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Marketing Technology (MarTech): Trends and Best Practices



How are marketers currently approaching marketing technology (martech)?


The marketing technology world is always changing and evolving as vendors, services, and solutions expand to meet needs for advertisers, creators, and consumers alike. Now that artificial intelligence (AI) is on the minds of marketers, many teams are trying to figure out what technology investments to make and how to remain ethical, privacy-compliant, and transparent when adopting AI into their processes.

Martech industry luminary Scott Brinker discussed the risks AI poses at a recent ANA event, stating, "One risk comes up in composability. When you ask AI to do things in that realm, how do you know you have the right to do those things — that you're staying compliant? We need to create some kind of guardrails, for instance, controlling who has access to what data. That's a risk, but it's a risk that I believe software is going to solve."

Brinker stressed, however, that the "bigger risk, in my opinion, is that companies can get left behind — like people who waited ten years to get on board with Google and only then tried to get a piece of the search engine juju. A third risk posed by AI is the impact it could have on labor markets. That's a real concern, but the real scary stuff there is quite some time away still. A lot of AI is focused on very particular tasks, while humans can remain focused on the larger strategy and the orchestration of the entire organization."

So, how can marketers stay focused and harness martech effectively and strategically? Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction, shared three recommendations:

  • Culture lensing, which Klein describes as "being attuned to what's happening in an audience's culture is a powerful lens to express your story. This is what can elevate campaigns to high engagement through a powerful narrative that best distinguishes your positioning."

  • Design thinking, which Klein states "is an ideation methodology, using empathy, common sense and testing. It should be used in journey mapping, communications planning and even data structure and technology implementation."

  • Future-proofing, which Klein states is when brands use "applied foresight — becoming true thought leaders through experimentation and knowledge sharing around emerging technologies."

Marketers need to traverse the complicated landscape of tech stacks to better understand consumers, and particularly, understand what martech investments companies will need to make in order to survive and thrive.

Below are helpful best practices and trends. Don't forget to check out ANA's Marketing Technology hub.

Best Practices and Trends

  • How Companies Take Control of Their MarTech Stacks. ANA, October 2023.
    While the digital era has certainly provided marketers with a wealth of data, challenges related to data quality, privacy regulations, technology access and abundance, and data integration have contributed to the complexity of leveraging data for effective decision making in marketing. The statistics reveal a sobering story. For instance, the $88 billion open web programmatic media ecosystem is riddled with as much as $20 billion in waste, according to a recent study by the ANA. That amount represents 23 percent of the total open web programmatic media investment by marketers. This is disheartening but not surprising. It begs the question: How did the industry get to this point, and what's the solution? Could better governance be a game changer? This article explores the idea.

  • Why Are Marketers' Tech Stacks Collecting Dust? ANA, October 2023.
    Gartner's "2023 MarTech Survey - Utilization Plunges and Generative AI Anticipation Rises," released in August, revealed that utilization rates of martech stacks have dropped to just 33 percent and provides marketers with even more evidence that their ever-expanding martech sprawl is not productive. Ewan McIntyre, chief of research and VP analyst at the Gartner Marketing practice, sees the willingness of marketers to allow two-thirds of their martech stack to sit idle as a "fundamental resource disconnect for CMOs," who are in turn leaving millions of dollars on the table.

    "All the noise around AI perhaps draws marketers' attention away from their current stack, thinking they can deal with their issues by investing in shiny new generative AI technology," McIntyre says. He advises marketers to pause and strategize before pulling the trigger and to redouble their efforts to use the technology they have today, not the technology they wish they could have. "It might not be perfect, but they've already invested in all of it," he says.
  • Why Brands Need a Culture Stack. ANA, September 2023.
    Today, great brands are built through experiences people love at the speed people live. Brands must penetrate culture and harness data through marketing technology to create an amazing omnichannel experience. For brands struggling to sustainably reinvent themselves, author Adam Kleinberg offers a new construct: the Culture Stack. The Culture Stack brings process and capabilities together to form an operating ethos that meets the most critical needs of today's marketers:

  • Implementing a MarTech Software Solution. ANA, August 2023.
    Today's marketers require effective and efficient marketing technology software to navigate the rapid pace of change in the digital landscape. Thousands of software solutions exist today to aid practitioners in process automation, data management and retention, and insight generation, and other key areas, but simply acquiring a software solution isn't enough. Marketers should consider and structure a communication action plan with their martech providers to ensure a tool is implemented and utilized effectively against the marketing organization's needs. A successful rollout is essential to the software's ability to help marketers build their brands and drive growth — and that starts by getting everyone on the same page when it comes to how the martech software works and what it can do for the organization.

    Marketers' initial approach to implementing martech software can make or break its future as a viable tool in their marketing stack. Its implementation is best conducted in four phases — kickoff, discovery, gathering requirements, and getting sign-off — to align internally and with the martech provider on the goals of the initiative. This discusses the four phases to successfully implement a new MarTech software solution: Kickoff > Discovery > Gathering Requirements > Reviewing and Signoff.

  • Why and How Privacy Tech Fits into the MarTech Stack of the Future. ANA, August 2023.
    Jamie Barnard, Magid Souhami, and Elliot Bell of Compliant, a privacy technology company that helps advertisers, agencies, and publishers automate compliance across their entire media supply chain, explored the state of digital media compliance, discussed the benefits of automated privacy technology, and offered actions steps CMOs can take to whether the data complexities across the digital media landscape.

  • Using Lean Methodology for MarTech and AdTech Forecasting for Cybersecurity Adherence. ANA, May 2023.
    In the past decade, advertising and marketing have experienced rapid changes as new technologies and platforms emerged. However, with that, there is also the rise of cybersecurity threats and data breaches. It's becoming increasingly important for advertisers and marketers to prioritize security in their strategies. One way to mitigate these risks is with Lean Methodology to help develop products and services that prioritize efficiency, customer value, and continuous improvement around martech and adtech — with a special focus on security. One of the key tenets of Lean Methodology is using data to make informed decisions by collecting and analyzing data on customer behavior, product performance, and other key metrics — otherwise known as "forecasting." As companies prepare for the coming storm of potential security risks, forecasting is a crucial tool to help them stay ahead of the curve. This explores how marketers and advertisers can use forecasting to improve their security posture and implement lean methodology to minimize waste and maximize efficiency.

  • How MarTech Is Revolutionizing Franchise Businesses' Localized Marketing. ANA, May 2023.
    In today's digital age, consumers are more connected than ever before. They have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips and can easily compare prices and products from different businesses in a matter of seconds. This makes it far more challenging for franchise businesses to stand out from the competition. However, marketing technology (martech) is helping franchise businesses to level the playing field. Martech is a term that refers to the use of marketing technology to improve the speed and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. There are a variety of Martech tools available, ranging from customer relationship management (CRM) software, marketing automation platforms, creative automation, content marketing platforms (CMP) and social media management tools, through to workflow tools, DAMs, PIMs and more.

    These numerous platforms and tools can be used to collect data about customers, segment them into different groups, create thousands of asset derivatives (creative automation) and deliver personalized marketing messages within a matter of minutes to any (and every) channel. This enables franchise businesses to reach their target audiences with relevant content, on the right channel, at exactly the right time.

  • Next-Gen MarTech: What You Need to Know Right Now. ANA, April 2023.
    At a session of the 2023 ANA Masters of Data and Technology Conference, HubSpot's Scott Brinker discussed how developments in three areas are revolutionizing marketing technology, with those three areas being data, "composability," and AI.

  • MarTech's Influence on CMO/CIO Collaboration, Operating Models, and Content Team Structures. ANA, November 2022.
    Martech and digital success require cross-functional departments to come together in unprecedented ways. Here VShift's Eric Feige offered emerging best practices and dove deep into practical steps that brands can take within their markets and in their organizations.

  • Marketing Technology Procurement and Implementation Resources. ANA.
    Martech has been identified as an essential component of helping marketers manage business transformation, so the ANA has made Martech a critical priority and has established it as a strategic capability to help marketers master the stack. As growth continues, so does the complexity of the related issues that arise from the implementation and integration of what are often disparate solutions. ANA has built a solution by retaining the Venable LLP, our data and technology law firm, to create a suite of legal documents to streamline procurement decisioning and the marketing technology procurement process and drive toward a more efficient evaluation and negotiation. These documents will help marketers secure substantially better value out of their martech investment, drive growth, and eliminate waste.


  • Leveraging Data and MarTech for Multichannel, Integrated Campaigns. ANA, September 2023.
    A panel of marketing and technology experts shared the newest innovations in measuring and tracking campaigns across print and digital media, delivering integrated marketing campaigns that drive business performance. The speakers, Tom Foti, VP of product solutions at USPS; Dave Bilbrough, senior manager of enterprise architecture at Adobe; and Maggie Guinivan, marketing associate director at Wayfair, discussed how the linkage of physical mail with electronic communication can add significant value as USPS and its partners leverage Informed Delivery technology and examine the modern-day marketing campaign ecosystem across the entire supply chains.

  • What's Next in MarTech and How Brands Are Leveraging MarTech to Drive Personalized Engagement at Scale. ANA, October 2022.

    The Estée Lauder Company (ELC) is a leading beauty company with 21 brands in skincare, makeup, fragrance, and hair care across the globe. As one of the world's largest companies, ELC saw its marketing technology stack balloon to a barely manageable size in recent years. Doug Jensen, SVP of go-to market analytics and activation and learning center of excellence at The Estée Lauder Company, was brought into the organization to evaluate the situation, find overlap and redundancies, and transform the tech stack into a fully optimized ecosystem capable of contributing to business objectives across every brand. He shared how he approached this challenge, the big wins his team has realized along the way, and some of what the company will be striving to do with martech going forward.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • The Inconvenient Truth About MarTech. ANA, August 2023.
    How can we waste less and grow more? In this webinar, hear from Apeksha Mishra, Worldwide chief product officer, about the profound findings of an iDX commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on the financial and environmental waste caused by disconnected martech and adtechstrategies.

  • MarTech Implementations with Purpose — How to Achieve Mutual Success Deploying Technology. ANA, March 2023.
    For decades business professionals have sought out third-party software solutions to help their business function more efficiently and effectively. Most commonly we read the "after the fact" case studies on these engagements, rightfully so, showing off the advantages afforded through thoughtful partnerships with technology. Less discussed however are the core principles and relationship dynamics throughout the software's implementation process — arguably the most important part of a tool's life inside your organization. Kim Pardo, solutions consultant from Decideware and a 20+ year Ford Motor Company indirect sourcing management leader, and Richard Benyon, co-founder of Decideware, discussed the nuts and bolts behind expert martech software implementations, regardless of what aspect that tool seeks to manage. With over five decades of experience between them, their insight should prove invaluable to young marketing/sourcing professionals and industry veterans alike.

  • 2023 Global Trends in MarTech. ANA, February 2023.
    Generative AI delivering the personalization dream. Cloud Data Warehouses eclipsing CDPs. Ecosystems unifying tech stacks — and connecting powerful 2nd-party data. No-code tools empowering marketers to create and automate at will. And then there's all this talk about Web3 and the metaverse... This isn't a far-flung fable of the future. This is what's already happening this year in marketing technology. Join the "Godfather of MarTech" Scott Brinker for the latest data and insights on how marketing technology is evolving — and how you can manage it effectively in this environment of continuous change.

  • Making MarTech Accessible, with Joe Hyrkin of Issuu. ANA, May 2023.
    This podcast features Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu, a digital publishing platform that's looking to empower brands of all sizes to get their content to the right people in the right format on the right channel. Joe discussed the importance of workflow considerations when crafting martech, and why, in Joe's eyes, a lot of providers are falling short. He also discusses what the emergence of the metaverse means for creators.


  • Modern MarTech: Harnessing Technology to Enhance the Customer Journey. ANA.
    This course will help you understand the essential components of a marketing technology strategy, define how CMOs and other decision makers should engage in the technology roadmap and vendor selection process, and help marketing executives and teams assess their new and evolving role as a technologist within the enterprise. The course provides practical frameworks and models to understand and optimize marketing technology to enhance overall customer experience. In addition to this on-demand version, this course is also available as a virtual half-day workshop and full and half-day in-person offerings. For more information, contact ANA's training team at


  • MarTech Committee. ANA.
    The MarTech Committee is focused on collectively improving and celebrating the products, people, processes, and partnerships that enable members to operationalize their marketing efforts at scale. This committee works with leading cross-functional experts to share, learn, and discuss the challenges and opportunities related to partner selection and integration, talent management, organizational excellence in working across departments, measuring ROI, and much more for members to secure better value out of their investment, drive growth, reduce waste, and eliminate redundancies. To join the committee, select it from the list available at this link.

The Marketing Knowledge Center actively connects ANA members to the resources they need to be successful. You can visit the ANA website to engage with the MKC in three ways.

  • Explore content to access best practices, case studies, and marketing tools. Our proprietary content includes Event Recaps, which share actionable insights from conference and committee presentations.
  • Connect with our ASK Research Service in real time for customized answers to your specific marketing challenges.
  • Stay on top of trends with Marketing Futures Pulse issues, which explore how new technologies and innovations will affect marketers and consumers alike. 

"MarTech: Trends and Best Practices." ANA, 2023.