Understanding Your MarTech Stack

According to Chiedmartech.com’s MarTech 5000, there are over eight thousand technologies in the marketing space today. With so many options out there where do we even start to build a successful Marketing Technology (MarTech) Strategy? Once we do figure out what the perfect MarTech Stack for our organization looks like, how do we use it? My mantra with our clients is, “technology is only the tool in which you use to engage your consumers; without a solid strategy it might as well be a hammer sitting on the table in front of you.”

We have found that 54% of companies don’t use their MarTech Stack to its full potential.

What’s worse is when budgets are being reassessed, the MarTech Stack gets cut deeply. The Omnichannel Marketing Automation system that costs $120K a year is quickly replaced with 3 different tools that now costs $90K a year however, the new solution has decreased efficiency and integrates poorly together.

Why? Because many organizations don’t put together a strategy that takes a more omnichannel / preferred channel approach. We try to bucket everyone into a singular category with the same marketing approach, disregarding customers’ engagement preferences.

When done correctly, that one tool at its full potential could help your company have a more impactful engagement with your consumers rather than miss the mark because you designed an intertwined marketing stack based on budget versus strategy.

Understanding Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Techniques

A marketing strategy, in its simplest form, can be broken down into three questions.

  • What is my objective?
    • Are you trying to get someone to sign up for something?
    • Are you trying to get someone to buy something?
    • Are you trying to educate someone?
  • What tactics, or approach, are we using?
    • Account-Based Marketing
    • Sales Enablement
    • Field Marketing
  • What techniques am I using?
    • Email
    • Social Media
    • SMS

When asking these key questions, more questions tend to arise. For example:

  • What are my KPIs and how do I measure them?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What does the customer experience look like?

Having a foundation and an understanding of how your organization wants to go-to-market is critical before buying different marketing technologies to plug into your MarTech Stack. 

Dissecting a Martech Stack

Once you have a strong foundation and understand how you want to engage your consumers, you can start thinking about what tools you need and how they work.

I remember the first time my dad asked me to go get him a 3/4 socket wrench out of the drawer while he was working on his 1972 GMC truck. I had no idea what that was. When he finally helped me find it, he then asked me to take a bolt out with it. I might as well have been holding a stick because I had never used a wrench before.

Similar feelings of uncertainty can arise when we start looking for the best technologies to help engage our customers. We may not know what we are looking for or what “right” looks like. Even after purchasing a tool, we may not know how to use it in the most effective way to convert more leads, boost customer engagement, or drive revenue.

You’ll find many tools can get the job done, but finding the right combination of tools to create effective, efficient, and engaging campaigns is a totally separate discussion.

You’ll want to know the basic categories each tool falls within. The technologies can be placed in six categories and some may overlap.

Advertising & Promotions

These technologies assist in ads and promotions and can be anywhere from print, PR, video advertising, and search and social advertising.

Content & Experience

How do you engage customers and market to them in a meaningful way? By using technologies that help with email, SMS, SEO, Content Marketing and so much more.

Social & Relationship

It’s one thing to blast out content; it’s another thing to understand your customers in a personable way by using tools that include Conversation Marketing and Chat, Social Monitoring, and Customer Success.

Commerce & Sales

Got a product or service? How are you going to market them? eCommerce Platforms and Carts, Sales Automations and Enablement, Retail, Proximity and IoT are only but a few that land in this category to provide a more seamless buyer’s experience.


Who are you marketing to? If you don’t know, you simply can’t. Data is the foundation of a marketing strategy.  Tools like CDPs, DMPs, and Mobile and Web analytics can help create a more omnichannel marketing program and help you meet your customers at their preferred channel.


Marketing theory and execution become a blur if you don’t have a way to manage and track your marketing program. Having tools to help with project management, budgeting and finances can go a long way when you want to make sure everyone in your organization knows how well your marketing program is performing.

Don’t Let it Become a Mess

There is not a single marketing technology that can do it all; but there are many marketing technologies that can do many things. If you’re just starting out or have had your MarTech stack built for years, it can get away from you very quickly. We’ve helped many companies build strategies, MarTech stacks, and campaigns to reach the top of their industries through our Digital Transformation Analysis.

Our Digital Transformation Analysis service begins and ends with your customers in mind. With our flexible evaluation process, we create a proprietary roadmap that optimizes your current marketing efforts and innovates your organization’s future state. To understand where your organization is, take our free Capability Maturity Model quiz and see how we can help your company grow to new heights.

Article written by: James Luck, Managing Director of Theorem, div. Apex IT, [email protected]

Using ML & AI to Drive Marketing


So what exactly is machine learning and artificial intelligence? In short, like other analytical tools, ML and AI transform data into knowledge. ML scours vast amounts of data to uncover an insight exposed in patterns and aims to identify the rules that seem to govern the data, then apply that learning to the query, and provide a model that can then be applied to other datasets.

In order to identify these rules, the algorithms in the model must learn from the inputs. Hence, the term Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, allows computers to discover underlying patterns in data without human intervention or explicit programming instructions, as such AI is considered “self-learning”.

For complex tasks and larger datasets, it is now possible to let a machine develop its own solution to a problem, whereas humans would find it impossible to detail all of the scenarios. In short, ML and AI leverage huge computational power in order to process vast datasets in real-time, resulting in an analysis that is way beyond human capabilities.


An obvious advantage of ML and AI is the ability to handle large and diverse data volumes with speed and accuracy. As business data volumes grow, with current data output at nearly 250,000 Billion pages of text per day, applied models can scale without diminishing performance. And as the data changes, with mixtures of structured/unstructured from multiple varieties (i.e. images, text, financials, voice), ML and AI can adapt without any human involvement. ML and AI can identify trends, patterns, and insights that an analyst could never observe, so the performance gains over non-assisted analytics is immeasurable.


ML and AI strategy allow businesses to stay ahead of their competition by analyzing customer, product, and industry trends as they are developing and solving complex problems before they fully materialize.

Organizations that continuously invest in AI can increase their competitive strategic advantage, and are well-suited to receive the benefits from other ML and AI-enabled performance multipliers.

Website SEO
Thanks to years of knowledge sharing from SEO practitioners, SEO analysis, and on and off-page practices, ML can now automate many SEO processes including tracking hundreds of ranking indicators and identifying variables such as tags, metadata, page types that can drastically increase the visibility and ranking of business websites.

Social Media
With literally billions of active users, social media management is a requirement for any business. AI can help by automatically responding to critical reviews or complaints, maintaining trend awareness, identifying neglected and/or new opportunities (i.e. keywords, audiences), and mining the wealth of direct customer data posted each day that demands 24/7 attention.

One of the more popular AI applications used today are chatbots, which are always “live”, improve customer service, eliminate wait times, provide up-to-date product information, and help answer customer questions – all while building an ever-expanding dataset through the analysis of responses and threads.

AI can create valuable insights for a business by parsing through content from news sources, relevant blogs, or thousands of customer interactions across multiple channels, and focusing on a multitude of variables, such as sentiment, which can provide valuable insights into customers’ feedback, relevant trends, and churn risks.


Personalization is where the popularity of ML and AI all began. The poster child for this is Netflix, beginning with its recommendation engine for its movies and tv shows. Then its AI algorithm started serving up custom visuals to each customer, enticing them to try new offerings. For Netflix, utilizing AI for deeper personalization means more screen time, which translates to renewed subscriptions and increased revenue.

Predictive analytics has been a powerful tool since the 1940’s, but now with AI, marketers can analyze millions of customer interest variables, social interactions, and website touch-points in order to provide insights that are way beyond the abilities of analysts. This includes predicting the most profitable segments with greater accuracy and speed than traditional methods.

AI and ML have unparalleled optimization capabilities. In short, they help marketers reach more prospects with a lot less work. For example, they can significantly reduce manual work when creating an ad campaign, while simultaneously auto-optimizing its performance. For content marketing, models can optimize content for SEO, prioritize gaps, and automatically create product descriptions, tweets, and emails in less than a second.

When marketing automation took off in the 1990’s, newer technologies began to take advantage of the features in CRM and email platforms. Now, AI can inject the power of intelligent decision-making to automate every element of complex, large scale campaigns in order to dynamically serve an individual with accurate messaging at every touch point – transforming prospects into lifelong advocates.

Not sure what your strategy should look like? Or maybe you don’t have the time or bandwidth? Then connect with an Apex Theorem Marketing Acceleration Advisor. We’d be happy to discuss a customized ‘next level’ strategy with you, and show you where you stand on our proprietary Capability Maturity Model (CMM).

Article Written By: Jonathan Bonghi, Marketing Strategist at Apex IT, [email protected]

Marketing Automation Trends for 2022 According to the Pros

Marketing automation software automatically manages and streamlines processes within digital marketing campaigns. These can include email marketingsocial marketing, live chat, website monitoring, and lead scoring. Automation helps marketing teams do more with less and provides various business benefits, including improved return on investment (ROI) and lead quality. Here, several experts weigh in on marketing automation trends for 2022 and beyond.

When more capabilities are automated, marketing automation becomes more effective

One thing’s for sure—as automation technology evolves, so do marketers’ capabilities and expectations. Jonathan Bonghi, the marketing strategist with digital transformation solution-provider Apex IT, sees the future of marketing automation like this: “With the assistance of AI, marketers will be able to automate their omnichannel marketing and predictive analytics. Marketing automation will become the foundation of the new digital transformation revolution. Organizations that have a well-defined strategy and make investments into robust data management will be the big winners.”

Marketers can create authentic insight-driven engagements through marketing automation

Knowing how and when to use customer insights to your advantage is critical. Jonathan McClure, director of analytic and strategic services at Oracle Marketing Consulting, understands the value marketing automation delivers through insight-driven customer engagements.

“Marketers are at the point where it’s easy to surface insights via machine learning and AI, then act quickly through a fully automated and seamlessly orchestrated cross-channel experience. Tools like Oracle Infinity IQ and Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation pick up on behaviors and patterns and allow marketing programs to harness that data and use it to send the right message to the right person at the right time in the right channel.”

Marketing automation empowers sophisticated customer acquisition

Marketing automation has changed how brands deliver value to customers and elevated the type of value they can offer. According to Sherene Hilal, SVP of marketing and business operations at Bluecore, a company that helps retail brands convert casual shoppers into long-term customers, “As more industries adopt autonomous technology, there’s increased pressure for AI applications to convert business intelligence into critical business actions. Discounts will become a thing of the past, or at least less of a go-to tactic. Brands will begin replacing blanket discounts that don’t keep shoppers around for long with unique offerings based directly on customer insight, as well as their unique selling points.”

Marketing automation that incorporates AI better determines future behavior

Companies that embrace AI and machine learning will gain a long-term competitive advantage. Konrad Feldman, cofounder and CEO of advertising technology firm Quantcast, agrees. “With AI and machine learning, marketers can gain insights in real-time and at scale, providing them with the ability to understand their audience better, what they need, and where they’re looking for it, empowering marketers to create better online experiences, improve business performance, and build brand trust. If a marketer or advertiser is not using AI-driven solutions to enhance their campaigns, they’re missing out on insights, new audiences, and productivity gains.”


Ready to stay ahead of marketing automation trends with the right tool?

Learn how Oracle Eloqua marketing automation can help you maximize campaign results in the years ahead.


Article written by: Waynette Tubbs, Director of Content Marketing, Oracle Advertising and CX with some insight from Jonathan Bonghi, Marketing Strategist at Apex IT, [email protected]

Understanding your Digital Transformation Capability Maturity Level

The way we use technology is changing daily, which can prove to be challenging for many marketers to keep up. How you engage your customers becomes a living organism that needs to be nurtured and analyzed daily. While great products and services with satisfied customers can still see revenue growth from word of mouth, new digital avenues for marketing and advertising reign are the keyways to engage new customers.

Positive reviews online can connect your brand to new groups, while dissatisfaction can spread like wildfire through social channels. We must make every effort to monitor our brand, create a personal experience for our customers, and inform the masses about our product or services.

How do we do this when there are just not enough hours in the day? How do we effectively monitor, nurture, and communicate today, but pivot with the constant changes of the digital age? The answer is with Digital Transformation.


Digital Transformation

So, what is Digital Transformation? Digital Transformation is the ability to create or modify business processes, customer experience, and market requirements: the overall revision of business in a digital era is Digital Transformation.

It helps change the way our organization operates by taking advantage of advanced processes and workflow automations.

Digital Transformation uses algorithms and data to create unique, automated journeys that bring value to customers and your business. We have found that 80% of organizations that have a digital transformation program see increased profits. (SAP Center for Business Insights)

Understanding Capability Maturity Levels

By using a Capability Maturity Model as a foundation, organizations can build their strategic and tactical marketing capabilities rapidly, narrowing their gaps and capitalizing on their strengths. A Capability Maturity assessment becomes a guide for companies to connect all teams (Marketing, Sales, Services) and processes to enhance customer engagement in a single defined roadmap and collaborative workflow. Not understanding one’s Capability Maturity level and gaps can lead to a stagnant marketing program; or worse, a dissatisfying customer experience.

Over the years we have found that…

40% of companies do not have a Digital Transformation program in place to create an agile plan that allows them to pivot effectively with the constant changes in the digital marketing world.​

More than 54% of companies are not using their current Marketing Technology stack to its full potential. ​

Most companies believe that digital transformation will disrupt their current marketing program.​

On a scale of 1 (Novice) through 5 (Guru) most organizations’ overall marketing programs are a 2-2.5 and they don’t know how to progress to greater heights.

What is your Digital Transformation Capability Maturity Level?

At Apex Theorem, we use our Digital Transformation Analysis to help companies understand their Capability Maturity level. Our Digital Transformation Analysis service begins and ends with your customers in mind. With our flexible evaluation process, we create a proprietary roadmap that optimizes your current marketing efforts and innovates your organization’s future state.

Our award-winning Marketing Acceleration Advisors create systematic, proprietary solutions that convert more leads, boost customer engagement and drive revenue by defining, implementing, and optimizing your digital transformation program.​

Take our free Level 1 CMM quiz  or contact us to learn more about how Theorem can help you enhance your Marketing program using advanced Digital Transformation Methods.


Article written by: James Luck, Managing Director of Theorem, div. Apex IT, [email protected]

Top Field Service Technology and Trends

In a mid-pandemic field service environment, plenty of solutions have arisen on the fly. From hybrid operations to revamped safety protocols, it seems like things are in flux.

Field service has permanently changed—perhaps more dynamically than any other business function. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of customer service by understanding customers across every service and digital touchpoint to maximize loyalty and consumer value. This has become more complicated due to COVID; nevertheless, innovations in field service management can enhance customer loyalty amid increased expectations.

Oracle’s list of top field service trends spotlights what’s new and what’s next.

1. An evolving field service workforce

As in many other industries, field service is feeling a crisis in staffing and in a transition to a more hybrid, digitally connected world. This is also exacerbated by an increasing gap in experience and expertise as older workers retire or leave the field. Service organizations are embracing the gig economy and third-party service providers to supplement their in-house workforces.

This trend is creating a new challenge (and opportunity) for service leaders to capture knowledge and integrate it into the digital tools new or contract field service engineers rely on to be successful. Giving your digitally-savvy new team members on-demand support speeds their ability to contribute while offering senior engineers the ability to shift into less demanding remote support roles.

2. Meeting new customer expectations

Much like our collective transition to virtual meetings and contactless delivery of goods throughout 2020, customers across the board are becoming accustomed to new models for service delivery. Field service solutions have been enhanced to ensure service visits meet local safety standards and customer preferences, while companies must seamlessly blend virtual and physical experiences.

Moreover, as customers’ buying preferences shift toward outcomes over products, service is becoming a critical piece in the revenue model for businesses. Field service teams are being given tools and incentives to monetize service events, such as for-service contract renewals or cross-selling equipment or consumables.

3. Making every customer interaction matter

If there were a broad theme to 2021 for field service management, it’s this. More than ever, the industry is counting on developing myriad touch points to increase engagement with customers.

With offerings including self-service portals, knowledgebase articles and media, AI-guided digital assistants, and remote service events, field service leaders are providing customers more immediate and touchless ways to resolve issues. This variety of customer touch points enable service team members to focus on the most critical customer issues.

4. Integrating connected assets and equipment into service

Perhaps the most significant trend impacting field service is the proliferation of connected equipment and assets that can mitigate the need for in-person repair or maintenance.

IoT monitoring enables remote diagnostics and self-healing routines. And when integrated with your field service management solution, it can automatically trigger work orders and schedule service activities for major faults. When your field service engineer arrives, they can use this information to fix issues more quickly and accurately.

5. Avoiding disruption while managing change

Amidst all this change is the critical task of moving forward without slowing down. All the tech tools in the world don’t drive and sustain change; change management is just as important as new tech rollouts. Organizations must make this culture of optimization and change something that sticks from the culture on down.

One of the biggest advancements is the connection between IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). Service businesses are now able to trigger services via AI without needing a human task to be that trigger. Leading-edge technology can help navigate change as conditions continue to fluctuate.

Utilizing AI learning tools for routing and scheduling allows for changing conditions to overcome issues of manual discrepancies that happen without automation.

Successful companies can deliver on the set of new customer expectations by removing the friction from all digital and in-person touch points to provide seamless, informed interactions to customers. The transactional economy has become less hands-on and is likely to change while the pandemic continues to hold influence. Smart field service organizations can meet the change positively by making every engagement count—no matter how brief.

Oracle Field Service offers intuitive, AI-powered tools for routing, scheduling, and managing field service technicians. Learn more about how this solution makes it possible to deliver efficient and on-time service experiences every time with the quick self-guided product tour below.

For more information about field service and field service management software, send us a message!

Article written by: Rick Shimko, Oracle Senior Product Marketing Manager