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Composable martech: Transforming the enterprise

Martech is entering a new era of composability. What does this mean for marketing organizations?

Lee Hammond

Lee Hammond

We're entering a new composable era of marketing technology (martech). Composable applications are assembled from separate components to form larger applications. For example, composable digital experiences (DX) combine a headless content management system with channel-specific presentation technology. One key benefit of these applications is that they enable the reuse of content across delivery channels (web, mobile, and email) and all are served from the same headless content database.

Customer data, the fuel of all martech applications, is undergoing a similar transformation. Instead of customer data being siloed in individual point solutions, customer data is managed centrally and made available to a new breed of martech applications. Composable customer data platforms (CDPs) combine a cloud data warehouse with a data activation platform – enabling marketers to build and launch campaigns. 

GrowthLoop has been at the forefront of this composable movement since its founding in 2017. Working with companies like Indeed, Mercari, and NASCAR, GrowthLoop has helped these companies transition from legacy martech, which focused on channels, to technology focused on customers.

"Most marketing teams own a single channel and operate on that channel  – sometimes in isolation. One of the big areas of benefit of working with GrowthLoop was the integration of marketing channels such as the CRM, User Acquisition, as well as more traditional marketing channels." - Masumi Nakamura, VP of Engineering at Mercari

Packaged CDPs, once thought to be the answer to channel-based approaches, are difficult to implement and haven't delivered the value the team expected. GrowthLoop's customers have successfully avoided the platform lock-in and limitations of packaged CDPs by option for a composable approach.

"Regarding CDPs, we want to control our own destiny, we want a platform that will scale with us. A CDP can be a useful tool but is not a substitution for an owned First-Party Modern Data Stack on Google Cloud. I think people are making a mistake putting all their eggs in that basket. How do you ever migrate in the future if you want to move away from a 3rd-party vendor? It's like starting over to extract yourself. By owning the architecture, you avoid vendor lock-in. That's what we love about the architecture we've built with GrowthLoop," Brian Shield, SVP, CTO, Boston Red Sox

Composability is a significant departure from how martech has been delivered over the last two decades. CMOs and marketing leaders familiar with martech self-contained applications can be resistant to this way of working. The concerns I hear from marketers fall into two general areas:

  1. Dependency on the data team will slow down the marketing team
  2. The Marketer Experience will be too technical and not focused on business outcomes

Neither of these concerns occur with customers who've implemented Composable options. Instead they find that the composable solutions 1) Less work 2) Faster time to value 3) Breeds more seamless collaboration 4) Makes marketers happier. For skeptical readers or readers on the fence, here's how brands who have implemented Composable solutions like GrowthLoop are navigating the space.

Unlock the value of the data warehouse and move faster

There is a mistaken idea that traditional martech applications enable marketers to work autonomously from the rest of the organization. Digital marketing is more data-driven today than ever; the marketing application doesn't generate the data but instead relies on integrated external data.

As marketing applications have become more powerful, so has their demand for data. Previously, email applications only required a customer's email address to report on opens, clicks, and sends. Now those email applications require rich customer profiles, content libraries, and report on conversions from external systems. All of these new capabilities require integrations and data from external systems.

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There is a direct correlation between the capability of a given marketing application and the volume of external data that must be connected to the application. CMOs must hire developers to connect and maintain systems. Any gaps in data are often filled manually by marketers wrangling CSVs from other systems. In short, the marketing team is required to act as a part-time data engineering resource in order to activate data-driven campaigns.

In contrast, the data team collects the same customer and product data within their data warehouse to report on the business. Why not use the data warehouse to power marketing applications? Or, as GrowthLoop co-founder David Joosten puts it, "bring the marketing applications to the data." 

Freed from wrangling data and maintaining system integrations, marketers focus on executing campaigns and strengthening their experimentation capabilities. 

"Thanks to GrowthLoop's no-code platform, our marketing team can self-serve to build audiences directly on Snowflake for the first time. This has had a big impact on our team's velocity—we've been able to 8x the number of campaign launches per quarter." Judy Nam, VP of SMB Marketing at Indeed

The marketer experience — going beyond simple segmentation

CMOs assume that a composable solution’s marketer experience will suffer by being too technical and lacking in the business context. These composable applications are designed specifically for the marketer with the same easy-to-use, powerful controls they've come to expect from traditional martech.

"GrowthLoop has allowed us to take a leap forward in our ability to leverage customer data. Thanks to GrowthLoop, our marketing and sales teams can build complex audiences, launch campaigns directly in a multitude of destinations, and measure impact within minutes. GrowthLoop is truly an accelerator for our business, empowering marketers to drive growth while freeing up our data team to focus on advanced analytics." Braden Moore​, VP Data & Analytics at the Philadelphia 76ers

Test and learn

Martech solutions become more powerful as they receive more data. Since a composable solution is deployed directly on the data cloud, marketers are able to measure their campaign effectiveness with more capabilities than ever before. Marketing teams that use GrowthLoop can measure performance on any metric in the data warehouse, from revenue lift to mobile app downloads and loan originations. Performance metrics are provided contextually within GrowthLoop so marketers see the business impact of their campaigns. Better still, GrowthLoop enables marketers to test and learn with built-in A/B testing for Treatment and Control based marketing.

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This interface unlocks visualizations for marketers to quickly understand a campaign’s impact on metrics like ticket sales, ticket scans, total spend, number of games watched via streaming services, email opens, Salesforce opportunities closed, app logins, or any other metric in BigQuery. One such example is the example comes from the  Boston Red Sox marketing team.

With each audience launch, the Boston Red Sox marketing team automatically applies ongoing A/B experiments by segmenting audience members into treatment and control groups in-app.

Generative AI audience builder

Composable solutions are also innovating in the marketer experience leveraging the unique position of having more data available to them. For example, GrowthLoop makes the data in the warehouse more accessible to marketers with their recently launched Generative AI powered audience builder, Marve. Marketers describe their target segment in natural language, and Marve generates that Audience automatically.

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"Marve represents a rare opportunity where the availability of a solution outpaces expectations. This technology has found practical applications that are powerful and fast, allowing enterprise businesses to leverage the power of ChatGPT immediately for marketing and sales. Marve plus Audience Builder flips the usual process of imagining and waiting for a solution on its head, giving teams the ability to bring their ideas to life at a pace that's unprecedented in our experience. This is a truly amazing and empowering innovation." Brian Himstedt, Chief Information Officer, Kansas City Royals

GrowthLoop, Google Translate for data and marketing teams

With composable martech, businesses can bring together marketing and data teams without demanding more of each group. Data teams continue working with their tools and infrastructure. Marketers, likewise, build and activate audiences with their no-SQL-required applications.

Companies implementing a Composable CDP often see their data and marketing teams working more closely together than ever before. And not because the marketer learned SQL or the data team learned the components of the marketing cloud's Journey Builder. Instead, GrowthLoop acts like a Google Translator, enabling Data and Marketing teams to collaborate without forcing them to learn their counterpart's specialized knowledge and language.

From digital departments to digital enterprises

In 2022, martech thought leader Scott Brinker predicted this coming together of marketing with data operations very well:

...the shift underway to move from a "martech stack" that is largely siloed in the marketing department to a "business stack" that spans the entire enterprise. Moving beyond just The Digital Marketing Department to The Digital Firm.... is a dramatic expansion of the scope of scale of the work MarTech, and marketing ops professionals can engage in, working beyond the walls of classic MarTech.

Composability in martech is both a technical and organizational improvement over earlier eras. Technical composability removes the redundant collection of customer data. Organizational composability enables collaboration on a common goal while letting individuals focus on their respective core strengths: marketing and data. 

The collaborative benefits of a Composable CDP don't receive nearly the attention that the technical aspects do, but I believe they are core to its success. The collaboration will move us from Digital Marketing Departments to Digital Enterprises. 

Transform your data warehouse into a marketing engine

Companies like Indeed, Mercari, and MLB teams unlocked customer data in their data warehouse to power their marketing campaigns. Along the way, they brought their data and marketing teams together, increasing the velocity and capability of the entire organization. Whether your company is in retail, financial services, travel, software, or something else entirely, you can join the expanding group of companies driving sustainable growth through real-time analytics by connecting your data warehouse to GrowthLoop. 

Interested in seeing GrowthLoop in action? Schedule a personalized demo to see your use cases in action.

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