Gestalt: Martech and ‘marchitecture’ — customer first
by Leeya Hendricks (@LeeyaHendricks) When was the last time you had a memorable experience when purchasing a product or service? To what extent was technology used to enable an end-to-end engagement, making you feel truly integral to the entire journey?
My own personal experience happened while I was jogging to my yoga class and realised I’d left my bottle of water and wallet at home. But, with my smart watch literally on hand, I was able to do three things to turn this ‘fail’ into a win — it allowed me to 1. use Apple Pay to buy another water without a card, 2. summon Siri to use Maps as part of my run, not only to locate the nearest corner café where I could buy the water but also 3. to track my fitness goals for the day and edge me closer to achieving my daily exercise activity. All of this in one effortless, seamless experience.
What enables seamless customer experiences?
Delivering great customer experiences such as the one I had is more important than ever. Business leaders need to keep pace with connected consumers and an evolving customer journey that’s becoming increasingly mobile-centric and voice-enabled. To this end, a solid ‘marchitecture’ should be an essential part of your customer strategy, as it may bridge the gap between technology infrastructure and customer needs.
A marchitecture — or marketecture — comprises software or hardware architecture designed with marketing as its primary consideration. To build the agility needed to keep pace with the connected consumer, it’s vital to have an effective marchitecture strategy to make sure your product and tech stand out from the crowd and may easily be absorbed by prospects and customers.
Ultimately, an effective marchitecture may help provide customers with experiences that satisfy them on their customer journey, boosting companies’ overall marketing performance.
While marchitecture refers to the architectural underpinnings of digital marketing, martech involves the permeation of tech in marketing at every point in the customer journey. Virtually anyone involved in digital marketing deals with martech, since digital by its very nature is technological. 
As organisations become increasingly aligned with their customers’ needs, an increasing convergence of marketing spend across tech, data, media and content will inevitably happen, resulting in less-siloed initiatives. This will serve the development of martech stacks that drive ever-deeper personalisation, richer experiences and improved engagement across all stages of the customer journey. But it will only reap real rewards with the right technology architecture and martech.
The need for this is clear from the huge challenge of positioning your organisation prominently in a crowded and increasingly complex martech ecosystem. For example, many marketers and vendors fail to communicate clearly how their offerings meet market demand and customer needs. A sound marchitecture may help them position complex products and services as customer-centric solutions. At the core of this is the convergence of the tech solution you offer and the tech-enabled ways in which you market it to reach the right customers and speak to them in language that they can understand.
Marchitecture for success
Building the right marchitecture is a journey that accelerates and evolves with your organisation. Going through a rigorous value proposition study in the build stage will put you in an ideal position to analyse and uncover competitor challenges and identify new opportunities.
The key points to building a solid marchitecture are simple:
- Start with a solid value proposition
- Align all key internal stakeholders (CFO, CTO, CMO, etc)
- Identify audiences and industry segments
- Build a messaging and positioning framework
- Build a basic representation of your technology stack
- Map marchitecture initiatives to the customer life cycle in support of product marketing.
Ultimately, an ideal marchitecture focuses on that last point — how your product solves buyer problems. This allows business leaders to plot their solution throughout the marketing stack and deliver messaging across the whole organisation to sell in line with key business objectives. 
As with my water bottle and wallet problem that was resolved with the use of my wearable, the customer journey should always be a seamless and effortless experience whose value is communicated simply and clearly throughout the journey, using the right blend of digital marketing technologies that are in turn underpinned by the right marchitecture.
Ultimately, it got me the only thing I really wanted at that point — a solution to my problem.
Updated on 19 November 2018.
Leeya Hendricks (@LeeyaHendricks) is a chartered marketer, global marketing strategist, a digital driver and a Women in Tech leader. She joined Oracle South Africa in 2016 as marketing director SADC, responsible for leading integrated modern marketing strategies for the business across the southern African region, and is currently marketing director for the ECEMEA region, based at Oracle UK, responsible for driving digital strategy, demand generation and transforms portfolios to develop sustainable revenue growth. Leeya contributes the new monthly column “Gestalt”, about putting customer first for sustainable business success, to Marklives.
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