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Distributed marketing technologies were primarily introduced five years ago to address the challenges distributed organizations face when selling and marketing their products and services through local channels (independent agents, franchisee, resellers, etc.). As multi-channel distributed marketing automation software platforms continue to rise in popularity we thought it was important to clearly define the anatomy of a top performing distributed marketing platform. Dynamic Templates: The ability to create campaign or collateral templates where certain areas of content can be locked by corporate marketing to maintain brand and regulatory compliance. On-Behalf-Of Marketing Automation: The ability for local representatives to opt-in to campaigns, upload or select contact lists and then rely on the corporate office to execute campaigns on their behalf. Contact Management: The ability to manage contact lists and contact ownership within the system as well as track and control message frequency. Preference Management: The ability to centralize and manage communication preferences such as opt-in, opt-out, interests and channel preferences. Marketing Asset Management: The ability to centralize marketing assets for use within marketing communications. Approval Management: The ability to control, manage and route customized content, collateral and campaigns through designated approval workflows to ensure brand and regulatory compliance.
Spend Management: The ability to manage and control marketing spend throughout the organization. Robust API Capabilities: Extensive API capabilities ensure data can easily flow in and out to additional legacy infrastructure applications as needed. May 23, 2012 By Scott Brinker 5 Comments Marketing technology: suite, platform, or portfolio? This is a follow-up to my post on why marketing software will never be like ERP (but it’s still going to be a ridiculously huge, multi-billion dollar industry).
While I believe that all of these strategies are viable in the right context, the pros and cons of each differ significantly — both for the ventures themselves and their customers. This is probably the fastest way for a marketing organization to implement a big chunk of new marketing infrastructure, requiring a minimal amount of marketing technologist talent on its team. For larger organizations with more at stake in their marketing infrastructure, the risks and benefits of a suite are more difficult to weigh.
One solution to the constraints of an integrated suite is to open it up: a marketing technology platform.
A platform might initially appear suite-like, providing a wide collection of features out of the box. Other platform contenders are based around digital asset management, e-commerce, web content management, advertising data management. How easy is it for you to work with their APIs to fully access your data and build your own custom enhancements?
While it’s usually more work for a company to fully harness a platform, connecting in other products or making their own custom extensions, the benefit is a solution that is more tailored to your business. Note that growing a partner ecosystem is much more a business mission than a technical one: how much does the platform company really invest in the success of their third-party developers?
Perhaps the most interesting marketing technology enterprises are those pursuing a portfolio strategy. With a portfolio strategy, a company has a number of different marketing technology products that they offer.
Usually, there’s not hardwired integration between the different products in the portfolio. A portfolio is not as tightly integrated as a suite, even if it appears on the surface to cover much of the same functionality. For customers, engaging in a services relationship with a portfolio-oriented marketing technology company can deliver even greater speed-to-implementation than adopting a suite. Will your internal staff be able to develop fluency with the technology to direct your own marketing initiatives without dependency on the services provider? Will you be able to continue to use the technology if you part ways with the service company at a later point?
Will you be able to extract your core business data from the service, as both insurance for catastrophe and the option to transition to other offerings?
The portfolio strategy is immensely flexible, and it can give a company the greatest adaptability to ongoing changes in marketing. I would recommend this article as a good starting place for online merchants who are having a hard time deciding which vendor or platform to use with their business.
Which type of structure would you advocate as the most conducive to change and grow with a company? This is a very useful summary – I like the three views on suite, Platform and portfolio. Last year 447 bands played a role in 300 music festivals worldwide. Some brands even took the next step and fully owned a festival, like Budweiser’s yearly end-of-summer Made in America festival, held in Philadelphia.
Brands use festivals to take part in the fun and pair themselves with the lasting memories from the event.
Participating at music festivals helps brands reach the large audience present at the event, but it doesn’t end there.

An exclusive VIP moment like the one Bud Light Platinum created will be hard for people to forget and with the premium experience, people are sure to think of Bud Light Platinum as an upgrade to the usual. Don’t slew random advertisements at people (especially Millennials), they’ll probably see right through it. If you have a product that people can sample, you should seriously consider giving people a taste of your brand.
Finding a solution to a current problem is a smart way to create a powerful connection with potential customers. About MavrckWe all know word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing, but word-of-mouth automation at scale has always been a challenge. By focusing on influential customers who engage a high percentage of their friends around a brand's relevant topics or keywords, Mavrck's patented micro-influencer marketing platform powers consumer brands like Hershey's, Sears and Unilever to discover and activate millions of their micro-influencers to distribute content and drive conversions across social networks. On average, our "always-on" activation engine will get 3 friends to convert for every 1 micro-influencer activated. However, many of the same challenges faced by distributed marketing organizations now apply to almost all organizations. Permission management is a core fundamental building block that controls the entire user experience including content access and customization options, interface and navigational elements, approval flows, channel options, spend management, vendor selection and more. System administrators have the ability to create and designate content fields that system users are required to fill out in order to utilize the platform.
In addition, content can be automatically personalized with the profile information of the system user as well as that of the recipient (see Contact Management).
As campaigns are executed, the local representative will receive an e-mail confirmation that the campaign was sent along with a campaign report link that provides real-time campaign performance statistics. System administrators have the ability to create and manage contact data fields as well as incorporate field names into marketing materials for dynamic mail merge personalization. Distributed marketing platforms have sophisticated digital asset management (DAM) features that should easily replace preexisting DAM applications thus resulting in a cost savings for the organization. Co-Op spend management capabilities are also often times a necessity for organizations that rely on independent agents. In addition to its own reporting features, a distributed marketing platform should also have the ability to integrate with leading third party analytics applications such as Omniture and Google Analytics in order to provide true closed loop reporting as well as insight beyond just direct campaign interactions. In addition, the ability for other third party systems to trigger campaign messages to be sent out of the platform automatically is also a big plus.
But while its vibrancy is in large part due to a fertile environment for start-ups, the hundreds of billions of dollars at stake in this reincarnation of the marketing industry has attracted the attention of many very large businesses. The very dynamics of continuous disruptive innovation that make this environment so attractive to start-ups pose significant challenges to larger organizations.
It’s complicated for a marketing organization to get their arms around all the different marketing technologies out there, decide which ones are right for them, and figure out how to put the pieces together.
They select one vendor, and they inherit a whole collection of marketing technology components and services already wired together. A suite provider must keep up with all the diverse facets of modern marketing under their umbrella — web sites, search, email, social, mobile, etc. For small businesses without much appetite for marketing technology management, a suite makes a lot of sense. If they can achieve critical mass with an integrated solution before their customers need more modular solutions, then they can leverage that position in the future — such as with a new generation of suite or an evolution into more of a platform. A platform doesn’t try to do everything itself, but instead provides a foundation on which many other more specialized products can be stacked. But unlike a closed suite, a platform is inherently open: it makes it easy to swap out or enhance those features with other third-party or custom components for more specialized needs as an organization (or the broader marketing ecosystem) evolves. Typically, a platform has one primary purpose, something that can serve as a foundational service or master data repository that other software and services can leverage.
One of the tenets of their success was making it incredibly easy for third-party products to plug into their environment and share data back-and-forth. When new innovations appear in the market, it’s often easier to incorporate them into your system.
How big of a challenge this is depends on how tightly coupled you believe the different facets of modern marketing need to be.
Their identity is wrapped up in the service they provide customers — their portfolio of technologies is an enabler to fulfill that mission.
The services teams, who are experts in using their portfolio, can help configure and operate solutions on your behalf. Even though you’re specifically referring to marketing technology, this is applicable to any software company. Everyone’s in good spirits, people are dressed in trendy outfits (even if they’re covered in sweat and dirt), and the energy of the crowd is unmatched. A music festival is known to be a positive experience and brands are looking to tap into the good vibes. If you want to make the same type of impact on your potential customers, create your own experience!

Fans have been dancing and sweltering in the heat for hours and they happen upon Sony booth. Not only do people like free products and services, but when you provide for them at a time of need, you’re making an even bigger impact. VH1 hosted a GIF booth at Lollapalooza where people could create an animated picture that they could email and share on their social networks.
We can look to brands at festivals and see their heavy focus on social media and their use of a variety of social media channels to increase their awareness. Your marketing should be too! Even if you can’t tackle a music festival in the flesh, by keeping a fresh perspective and following these tips, you can rock your marketing and effectively capture attention and drive conversions.
At Mavrck, we harness the power of human-to-human marketing at scale by tapping into your most valuable asset: existing customers with influence.
Today, just about all organizations face the same challenges associated with managing, optimizing and distributing content across channels and throughout various layers of the organization (sales, partners, regional offices, etc.). Single-Sign-On capabilities allow for seamless integration with existing internal permission management applications to prevent unnecessary data duplication efforts. Automated inventory notifications, direct CXML vendor data feeds, and detailed reporting capabilities round out this feature.
Depending on the sophistication of the suite and the marketing organization purchasing it, there may be configuration and customization required — but that happens within a relatively well-defined set of boundaries.
HubSpot is a good example of such a suite (although they seem to be pivoting towards more of a platform strategy — more on that in a bit), as is Infusionsoft. Organizations can pick and choose the plug-ins that best serve their needs — or write their own if they want something more custom-tailored. This can give portfolios some of the benefits of a platform: components from outside the portfolio can be swapped in when needed for a specific customer. Large agencies that are looking to develop their own technology offerings tend to follow this strategy, as do major marketing services firms such as Axciom, Epsilon, and Experian and major IT-into-marketing consultancies such as Accenture, Deloitte, and Sapient.
But the vision of how the pieces fit together into a cohesive offering to customers requires a narrative that transcends the technology. For instance, Adobe has a digital marketing suite, but they also have a non-services based portfolio of other marketing products.
I can apply your concepts and definitions to my own situation quite well, and I look forward to sharing these ideas with my colleagues. More than $1.34 billion will be spent sponsoring festivals, tours and music venues, a 4.4% increase from last year! Brands are also looking to reach a certain demographic and music festivals could be a great way to target the right people.
So, other than simply showing up at these festivals, what exactly are brands doing to connect with the crowds? Your business should try to implement a number of social media tactics but only if you have the ability to manage a large number of networks well.
On the other hand, I might make the case that our strategy was chosen because I believe the marketing technology landscape favors platforms and portfolios. 88% of attendees said they planned to use Facebook at the event, 71% said they would tweet, and 68% said they would use Instagram.
They also opened up a “Java Monster Cafe,” where gave away free breakfast and a Java Monster Coffee so festivalgoers could get energy for the day.
The more people who try and like your product, the more people will become customers and actually purchase your product! Sony solved a problem presently affecting potential customers and they are sure to remember this kind gesture. By creating fun social sharing activities, VH1 gave people a positive experience and in turn, the brand was able to spread awareness through a variety of social networks. This profile information will be used to automatically personalize content and assets throughout the system. The more stuff that gets bolted on, the harder it becomes to maintain a cohesive, clean architecture — entropy works against you. Adobe and Aprimo are examples of more enterprise-class suite providers that cater to such organizations. Too loosely may leave cracks in customer experiences; too tightly may constrain different channels and programs from blossoming in their own natural way or adapting quickly to new requirements. This means marketers’ messages can easily spread across social channels during and after the festival. This BLP experience was made complete with private performances from DJs like Tommy Trash, 3LAU, and Desctructo.
Bud Light Platinum made concertgoers’ festival experience platinum using the unique concept of producing an intimate club inside a festival.

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