation for increased native app mobile marketing.  Rather than migrate all ~50 journeys to a new mobile-first vendor, turns out the marketing cloud had what seemed to be a robust native app mobile marketing service with SDK. So we decided to run a test to leverage that functionality.  If it performed well, it would be much easier to insert some native app mobile messaging into the existing ~50 journeys rather than rebuilding them entirely from scratch, dealing with full-blown RFP, as well as navigating all the data engineering and template design work that would be needed for a migration.


For the potential surviving vendor candidates, many contracts have never been scrutinized sufficiently and need to be restructured.  This is a great time for RFPs to learn about the latest capabilities, roadmaps, pricing, customer support, and more. Your objective is to re-set expectations and get adjusted pricing toward market-competitive levels.  These conversations usually aren’t easy; but with a good RFP and planning, you’ll get the best outcomes. At one of the global brands, we saved millions in recurring annual expenses following these very steps.

Building for the Future

The greatest potential wins are from building the marketing machine that will support core business strategies and objectives.  The machine will use the surviving vendors and homegrown data & systems infrastructure. Current data availability, including organization, format, and latency should be audited.  The “brain” will require a single companywide unique identifier, data-broker that integrates all component systems, and data science engine where models and rules can be run. All other components like cross-channel messaging, CRM, prospecting, paid ads, attribution, etc… will plug in.  While working at a startup, we had a requirement to build a customer data platform across all connected devices including game consoles like XBox and PlayStation as well as streaming players like Roku and Chromecast. Using that cross-device data, we would predict customer lifetime value. There weren’t and still aren’t any MarTech vendors who can handle this request easily so with a talented engineering team we built it from scratch.  We then plugged it into the rest of the AdTech ecosystem to leverage first party data for media buying.

Legacy Systems

Legacy systems will need to be navigated, either re-platformed or integrated in a scaleable way.  At another global company, there was a sophisticated direct marketing database with precise data and targeting that drove the most profitable business growth; but, partner channels which had some of the best prospective customer access at best economics lacked all of that great precision.  We worked on a project to point that direct marketing database to partner channels for real-time serving to create a DMP + Ad Server combo capability before those capabilities were commercialized by marketing cloud vendors. We built it scaleably so it could be rolled out to many different partners.  At another company, webstacks were re-platformed every couple of years but never run to completion while web analytics components were rolled out so it felt like one single site. Every company has different systems and considerations that should be factored into the MarTech stack and machine.

Ongoing Management

Your MarTech stack is a function of business strategy and objectives which can change often, sometimes annually, quarterly, or faster if a competitor makes a substantial move.  So the MarTech roadmap should be calibrated at that same frequency using the same steps as above which will be relatively easier after the initial reset. As changes are needed, the team should execute together.  This ongoing management can be facilitated by a dynamic multi-user MarTech inventory and management tool like CabinetM.

The Team

With so many steps and dependencies, MarTech governance is a complex riddle that requires a strong team and executive sponsorship.  The team should include key players from Marketing and Technology teams, the expected power users of systems, and vendor partners who are hungry for mutual success.  Executive sponsors must include CMO, CTO, and ideally CEO. The full roadmap inclusive of all the MarTech governance steps above should be fully blessed by this group at every milestone.

Dedicating your company to these seven stages of MarTech governance will help you get the best ROI from your MarTech stack.  Happy Governing!

Jason Katz is a recognized expert in Product Marketing, Marketing Technology, and Growth Marketing across B2C and B2B. He is Founder of Growth Marketing Advisors LLC and has served as Marketing Leader in Technology, Marketing & Advertising, Ecommerce, Entertainment, Health, Financial Services in startups and global brands like American Express, Shutterstock, Curious George & Carmen Sandiego (HMH), and Criteo.


[1] Chiefmartec “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2018): Martech 5000 (actually 6,829)” By Scott Brinker (with Anand Thaker) April 25, 2018

[2] Growth Marketing Advisors browsing sites with Ghostery; LinkedIn Slideshare “The Stackies 2018: Marketing Tech Stack Awards” By Scott Brinker April 27, 2018; LinkedIn Slideshare “Insights from Inside the Marketing Stack” By Anita Brearton with Mark Pickett May 8, 2017

[3] Forbes “How Does Your Marketing Budget Grow? — Key Trends From The CMO Survey” By Christine Moorman September 27, 2018

[4] Quora “How many ad agencies are in the US?” By Brian Regienczuk (CEO at Agency Spotter) Apr 22, 2014

[5] MarTech Advisor “Annual InvestScape 2017: Decoding the $8.8 bn Invested in MarTech in 2017” By Khushbu Verma January 23, 2018

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Industry Intelligence relaunches dashboard

Industry Intelligence, the LA-based provider of products and services aimed at serving business intelligence needs across industries, has updated its i2dashboard. The new design of its online dashboard includes information mapping technology that helps business users navigate the complexities of their business and related industries more smoothly and intuitively.

“We speak to professionals from a wide range of sectors. We have yet to meet anyone who says, ‘I got it all under control.’ Most say, ‘I don’t have time… I delete most emails… I save things into a folder and mostly forget about it…'” said Rami Ghandour, CEO of Industry Intelligence.

Link: PR Newswire

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Affinity updates relationship intelligence platform with tools to find connections for warm leads

Affinity has updated its relationship intelligence platform with Affinity Alliances, a tool to leverage the professional networks of staffers and people within their network. To identify more opportunities for warm introductions. Alliances enables users to connect with any contact outside their organization and instantly share their relationship graph.

From the release: “The real economy is comprised of relationships; it consists of people working together to deliver the products and services that run our modern world. Alliances enable professionals to better grow, leverage and manage the relationships that dictate their success,” said Joe Lonsdale, General Partner at 8VC and an Affinity co-founder.

Link: Martech Advisor

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CabinetM at MarTech East

CabinetM was at MarTech East this week, presenting “Insights from the Marketing Stack.” After an introduction by MarTech consultant Duane Schulz, CabinetM CEO Anita Brearton dug into the marketing technology stacks of two very different companies.

Bob Petrillo of Dell discussed the stacks that resulted from the merger of marketing operations from Dell and EMC, and its best-of-breed stacks of acquired tools. Maya Gumennik showed off the the tools built by Smarter Travel to support its strategies in a very different environment — where its competitors often pay for the traffic sent to their sites.

From left are Duane Schulz, CabinetM CEO Anita Brearton; Senior Manager, Marketing Automation at Dell Bob Petrillo; and Maya Gumennik, Senior Director of Paid Traffic Acquisition.

See the presentation here.

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Xactly acquires OpsPanda

Xactly, a provider of cloud-based sales performance management tools, has acquired OpsPanda, the AI-enbled sales resource and capacity planning application provider. The OpsPanda acquisition brings Xactly an expertise in artificial intelligence for ales, from sales planning to incentive compensation.

From the release: “To hit business targets, organizations must align corporate goal setting with sales operations planning. Traditionally, these processes have had different cycles, datasets and workflows,” said Christopher W. Cabrera, founder and CEO of Xactly Corporation. “With the acquisition of OpsPanda, Xactly now allows organizations to tie revenue to sales and quota planning and gives them the ability to manage against quotas on a continuous basis – not just as an annual exercise.”

Link: Xactly News

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Adobe acquires Marketo

Adobe Systems Inc. announced it will acquire marketing automation giant Marketo Inc. for $4.75 billion. The move will boost Adobe’s marketing tools in a bid to compete against Salesforce/Pardot, and Oracle/Eloqua.

“Our ability to get a greater share of the wallet, we think, is enhanced with this acquisition,” Adobe Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen said in a conference call making the announcement.

Link: Bloomberg

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Confirmit adds features to feedback management platform

The Confirmit Horizons platform, providing management of multi-channel feedback and research programs, has new updates released this week. Confirmit Action Planner is a collaborative tool that supports the launch and management of change-based business initiatives. Confirmit also updated the easy creation and maintenance of multiple intercept surveys and added context to employee surveys

From the release: “In creating the latest iteration of Confirmit Horizons, we have delivered intelligence-driven innovations that drive ease of use and productivity,” Terry Lawlor, EVP Product Management at Confirmit, said. “This is critical to Market Research businesses and companies running Customer Experience and Employee Engagement programmes who need to deliver value quickly and effectively.”

Link: Martech Series

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Google updates Adwords, launches Google Marketing Platform and Ad Manager from DoubleClick products

Google Adwords has been rebranded as Google Ads, with the added feature of Smart Campaigns to cater to small businesses. DoubleClick products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite will now be unified under the brand Google Marketing Platform. Google Marketing Platform will also include the new product Display & Video 360, Lastly, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange will be part of a unified programmatic platform under a new name, Google Ad Manager.

From the release: “Over the years, Google ads have evolved from helping marketers connect with people on Google Search, to helping them connect at every step of the consumer journey through text, video, display and more,” wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google Senior Vice President, Ads & Commerce. “That’s why today we are introducing simpler brands and solutions for our advertising products: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. These new brands will help advertisers and publishers of all sizes choose the right solutions for their businesses, making it even easier for them to deliver valuable, trustworthy ads and the right experiences for consumers across devices and channels.”

Link: The Keyword

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