Monday, December 30, 2019

Explaining Martech to a Five Year Old

One piece of paper stands between me and ending the year with a clean desk: a list scribbled on hotel stationery that compares different customer data systems to different types of motor vehicles. Richard Scarry  meets CDP Institute, you might say.

So, just in case your New Year’s plan includes explaining marketing technology to a five year old, here we go:

  • Data Warehouse = School Bus. The seats in a bus are lined up in nice neat rows, designed to carry one type of cargo very efficiently. Similarly, a data warehouse is highly structured environment that is very efficient at dealing with specified data types. (See how this works?)

  • Data Lake = Moving Van. A moving van is a big box that can hold pretty much anything, although it might be jumbled together in no particular order. A data lake can store any type of data but doesn’t do much to organize it.
  • Integration Platform = Delivery Motorcycle. A motorcycle carries small items quickly from one place to another, but doesn’t have any place to store them. An integration platform moves bits of data between systems but doesn’t have its own storage, either.
  • Data Management Platform = Fire Truck. A fire truck is a highly specialized vehicle designed to move very quickly and pour out huge volumes of water. A DMP is a highly specialized system that quickly moves huge volumes of data.
  • CRM System = Taxi. A taxi carries one person and their baggage directly to a specific destination. A CRM system delivers one customer and their history to a single sales person or call center agent.
  • Cloud Platform = Car Carrier. A car carrier is a frame that can hold many unconnected vehicles. A Cloud Platform supports many unrelated systems in the same rack.
Believe it or not, my original list didn’t include an entry for Customer Data Platforms. So let’s give that a moment’s thought and go with…Ice Cream Truck!  They make a lot of noise and everybody loves them.  No, wait, better still...Food Truck!  A food truck collects ingredients from various sources, converts them into delicious meals, and distributes the results to many happy customers.  A CDP combines customer data into profiles that it shares with different systems.  

You’re welcome.

Happy New Year!

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