There’s plenty of blather about ad tech, martech, and the need to consolidate data. But there is really only one tool for achieving that goal, however advanced your technology:
The humble email address.
That’s one conclusion of a report out today, titled “Kick-Start Your Adtech/Martech Convergence,” conducted by Forrester and commissioned by LiveIntent.
Of 108 B2C marketers surveyed, 89% said that a customer’s email address is valuable or extremely valuable as an identifier in a marketing program. The second most useful form of ID, cited by 76%, is the phone number. And the other choices trail off from there:
A customer’s social login — 55%
Why is an email address so valuable? Because, as Forrester writes, it’s familiar, persistent, common and people-based, and is “tied to an individual rather than a household or device.”
Indeed, the email address enables marketers to do more than just send emails — it also enables them to “activate their data, so they can recognize and customize experiences for consumers across publisher and mobile experiences,” Forrester adds.
How nice it is to give a shout out to email. But don’t get caught in the silo trap, the main barrier to ad tech/martech convergence. Asked to list the obstacles they face, the respondents specified:
Considering all that, it’s not a big shock that “the majority of firms haven’t yet taken real action” to make convergence happen. Forrester found that 35% are taking measures today, but that 58% are merely talking about it. That said, only 7% are doing nothing.
How advanced are these companies? Forrester determined that 43% are capable of customer insights/analytics, that 39% are capable of data activation and that 39% are capable of campaign measurement/attribution.
But here’s one upbeat note: More than half say they will converge within two years. And you can bet that email addresses will be at the center of it.