All Articles Marketing Digital Technology How to get started creating your company’s martech plan

How to get started creating your company’s martech plan

Is martech confusing? It won’t be after this Q&A with Michael Donnelly, who heads up martech resources for Association of National Advertisers members.

3 min read

Digital TechnologyMarketing

How to get started creating your company’s martech plan

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SmartBrief talked with Michael Donnelly (see bio below), who leads the Association of National Advertisers’ marketing technology and related resources for members. In this Q&A, Donnelly provides a primer for why and how businesses should create a sound martech plan.

What are some of the top benefits of having a sound marketing technology strategy?

Donnelly:  Martech is a vital enabler to derive insights when architecting strategy, developing creative, distributing messaging, optimizing performance and measuring success – and a sound strategy is necessary to ensure this is all done safely, effectively and efficiently at scale. Benefits include the ability to leverage data in each of these areas to improve your likelihood of success, and the ability to implement contingency plans if/when things go wrong. 

What are the first steps to take in reviewing (or developing) your martech strategy?

Donnelly: There are four key steps:

  1. Ensure business objective alignment among C-suite executives to agree on the role of martech;
  2. Map the types of solutions necessary to deliver these objectives in each stage of the customer journey;
  3. Prioritize which will yield the best ROI to determine which to secure and implement first;
  4. Strategically add, integrate, train and scale as necessary.

What should a martech team look like?

Donnelly:  Martech is Marketing Operations, and the size and scale of the team will depend on the operational model in place. Some brands manage all aspects in-house and require functional and technical expertise in support of all key digital tactics. Some brands, however, outsource this and only require strategists. 

In either case, martech requires skills in Sales, Marketing, Technology, Customer Experience, Finance, Privacy, Security, Governance, Compliance and other departments. Therefore, a respected and well-rounded lead architect embedded in the business is vital to align and focus the resources and talents found in many other departments to become the valued force multiplier it’s capable of.

How can the ANA help members with their martech strategy?

Donnelly:  ANA is investing in this area and provides a growing number of conferences, training, committees, webinars, research and working groups focused on addressing significant industry opportunities that no one organization is capable of tackling themselves. 

All of this is designed to enable our members to safely and effectively leverage this powerful force multiplier to drive sustainable growth and improve and celebrate the products, people, processes and partnerships that fuel the martech craft along the way. Learn more at


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Michael Donnelly

Michael Donnelly is an executive vice president with the Association of National Advertisers  focused on martech, addressability, futures and B2B marketing. He’s held senior leadership roles in marketing, communications, sales and IT, and has a strong track record of success in generating growth by obsessively focusing on consumer behaviors to design, implement and scale transformative strategies for some of the world’s most valuable brands within Johnson & Johnson, The Coca-Cola Company and Mastercard.