At Mautic, we talk a lot about Open Marketing. To us, there are very real and meaningful differences between open and closed systems/platforms, as well as open vs closed philosophies towards marketing and business in general. Through our CMO Secrets series, we’ve had an opportunity to hear from respected marketing leaders what Open Marketing means to them.
Mike Volpe: Marketers need to be careful about being too locked into systems because you can lose a lot of leverage and flexibility, before long you are handcuffed and you didn’t even realize it. We all pay Salesforce tons of money for what is basically an old school database with an old school UI in front of it. But because we all have integrated it into our business processes and other systems, it is impossible to rip out. Making smart choices early on helps you maintain speed and flexibility later.
Mike Troiano: Everywhere I look as an investor, I see a world moving away from closed, centralized systems toward a world of open, de-centralized ones. That’s the core of the crypto-currency / blockchain revolution in a nutshell… A generation of people made cynical and untrusting of national government and fiat currency, looking for ways to take back control of their own commerce. I see it in the Equifax debacle, the shifting demands on the electrical grid, the troubles Facebook is having, the data land-grab that’s powered by emergent AI and ML algorithms, even in the metal printing / additive manufacturing model that’s moving industry away from the brute force creation of hard goods in giant factories toward the sweet hum of steel boxes on desktops close to where parts are actually required. It’s as though – having let the glorious potential of the democratic, decentralized Internet slip through our fingers in favor of a digital world controlled by 4 companies – we are suddenly woke. People are tired of having their behavior optimized for the benefit of somebody else’s franchise. I am 100% convinced the future belongs to open, de-centralized systems that liberate us from the tyranny of vendor lock-in, at every level, and empower us to scale our own businesses more powerfully and simply than ever before. Mautic is one of those companies, and we could not be more proud to be playing a small role in its continued success.
David Meiselman: Two words – platforms win. The more open a system is, the more value it can deliver via connections to a broader eco-system, whether that is via the free movement of data through open integrations or the contributions of a community to an open source project. At ezCater, our martech stack stretches across a lot of different systems with the common characteristic of being able to share data and drive automated workflows across all of them. This gives us a lot more flexibility to accomplish more and do so at a reasonable cost.
Tom Wentworth: I’m a big believer in open everything. It wasn’t all that long ago that enterprise IT was dominated by just a few vendors like Oracle and IBM. Then along came open source and open cloud platforms, driving a wave of massive innovation and customer value that wasn’t happening when just a few vendors owned the entire CIO budget.
But those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, and that’s what we’re seeing with the advent of just a few marketing clouds and their closed ecosystems. Let’s face it, the big closed marketing platforms are stuck in a rut, with most development going towards product integration inside the ecosystem instead of delivering real innovation and customer value. Marketing needs the type of rapid innovation that comes from open source communities, and CMOs need to make openness a priority to capitalize on the opportunity.
Jeff Whatcott: Open marketing means being able to get your data into and out of whatever system you need it to be in. The days of siloed analytics in a single system are done.
Dan Slagen: The concept of open marketing screams limitless, unbound possibilities to me. If you can dream it you can do it. You’re not constrained by systems (even new ones get old quick), only your imagination, which for the most passionate marketers in the world is a dream come true. When you put limits on a marketer, you stifle growth and creativity in a negatively compounding way. When you unleash marketing (with the right strategy and direction), you ignite evolution in real-time, which is what the future of marketing is and will be.
Charlie Ungashick: Think about the impact that cloud computing, crowdsourcing and open source have had on just about every tech sector over the past decade. It’s staggering. Marketing should take full advantage of these trends. Openness means freedom from lock in, mounting costs, and technology that doesn’t keep up with the times. The concept of “open” is critical to today’s marketer so we can be nimble, effective and efficient in every program and play we run.
Zak Pines: From a system standpoint, openness is vital. Companies have more and more SaaS systems – the latest number shows even SMBs have an average of 20+ SaaS applications. It’s vital that those systems communicate with each other so that teams have consistent or unified data to work effectively.
In terms of the theme of open marketing, I really like it to reinforce the importance of marketing being transparent around plans, results and improvements as they work across functions such as sales and product. Marketers are doing so much that it’s easy to be operating “heads down,” but because marketing is so vital to how businesses grow, marketers need to use that power and give perspective to executive teams around performance – including what they’ve learned and what they are doing to improve.
Jake Sorofman: I love this concept. I had never really thought about it in these terms, but it resonates. I try to make planning and ideation inclusive. I try to avoid top-down thinking. I try to make marketing feel fun, exciting, inclusive. Most of all, I try to encourage contribution from everyone on the team. No CMO is an island. I try to avoid control freakery – although I’m hardly immune to it – and maintain the humility in knowing that my ideas aren’t somehow better than the next ones. The day you adopt the mindset that you alone have the answers is the day you’ve squandered the company’s investment in hiring great talent. From time to time, I have good – occasionally maybe better than good – ideas. But that’s not how you scale a team and grow a company.
Joe Chernov: Open marketing is like a healthy gene pool, with varied DNA. Marketers are unusually forthcoming with their ideas, experiences and opinions. It’s the perfect “persona,” if you will, around which to facilitate an open community. It’s a natural act.
Aaron Dun: Where I really see this playing out is in developing an understanding of the larger community available to you as a marketer. Rather than thinking only within the “four walls of your website,” how do you go create conversions elsewhere. If your customers are active on a big community like Spiceworks, how can you authentically engage that community and create an outcome? Push yourself to think more broadly.
Peter Guagenti: Openness to me has always meant transparency, inclusiveness, and adaptability. Those are the core elements of open source software that has always made it great, and I love the idea of applying that same ethos to marketing. If we want to bring open source values into what we do as marketers, let’s get better at turning the marketing monologue into a dialogue. Let’s be transparent about who we are, what we can provide, and where we do not fit for our customers. Let’s let our customers speak for themselves and encourage both kudos and criticism. Let’s actively listen to our prospects and customers and adapt our work accordingly. If you work in marketing technology, let’s apply those same values to our platforms. Focus on integration, the free flow of data, and customization by your users. Those things could be massively transformative to our business and our relationship with our customers.