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Please help us to congratulate Kelly Jo Sands!

selected as one of 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018.

Please take a moment to celebrate Kelly Jo Sands!

By sharing her accomplishment, you're not only amplifying the collective voice of brilliant, deserving women — you are also reinforcing your support for women, in all workplaces and all industries, around the world.

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Women in Martech

To kick off our Women in Martech Series, and to be considered one of 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018, we asked women to provide their thoughts in three areas: Career, Martech in Practice and Women in Martech.

Women in Martech is a weekly series, beginning in January 2018, based on the thoughts, advice and opinions of real women about marketing and marketing technology.

Subscribe to the Women in Martech series:

Here’s what Kelly Jo Sands had to say!


What advice would you offer someone getting into marketing in this landscape?

1. Be a void-filler

Only a certain type of person thrives on creating order and opportunity out of chaos.

The best results in my career were realized when I was the only one to step forward and fill a void that others said “was not their job.”

It’s a balance to strike between saying “no” and taking on too much, but it’s that divide that creates great movement.

2. Get out of your comfort zone

With a category as ever-changing and complex as martech, someone getting into marketing now has to be comfortable and confident in the unknown.

You can’t play it safe or do what’s always been done. Innovation and pushing the limits of our brands and clients has to happen for them to compete.

That said, be cutting-edge and not bleeding-edge!

3. Embrace technology

Gone are the Mad Men days when marketing was just about brand strategy and mass advertising. Marketing and technology are intrinsically tied together in the world we live in nowadays, wherein data is at the core of driving intelligent interactions.

We consume content and interact with brands across multiple dimensions, touchpoints and channels over time. Being relevant in the moments that matter most to consumers is only possible through sophisticated ecosystems.

Technology is a fundamental enabler to deliver the kind of customer experiences people have come to expect and demand.

What are the most common misconceptions about martech?

Misconception #1 — Martech is automatic

There is no easy button, and we will always need marketers. The rise of things like artificial intelligence and people-based identification solutions across channels help us recognize individuals in the moment, but we must consider the customer experience in everything we do and create the strategic vision.

Tech alone will not create omnichannel, consistent experiences for your consumers — Start with strategy and not the tech.

Misconception #2 — A single martech stack is all you need

Although many “best-in-breed” martech stacks have emerged, no one is all inclusive of every kind of technology you need. There will always be point-solutions in the mix, so flexible solutions that have the ability to integrate are key to any technology decision you make.

The space is increasingly confusing, as well, because of similar positioning and value propositions.

There can be information and vendor overload, so find a partner who knows the landscape and can help focus on the requirements needed to meet your vision in order to recommend the best martech solution.

Misconception #3 — Martech is just for marketing teams

Although martech does help marketers push outbound communications and interact with consumers, it can also be a foundational technology choice that supports the broader organization.

As an example, technology often enables convenience. Panera Bread implemented kiosks, largely to address wait times at the register. But, this can also tap into AI by powering the loyalty program to remind guests of their rewards.

Misconception #4 — Once you implement MarTech solutions you won’t need IT

Although martech and automation capabilities have significantly increased a marketer’s ability to execute complex customer journeys across channels, it doesn’t mean you’ll never rely on IT.

Amazing advances in technology enables us to do more but we also arguably need more people to support a complex system executing additional capabilities. It’s often in the strategy behind how to realize martech full value and thinking through the customer experiences where marketers refocus the majority of their efforts, and IT becomes more powerful enablers of the vision.

A note of caution, all demos and sales pitches look impressive and comprehensive. However, there is no easy button and the devil is in the details for how many of your strategic requirements the given solution will actually solve.

Misconception #5 — Once MarTech is implemented you’re all set

Although a big milestone, like all technology, success is not only how its implemented but the ongoing strategy around it’s utilization and integration with other platforms. Martech is an ever-evolving landscape in which new problems to solve are constantly emerging, with new tools born everyday to solve those opportunities.

At Ansira, we have built a team dedicated to staying abreast of the martech industry and categories of tools so we can run RFPs, create roadmaps and advise our clients on the ongoing value of their tech stacks.

Do you think the intersection of marketing and technology is currently having or will have an impact on women in the industry? How so?

I absolutely think the intersection of marketing and technology is currently having and will have an impact on women in the industry.

IT is still largely dominated by men, whereas marketing professions skew more female, especially at lower levels.

However, with the emergence of martech as a category and discipline, we’re seeing women bringing additional skills to the table that augment the dynamic of what our society historically considered “technology.”

We‘re breaking the perceptions of what a techie looks like, including not only gender, but also academic backgrounds, which are more varied than just engineering and computer science.

Unique skills emerge whereby the discipline of creating customer-centric experiences are enabled only through an understanding of the martech necessary to make them a reality.

Women’s innate ability to bring disparate people and concepts together, focusing on the details such as requirements and logistics, position us to be uniquely qualified to excel in the field of martech.

Other challenges

In 2018, I foresee marketers still struggling with reaching and tracking consumers across platforms.

Identifying resolutions across devices and channels has been a hot topic the past couple years, with the industry creating more confusion by evangelizing point solutions as the answer.

Measurement and attribution is a similar challenge. Being able to identify the unique impact of channels and executions has a foundational dependence upon identify resolution.

Finally, consumers continue to be inundated with advertising messages, so there is some commercial fatigue. However, I think the brands that will rise to the top will focus on how to make every customer interaction count and elevate the customer experience at every touchpoint with the brand.


Be sure to read 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018 and sign up to receive the Women in Martech series.