Martechify May 2022 Recap

Session Recap

How to Build an A-Grade Martech Team

May 19, 2022 — During this Martechify discussion, three of our experts outline best practices for developing martech skills and building competencies in new hires.

In this session, Darren Atkins of Sabre Corporation, Ali Rastiello of Health Catalyst, and Sujoy Chandra of SiriusXM explain common considerations when integrating new and existing employees into an effective martech team. They outline what skills to look for in a prospective employee, as well as how to implement more efficient processes for onboarding and training.

Featured Experts

Darren Atkins

Darren Atkins

Marketing Director

Sabre Corporation

Ali Rastiello

Ali Rastiello

VP of Marketing and Sales Operations

Health Catalyst

Sujoy Chandra

Sujoy Chandra

Senior Director, Marketing



Although it may seem straightforward enough, building a competent martech team requires coordination and forethought to prepare for inevitable challenges along the way. Arguably, the first hurdle when assembling a martech team is identifying which skills are needed—which is, itself, a complex thought exercise. This then determines whether company decision-makers should focus on developing capabilities of current employees or hiring new talent. Next, team leaders need to know how to turn these old and new skillsets into actionable roles. Finally, companies must properly nurture their teams and ensure their knowledge is current in a rapidly-evolving technological world.

Each of these interdependent steps is challenging enough in isolation, which is why it is crucial to have a detailed plan in place beforehand. Chandra, for example, recommends that hiring managers dedicate 10 hours per role, at the very least. Hiring managers should also have a clear idea of the company’s vision to articulate to prospective employees, as well as a clear scoring method to determine the skills that are most important for employees to implement this vision. Perhaps the most difficult planning aspect of your team-building process will be preparing for the future of marketing technology. Because the nature of marketing as a discipline continues to become more AI-centric, it is important to ensure that your team members have the right attitude toward technology and continuously up-to-date martech training for their role.

Team-Building Considerations and Challenges

When starting to put together a martech team, there are a few initial considerations to keep in mind. Atkins notes that the complexity of your organization—i.e., your business’ size, geography, channels, products, and so on—will determine much of your thinking around martech team-building. Of these factors, size is perhaps the most consequential; Rastiello noted that a main challenge for smaller martech teams is ensuring that every discipline and task is covered. This means that good martech teams will likely be larger than many businesses anticipate, since a too-small team may not be able to handle more specialized tasks. Knowing your team’s skills, as well as those of other related and relevant members of your organization, will help make sure that every task is well-addressed by the appropriate people.

Oftentimes, however, your team may need to consider outsourcing the tasks that your team is unable to cover effectively. Rastiello suggests finding an agency that can work as an extension of your team and is familiar with your specific martech stack. If done right, this can provide an immediate boost to your team’s efficacy and your company’s growth. Nevertheless, this option may not be available to all companies due to limited resources. As an alternative, Atkins explained a situation in which outsourcing at Sabre was minimized by introducing a new training program. Ultimately, deciding whether to train or outsource to meet skill gaps will depend on your business’ specific resources and requirements.

Of course, these holes in a team’s skillset can be quickly patched by hiring the right new team member. Chandra explains that attracting the perfect fit means writing a job description that provides an optimized experience for each candidate. This means that each description should function like a good landing page—providing an informative yet memorable introduction to the company and role. Be sure to outline a list of hard and soft skills necessary for each role, which you can use in both a job description and to assess prospective employees in interviews. Creating a candidate scoring method ahead of time is especially important, in order to ensure an optimal fit and reduce bias.

After finding and beginning to integrate the candidate with the best fit, it is of course important to keep them well-trained and happy. This requires building a strong company culture, which can be somewhat tricky if your employees rarely or never see each other in person, but is very possible with the right processes. All of our experts stressed the importance of transparency and work-life balance, but these are not the only factors relevant to a company’s culture. Investing in the right processes and toolsets ahead of time goes a long way toward promoting an excellent culture, as does cultivating an attitude of lifelong learning. When these factors are taken into account, your teams will cohere and function at a much higher level.

Although putting together a dream martech team can require immense planning and forethought, the results are transformational. To refine your team-building process even further, try asking yourself these questions:

What drives your team?

Knowing how to use martech is only part of the job. The more that martech tools align with what each team member is passionate about, the more effective your team will be. Employees should feel empowered and autonomous enough to use their skills as they see fit, and should be able to clearly see the impact of their good work.

Do your team members understand and share the same vision?

Atkins explains that unity and clarity of purpose is essential for martech teams to cohere. Ensure that your team is aligned on how “success” is measured (and be sure to celebrate successes whenever you can).

How can your martech stack change with your business?

Chandra suggests that when selecting the right tools for your martech team, rather than being distracted by the Next Big Thing, try focusing on the direction your business is heading in six months or six years. Your team can then tailor its preferred martech stack to your business’ needs.

How are your martech processes being documented?

Having your team’s processes recorded in a location that is easy to find can make all the difference, says Rastiello. This will not only improve clarity within your team, but can also help smoothen onboarding immensely. These processes should ideally be repeatable and scalable for the sake of efficiency.

Discussion and Takeaways: Advice from our Experts

Here are some highlights from our experts’ advice:

Atkins: One of the key questions for me is, do you have absolute clarity on what marketing is here to do? The interpretation of this question changes with each organization. Without having this North Star of what it is you are trying to achieve and where your priorities lie, you can get pulled in every kind of direction.

Rastiello: I tell any startup or CEO trying to figure out how to create their marketing team to start with their ops team—they are going to lay your foundations for growth. Everyone else can be outsourced, for the most part.

Chandra: If you want to get the right people on the bus, you need to recruit like a marketer. What that means is, think about applying marketing concepts toward building your dream team.

Watch the Recording

For more insights and takeaways from the session, watch the full recording here:

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Martechify November 2021 Recap

Session Recap

CDPs Demystified: The Source of Truth for Customer-Driven Marketing

November 18, 2021 — Our martech leaders, Carrie Sinclair of Honeywell and Brian Prascak of Wawa, explained where martech succeeds and fails in capturing customer data, and how CDP tools can better segment and grow your customer base. They outlined instances in which CDPs may be useful (or perhaps necessary) for content personalization and collecting behavioral data, and explained why CDP implementation may be easier than you think.

Featured Experts

Brian Prascak Headshot

Brian Prascak

Director of Advanced Analytics,
Platform and Data Services


Carrie Sinclair Headshot

Carrie Sinclair

Vice President of
Customer Marketing for Performance Materials & Technologies



Although Customer Data Platform technology is relatively new, having only recently gained widespread recognition in the late 2010s, it has already fundamentally restructured how many businesses manage their customer data. Unlike most CRMs, CDPs can consolidate customer data from multiple channels and sources into one secure, easily navigable database. Crucially, the data structures are built with a focus on activation; CDP technology prioritizes accessibility of data elements across teams and departments, offering marketing professionals more flexibility and control. Additionally, CDP tools can aggregate and analyze large volumes of behavioral data to create more specific and actionable customer profiles while remaining well within the bounds of privacy regulations.

More recently, CDP capabilities are increasingly becoming embedded in existing CRMs and other customer data management platforms, removing the need for a standalone CDP solution—although purpose-designed CDPs may still be the most appropriate for your business. Other businesses may opt for an in-house solution with CDP functionalities, perhaps using a related technology (e.g., Azure, AWS, Databricks, Spark, Snowflake, etc.) to manage data pipelines.

Know Emerging CDP Best Practices

The strength of CDP platforms and technology comes from the ability to merge and analyze cross-channel behavioral data to create rich, meaningful customer profiles and journeys.

In the video, expert Carrie Sinclair showcased multiple targeted emails she personally received that exemplified some right (and wrong) ways to use customer databases.

Although Customer Data Platforms enable complex personalization, achieving optimal results comes from learning up-to-date best practices for activation.

Our expert, Brian Prascak, predicted that CDP technology will continue to expand using graph databases or networks. Network science, or data science for networks, involves mapping and modeling customers’ transitions between journey stages in terms of maturity and value. Better prediction of customer behaviors can lead to better targeting and personalization, as well as measurably stronger customer development.

CDPs can produce invaluable insights into how customers relate to your company’s products or services. Nevertheless, expanded opportunities for personalization mean that customers increasingly expect content to be well-tailored to their interests, with profound implications for the business-customer relationship. Marketing professionals can and should ensure that the most relevant content is delivered at all stages of the customer journey, which can be easily done with a CDP and some relevant training.

Framework and Discussion: Results-Driven Channel Integration

Our two experts both shared their experiences with customer data management and thoughts on CDP integration. Here are some highlights of their advice:

Sinclair: At the top of the customer lifecycle funnel, you have more chances to get customers engaged and grab them, but once you get to the middle of the funnel, you’d better have your message honed. Do your testing at the top, because closer to the middle they need to be more relevant or customers will unsubscribe.

Prascak: The benefit of CDP technology—it’s real. Providers continue to mature very quickly, and even 5 years ago these processes would have been much more difficult. Customer-centric analytics is proven to work for businesses, but you can’t do analytics if you don’t have the data. CDP is the starting point; it took us 18 weeks to fully implement, but it’s doable and can give your business a lift.

Watch the Recording

For more insights and takeaways from the session, watch the full recording here:

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Martechify August 2021 Survey

Virtual forum

Martechify Session Survey: Advanced Audience Segmentation: Leveraging Powerful Data

August 26, 2021

August 26th, 2021 — Please provide feedback on your experience attending the Martechify virtual forum, “Advanced Audience Segmentation: Leveraging Powerful Data” on August 26th.

Up Next: AdTech: Emerging Trends and Methods

Martechify is all about continuous learning, and we can all learn from each other.

We created Martechify to be a growing and ongoing forum series with content that will evolve and build to bring additional value upon repeat attendance. We’ll continue the dialogue in our next session, “AdTech: Emerging Trends and Methods.”

Now that you’re all caught up, we’d love for you to join the conversation.

Join us live at the next session on Thursday, October 7th from 8:30 to 10:00 AM CT:
Martechify Logo Aug 2021

Martechify August 2021 Recap

Session Recap

Advanced Audience Segmentation: Leveraging Powerful Data

August 26, 2021 — Martha van Berkel of Schema App, Chad Milligan of Frontier Communications, and Theresa Kushner of NTT DATA Services shared how their organizations are currently utilizing data to extract actionable insights tied to consumer behavior. 

Featured Experts

Martha van Berkel Headshot

Martha van Berkel

Chief Executive Officer

Schema App

Chad Milligan Headshot

Chad Milligan

Director of Marketing Analytics

Frontier Communications

Theresa Kushner Headshot

Theresa Kushner


NTT DATA Services

Framework: Alignment on Advanced Audience Segmentation

When we say advanced audience segmentation, what does that really mean? Modern technologies provide organizations with more fine-grained management and modeling of their audiences and segments. The following framework was established at the beginning of our discussion to align on how to define approaches for advanced audience segmentation.

The Stages of Segmentation

Our experts shared the following insights on how to leverage data to drive data-driven marketing strategies within your organization:

Defining a New Era of Segmentation:

Utilizing Dynamic Data for Segmentation:

Graph technology and knowledge graphs allow you to define relationships to gain insights and answer future questions so your organization can continually delight your customers. You can execute this by:

Key Points for Building and Executing Your Segmentation Scheme:

Framework and Discussion: Results-Driven Channel Integration

Each of our experts discussed the unique ways their organizations have been utilizing data to develop advanced audience segmentations and dynamic content strategies. Here are the key takeaways they shared:

Kushner: Make sure the segments you allow to enter your marketplace are segments that you care about, but you also must make sure that if they’re not producing for you, you must eliminate them quickly.

Milligan: When developing your segmentation schemes, keep your customers front of mind. We all develop the perfect buyer journeys we hope our customers will complete, but at the end of the day our customers are the final decision-makers, so we must be flexible enough to continually adjust our segmentation scheme to align with the actions our customers are taking.

van Berkel: Segmentation is all about delivering the right message of the right length to the right person at the right time. Organizations should be future proofing their strategies and tech to answer future questions. By structuring your content in a common vocabulary and defining those relationships, you can start gaining insights and asking future questions which allow any team within your organization to delight your customers.

Watch the Recording

For more insights and takeaways from the session, watch the full recording here:

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Martechify June 2021 Recap

Session Recap

The Role of Martech at the Intersection of Marketing and Sales

June 3, 2021 — Martech experts— Allison Cerra of Alkami Technology, Jarrett Hollier of Dun & Bradstreet, and Dana Centola of Sabre— shared how their organizations are currently utilizing their martech stack to support the handoff between Marketing and Sales, as well as their visions for further expanding processes that enable attribution and accountability between the two departments. 

Featured Experts

Allison Cerra Headshot

Allison Cerra

Chief Marketing Officer

Alkami Technology

Jarrett Hollier Headshot

Jarrett Hollier

Vice President of Digital Marketing

Dun & Bradstreet

Dana Centola Headshot

Dana Centola

Senior Manager of Product Marketing


Framework: Martech Dimensions to Reach End-to-End Engagement

What should the intersection of Marketing and Sales look like? Is it a seamless relay or malfunction junction? The following framework was established at the beginning of the session to align on the five key dimensions of reaching end-to-end prospect and customer engagement with martech.

Giving structure to the process

Martech can give structure and accelerate the process of defining overall go-to-market strategy.

Equipping and Enablement

Martech platforms carry a lot of data and content which can be used for equipping and enabling a sales organization and the sales process.

Process and Automation

Martech is an automated toolset with multiple dimensions in which it can automate and accelerate processes and increase performance.

Data Capture and Insights

Martech platforms can capture a vast array of data and develop insights that are crucial in developing end-to-end engagement with the customer.

Performance Management and Optimization

By effectively utilizing martech platforms to the extent of their capabilities, processes can be continually monitored and optimized for improvement thus accelerating performance.

Marketing and Sales Processes: Martech in the Middle

Our experts shared the following insights on how to leverage martech to further align Marketing and Sales:

Create a stream of constant and recurring communication between Sales and Marketing.

Determine the right tech stack that is easily accessible for both Sales and Marketing.

Develop an overall marketing strategy that supports Sales and Marketing efforts.

Discussion and Takeaways: Advice from our Experts

Each of our experts discussed the unique ways their organizations have been re-strategizing to align marketing and sales efforts. Here’s how they summed up their advice:

Cerra: It’s a journey, not a destination. We will always be evolving on this, and continuing communicating because the buyer continues to shift, the technology continues to shift, and the relationship between Sales and Marketing continues to shift.

Hollier: When facing challenges and friction, understand that it starts with Sales in terms of growing the business and paying the bills. And if you can get into that mindset when it comes to collaborating with your sales team, then it becomes paramount in guiding those conversations from a marketing perspective. It is key to remember that your sales team is under a lot of pressure and that they carry a lot of weight for the company.

Centola: Making sure sales is a part of the process all the way along. Making sure there is validation and buy-in from the Sales team whether it’s a new piece of technology, or a process, or standing up a new form of communication. Making sure there is partnership along the way. By including them in the conversations, it is going to make crossing the finish line much easier if sales and Marketing agree and are on the same page.

Watch the Recording

For more insights and takeaways from the session, watch the full recording here:

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Martechify March 2021 Recap

Session Recap

Marketing on the Road to Post-COVID Recovery

March 25, 2021 — Martech experts— Holly Moreland, Director of Customer Engagement Platforms and Martech at Hilton, and Brandy Butler, National Director of Marketing at Jason’s Deli— shared how their organizations pivoted to meet customers’ demands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured Experts

Brandy Butler Headshot

Brandy Butler

National Director of Marketing

Jason’s Deli

Holly Moreland Headshot

Holly Moreland

Director of Customer Engagement Platforms and Martech


Framework: Maximizing Martech Through Recovery

The following framework illustrates how to approach an elevated martech strategy through an assessment of technological and organizational resources: 

Be prepared to make changes at a moment’s notice.

With the pandemic, the need for speed has become crucial in terms of utilizing your martech stack to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the current environment. Although staff and resources may be reduced, it is important to ensure customers’ needs and demands are met with both speed and efficiency— martech can help save valuable time through automation.

Implement your martech stack to assist in overcoming multi-faceted challenges.

Making crucial decisions on rightsizing and refocusing within the organizations to meet customers’ ever-changing demands is challenging. Martech platforms can help you keep consistent communication with your customers while also sharing the most relevant information regarding updated safety regulations.

Ensure precise marketing communications to aide in recovery process.

Plan for long-term sustainment and recovery by maintaining targeted communication in terms of:

Framework and Discussion: Advice From Our Experts

Each expert discussed the ways their organizations pivoted when the pandemic hit and how they utilized their martech stack to stay connected with their customers. Here’s how they summed up their advice:

Butler: In terms of our marketing, the pandemic and shift of business shined a light on how little data we had regarding our customers. It presented a huge problem and we realized how crippled we were in terms of data — we did not know who our dine-in customers were and what their buying habits were. This business shift exposed a huge hole in our data that we needed to fill and gave us the opportunity to do so.

Moreland: The road to recovery for us means we are relying on our people, our processes, and our technology as we approach the return to travel. We needed to constantly check in on these components to make sure they are being optimized and utilized in a manner that supports our customer experience and us operationally.

Watch the Recording

For more insights and takeaways from the session, watch the full recording here:

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Martechify February 2021 Recap

In our latest Martechify session, we explored key industry trends in content marketing, as well as how marketing leaders have adapted to shifting expectations in content personalization.

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Martechify October 2020 Recap

In our latest Martechify session on October 22nd, we explored the strategies and technology required to implement effective personalization tactics across multiple channels.

Martechify Logo Sep 2020

Martechify September 2020 Recap

Our September Martechify session featured a conversation with marketing leaders, Delci Organ of Nokia, Joe Quinn of NI, and Luke Mortensen of PayPal, on how to navigate, organize, and orchestrate powerful full-lifecycle data flows.

Martechify Logo Aug 2020

Martechify August 2020 Recap

August 6th, 2020 — In our latest Martechify session, we explored “Activating Multi-Channel Journey Experiences” and continued the dialogue around Advanced Campaign Architecture, a series topic that was introduced during our June 25th inaugural kickoff.