Marketing playbook: the missing link?

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Marketing playbook: the missing link?

(Pictured L-R: Caitlin Riordan, Natalie Gray, Rae Leong, Teresa Sperti)

By Caitlin Riordan, ​​VP client success and services, APAC, Cheetah Digital


Aussie marketing leaders are hungry for a marketing technology ‘playbook’ to help unleash smarter and more agile marketing campaigns and strategies for 2022.

“There is no holistic “playbook” to help marketers vet martech solutions,” says Natalie Gray, expert lead, marketing operations, ING. “This lack of knowledge encourages marketers to rely heavily on external partners and their recommendations.”

Speaking at the recent Cheetah Digital and Arktic Fox virtual event, “The Marketing State of Play: Leadership Matters”, Gray says she has seen partners bring “how to not” and “watch out” playbooks, and ultimately they dovetail into psychological safety around making mistakes.

“Any vendor that can come along and help you navigate a complicated environment is worth their weight in gold,” she adds.

Rae Leong, director of technical services at Cheetah Digital says as a vendor, Cheetah Digital works with many different clients across many different verticals and industries. This enables Cheetah Digital to predict what might work for a client: “We regularly draw on our cross-industry experience and learnings to understand what worked well. We share these insights and best practices with our clients to help them with their marketing goals. For example, if we see there are similarities in demographics, we recommend strategic approaches that we have seen work.

“It’s not a direct copy, cut-paste approach however, we need to understand and overlay the brand’s approach, the brand’s visions and goals before implementation.

“Being from the tech side, you need to consider the layers and layers of integration points, data gaps and capability gaps that need to be addressed.”

Challenges and opportunities

In any martech implementation, there are going to be challenges, explains Teresa Sperti, director and founder, Arktic Fox. In early 2021, Arktic Fox, in conjunction with Michael Page, released a report on the Marketing State of Play for the Australian market. The in-depth report explores the core challenges marketers are grappling with in the current climate, including the current martech and data challenges.

Says Sperti: “Let’s not pretend that every platform is flawless, and is going to meet all of our needs. Platform providers and the implementation partners are much better placed if they’re open and honest when working together.”

Gray adds one thing she is loving at ING is being able to get these issues on the table. She believes it’s the client that plays an important role in building confidence and psychological safety to enable the vendor to admit when they don’t know something.

“The journey to this point has been developing a collaborative environment. It has been about getting the right people together for these important conversations, and feeling comfortable to say ‘we don’t know, can you help?’ It’s okay to admit that.

“That’s why I keep harping on about psychological safety in every meeting. By admitting “we don’t know” something, we begin to see this uncharted territory as an opportunity.”

Collaborative future

Leong notes that as a vendor it’s difficult to come out and admit “I’ve not seen a requirement of this nature before”.

“Instead of putting a smokescreen to say, ‘we can do this and hack our way through’, we think it is better to be upfront and honest and say ‘we’ve not seen this before’.

“By being open, it allows us to work collaboratively with the clients. It’s about finding a way to do this together, working through the use case together, and finding a way together. We’ll succeed together, we’ll fail together, and go on that journey together. We turn from just vendors to real partners by sharing the success together.”

To watch the full panel in action click here.