Mayur Gupta Growth @ Spotify. Dreamer + Doer + Connecting Dots.. Angel Investor. Blogger. Cricket, Tennis & Nichiren Buddhism. My 3 girls. All views re my own.

Finding the Human within the Marketing Technology Ecosystem

2 min read

Connect MarTech To Business

MarTech By Consumer & Business NeedsFinding the Human Within Marketing TechnologyI have been at the intersection of marketing, technology and storytelling for many years now, on either side of the fence – first at a global digital agency providing marketing technology services to leading Fortune 500 and now on the other side in the last few years, working as the Global Head of Marketing Technology & Innovation at Kimberly Clark, one of the largest global CPG manufacturers in the world.

Throughout this journey, I have driven and utilized millions of dollars across enterprise, emerging and innovative marketing technology capabilities with a hope to drive business growth (sometimes). Some of the initiatives did make sense and yielded in tremendous growth and ROI and some that have failed. I have benefited from great studies and marketing technology research work as well as infographic and landscapes like these ones to name a few:

And more and I am sure, I am one of the many hundreds and thousands who have based their marketing technology strategies off these documents and some of us may have created our own versions of these as well.

HOWEVER, there is a fundamental element that has been missing in my approach and in these landscape views, an essential component of the entire ecosystem and an entity that is now supposedly at the center of the marketing universe. I am talking about the “HUMAN”, the “PERSON”, the “CONSUMER”; where is she in this entire marketing technology ecosystem and our entire methodology? Where are their respective EMOTIONS, DESIRES, NEEDS and the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE?

A few very simple questions that we need to ask ourselves:

  1. Have we become increasingly technology focused?
  2. Are we really trying to change consumer behavior by simplifying lives using data and technology?
  3. Are we truly solving business challenges and objectives?
  4. Or have we allowed “channels” like mobile, social, email, search and others to drive our technology strategy – a syndrome I call “channel obsession”?
  5. Do we “really” have the consumer at the center and heart of what we do?

You may have your unique responses to these questions but I can bet you that 99.9% of marketing technology strategies and planning occur in response to these following questions that DO NOT start or end with a consumer need or a business challenge. Are we usually the “hammer looking for a nail”?

  1. We should have a mobile app or even better, all our sites need to be responsive
  2. Why don’t we have a marketing automation platform?
  3. For all the marketing investment, we need to be on the #MarketingCloud, can we adopt one of those platforms?
  4. Not to miss, what Big Data solution should we bring on for our business, we have so much data now?
  5. Let’s bring a social marketing platform, it allows content syndication across all social platforms, tremendous reuse, efficiency and scale

…and more and more. Alright, I know you may not belong to the 99.9% and you possibly are the 0.1% that is not starting the journey here. But the point being, that’s how we think BECAUSE it is more challenging to apply these technologies, tools and capabilities all the way down to:

  1. Consumer Behaviors that are preventing your business from making money
  2. Business Challenges and objectives that you need to solve

We need an evolved methodology that is driven by the CONSUMER & THE CONSUMER NEED as well as by the BUSINESS & BUSINESS CHALLENGES as a second paradigm.


Re-aligning the marketing technology landscape by Consumer & Experience

Finding the CONSUMER (HUMAN) within Marketing Technology Ecosystem. How do we shift this entire Marketing Technology landscape on its axis and create a model and thinking that is lead with the CONSUMER (HUMAN) at the center?

Connect MarTech To Business

A Simple Answer to Driving Influence & Getting Advocates & Sponsorship

  • Connect your technology ideas and capabilities to business objectives and consumer needs
  • Create a story in English and use the art of storytelling; a story that starts with the consumer and the business and not with technology

Drive Influence through StoryTelling


I never forget this quote from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough!”

I tweaked it for my own convenience, “if I can’t connect it to a consumer need and a business problem, I still don’t know it well enough!”

Try it.


Mayur Gupta
Mayur Gupta Growth @ Spotify. Dreamer + Doer + Connecting Dots.. Angel Investor. Blogger. Cricket, Tennis & Nichiren Buddhism. My 3 girls. All views re my own.

5 Replies to “Finding the Human within the Marketing Technology Ecosystem”

  1. Hi Mayur, great read. The main thing that struck me as I read the construct was: what happens when the technology platforms ARE the chief consumer barriers preventing you from making money? Said differently, what if the traditional AOR waterfall approach to advertising – which leads to the communication platforms being used to drive experiences – IS the number one reason preventing you from connecting to the consumer? I firmly believe that many brands DO indeed start with the consumer is boss mentality: focused on the emotional, experiential, or pragmatic needs of the individual consumer. The breakdown (technology / tactic chasing) occurs when those needs (insights if you will) are then thrown over the fence to a handful of “experts” to come up with a big bang central idea and eventual tactics grid. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if we adopt your construct – putting the consumer at the center – we should ALSO put the consumer at the center of the communication / marketing solution? That is, engage the consumer themselves to co-create and disperse the message? As I’ve written before: today’s advertising system faces a problem of inertia where it “has erected an ecosystem with ingrained systems, relationships and methodologies that are ill-equipped to fighting the challenges of the digital era.” Traditional CPGs and large-scale advertisers especially struggle with how to invest in platforms and micro-targeted vehicles, versus the efficiency gained by large-scale bulk media buys recommended by their agencies of record.

    1. Hi Jose, thanks for sharing your feedback & thoughts, these are great inputs and you re right about the fact that many a times the technology platforms and engagement models are the ones preventing you from making money, however I think that’s a symptom and not the root cause which again can be rectified by bringing the right technologies. The challenge though is we don’t measure the technology impact or the lack of it with the same consumer lens we used to establish the capability. You are right that we start the entire journey with the consumer at the center, but the execution/operations very quickly brings the channels and tactics at the center because that’s just an easier thing to do. Do you agree? On the co-creation point, totally agree with putting the consumer at the center from a communication standpoint however it may not always result in co-creation, isnt it? What about categories where the consumer’s desired state of engagement is literally a “one click” experience throughout the life cycle?

      1. Thanks for the reply! My comments below.

        #1: “but the execution/operations very quickly brings the channels and tactics at the center because that’s just an easier thing to do.” Agree 100%; I’ve been calling it “organizational inertia” in my writings/discussions. Psychologists call it human nature (i.e. fear of unknown, status quo, etc). 🙂

        #2: I also agree that co-creation is not a panacea for all brand-to-consumer touchpoints, especially regarding the O2O experience. I was more alluding to the barriers brands face with content development and consumer engagement in the current AOR-led, waterfall-based approach.

        Thanks again!

  2. Hear hear … the rush to scale has sucked out the human elements of relevancy and context, And the damage has cost our industry dearly.

    Its time for marketers – not technologists or content folks – to create ventures because balancing the art and science of marketing is not for the faint hearted but oh so satisfying.

    This post I did for Ad Age resonates deeply with your POV.

    It’s Time to Balance the Tech-Human Element in Marketing:
    5 Ways to Thrive in the Chaotic Ad-Tech Wonderland in 2015

    1. Love it Judy, appreciate your comments/feedback and glad to see that we resonate with the challenges ahead. Great post on AdAge, would share it with my network but i think we both agree, Technology is fascinating but at the same time has the power to overshadow and it certainly has. Time to take a step back, at the end of the day it’s about making human lives simpler and better. The brands and ideas that are able to do it will be successful, either with existing or new technologies. No longer mobile first or data first, it’s always been and will be “people first”, dare i say “consumer” 🙂

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