Five martech lessons from 2017 you need to take into 2018

It’s the time of year when marketers commonly reflect on the past year and gear themselves up for what’s to come in the 12 months.

As we emerge blinking and bleary-eyed from the holiday season into 2018, it’s not just a case of focusing on ‘what’s new’. Part of growing and developing as a business requires an honest analysis of your successes and failures in 2017.

You take forward with you what worked and discard what didn’t.

There are in fact a number of key martech themes from 2017 that marketers should remember well into the coming months.

The resurgence of email

Whilst email marketing is by no means the magical answer to every comms campaign, we’ve seen a far savvier use of email in the latter part of 2017. And this resurgence of the channel is set to continue.

Marketers are saying less, and delivering more value. They’re ensuring more coherent messaging over a period of time, and engaging in meaningful, humanised conversations, even if on a mass, automated scale.

In part, this is because technology exists to make this process happen – quickly and effectively – so why do it any other way?

Marketers are also slowly realising that the role of email is to educate and inform – that’s it! So 2018 is the time to see what it is truly capable of.

Kicking out the average

In early 2017, I spoke to the Chartered Institute of Marketing about this being the year that the profession kicked out the average, and this prediction has definitely been fulfilled.

marketers have been bogged down with second rate solutions

From an operational perspective, there’s certainly been a trend to ‘get on and do stuff’. And, from a technology point of view, marketers have killed much of the complexity that previously existed in their martech use.

This shift was crucial, especially because the martech stack is constantly getting bigger. And for too long, marketers have been bogged down with second rate solutions that are either too expensive or that don’t generate enough return.

It must be remembered that ROI is affected by both the cost of the campaign and the revenue yield. Keeping it simple so that marketers can do their jobs quicker, slicker and with less resource drain, is therefore another tech trend that will continue into 2018.

Iterating journeys

This year, marketing has been about evolution rather than revolution, with journeys established as a starting point and then constantly reviewed, benchmarked, iterated and refined according to learnings along the way.

This approach to creating, automating and evaluating customer comms journeys will remain valid long into 2018 and beyond. There’s never been a greater need for agility, and with the pace of changing consumer demand, behaviour and tastes set to get even faster next year, marketers cannot afford to take a backward step.

Focusing on marketing metrics that matter

It was around this time last year when my Marketing Tech blog predicted how big machine learning would be in 2017. And, as the year has unfolded, there has definitely been a switch to focus on the marketing metrics that really matter.

open and click rates are nothing but vanity numbers

This is because, in truth, open and click rates are nothing but vanity numbers – they’re so far removed from the bottom line of a business that they are almost irrelevant. They certainly won’t capture attention in a boardroom. But automation engines can uncover more meaningful stats.

Marketers that haven’t yet shifted their analytical focus therefore need to start honing in on the more important data at their fingertips, as we move into 2018. If it’s possible to report on segment lead scores, engagement and growth, then do it. More often than not, if mapped accurately, such metrics will start to directly mirror inbound enquiries and, ultimately, net profit. An open and/or click rate is comparatively worthless!


It wouldn’t be possible to look back on 2017 without touching upon the hype that has been the General Data Protection Regulations.

The imminent data security overhaul has dominated the headlines this year, and the new ruling isn’t even due to take effect until the end of May 2018! But the level of conversation surrounding GDPR reflects the scale of the changes and the perceived impact they’re going to have on the marketing profession.

The fact that people are continuously talking about GDPR also highlights the fact that, to date, there’s been a lot of scaremongering chat and, unfortunately, little practical advice offered. Many marketers have been led to believe that this will be the death of marketing as we know it, which simply isn’t the case.

Of course, less ethical marketers will be caught out if they continue to blindly spam customers and prospects with irresponsible and irrelevant content. But for everyone else, GDPR will actually encourage smarter thinking. It will give marketers the final push they need to ensure they only distribute timely, relevant and personalised content to their contacts, and it will make them think twice about the tech they use to manage their marketing efforts – is it GDPR-compliant?

As with most areas of business, prevention is easier – and cheaper – than cure, so the time to get really clued up about GDPR is now. There’s no way this topic is going to fall off the radar in 2018.


By Adam Oldfield

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics Committee released the final logo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, following the withdrawal of their initial logo amidst plagiarism claims last year.



The logo is called Harmonized Chequered Emblem and features a checkered pattern that form a circle. It was design by Asao Tokolo, a 46-year-old artist from the Tokyo Zokei University.

According to Tokolo, he was inspired by coloring pictures that everyone can add their color to. “White against indigo blue — it’s a very clean-cut expression. The games will also be held during summertime and I wanted to add some coolness into my design,” Tokolo said.

Creator of the winning design for the Tokyo 2020 games emblems Asao Tokolo, at Toranomon Hills on April 25, 2016. YOSHIAKI MIURA
Creator of the winning design for the Tokyo 2020 games emblems
Asao Tokolo, at Toranomon Hills on April 25, 2016. YOSHIAKI MIURA


The checkered patterns is known as ichimatsu moyo originating from the Edo period. The traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a “refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.”

According to the committee, the logo incorporates the message of “unity in diversity.

“Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It also expresses that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.”

logos olympic

The logo was chosen from a shortlist of four logos. Tokolo’s design received 13 votes, while logo B had one, logo C two and logo D five. The winning logo was unanimously approved by the executive board.

The Logo Selection Committee subjected the logos to rigorous copyright checks, after allegations of plagiarism was made with their initial logo. Designer Kenjiro Sano has since denied the claim, but the similarity of his logo to Graphic designer Oliver Debie’s logo for Théâtre de Liège in Belgium.

They also asked opinions from the public this time. The committee received opinions from 39,712 members of the public online and an additional 1,804 comments written on postcards.

(Source: Japan Times)


<<<<< BACK HOME <<<<<<<<                             >>>>> NEXT POST >>>>>>>


Designer Quotes

“The soul never thinks without an image.” –Aristotle

“Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.” –Elon Musk

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” –Albert Einstein

“Design isn’t crafting a beautiful textured button with breathtaking animation. It’s figuring out if there’s a way to get rid of the button altogether.” –Edward Tufte

“Design is an opportunity to continue telling the story, not just to sum everything up.” –Tate Linden

“Design and art are independent coordinates that provide their greatest satisfactions when experienced simultaneously.” –Milton Glaser

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” –Robert L. Peters

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. –Steve Jobs

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The details are not the details. They make the design. Charles Eames

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.
Dieter Rams

“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” John Maeda

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” —Edith Head

“Designing a product is designing a relationship.” Steve Rogers

Designing is a matter of concentration. You go deep into what you want to do. It’s about intensive research, really. The concentration is warm and intimate and like the fire inside the earth – intense but not distorted. You can go to a place, really feel it in your heart. It’s actually a beautiful feeling. Peter Zumthor

Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors. George Santayana

Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.
Ivan Chermayeff

‘LaFerrari’ means ‘the Ferrari.’ The excellence. In this car, we put everything we are able to do. Our extreme technology, extreme experience, extreme capability. And this has been the first Ferrari totally designed in our design center. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

I think there is always a need for pure design. With pure design, you don’t need so much decoration. Jil Sander

Successful design is not the achievement of perfection but the minimization and accommodation of imperfection. Henry Petroski

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”Charles Eames

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”    Douglas Adams

“Everything is design. Everything!”  Paul Rand

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.” Louis Nizer

Every designers’ dirty little secret is that they copy other designer’s work. They see work they like, and they imitate it. Rather cheekily, they call this inspiration.  –Aaron Russell




<<<<<< BACK HOME <<<<<<<                                         >>>>>>>>> NEXT POST >>>>>>>>>

A’ Design Award and Competition

A’ Design Award and Competition is the worlds’ largest design competition awarding best designs, design concepts and products & services.

In a world where there are millions of products and designs launch each year, the award was born out of the desire to underline the best designs and well designed products. The award-winning products and designs are highlighted to the international public via theA’ Design Award Gala-Night and Exhibition in Italy and they are communicated to all relevant press across the world.



<<< BACK HOME <<<<                                  >>>>>>>> NEXT POST >>>>>>>


Benjamin Kreze

Benjamin Kreže is an artist that explores the fields of painting, photography, new media installations, kinetic sculptures and film.  He is drawn to ancient inventions and the combination of them in new media art.  All thou he works in many different medias Benjamin’s work always questions the observer, to think of their self awareness in this world. From micro to macro he plays with different media tools to constantly change the perception of the viewer, and displacing them in time and space. His work is often indirect and humorous.

From 2009 he has been an active member in the multimedia group Laibach.
The author had over 20 solo exhibitions at home and abroad and participated in 30 different group projects.

Ali Bramwell wrote on Benjamin Kreze:

“Something of an inventor himself Kreze has developed a form of kinetic figurative sculpture, three-dimensional Zoetrope where the illusion of movement is created by the quick succession of static forms in rotation, creating the impression of holographic images. To date he has made three increasingly large scale works in this impressively well engineered series; Abakus1 (2009) the prototype, which was shown at the first Speculum Atrium (S.A. 09), Magus Rotarum (2010) , and Ubermensch (2011), the latter two of which were both shown at Kapelica Gallery  in Ljubljana.

These earlier large scale and technically challenging projects show the tactical use of micro scale of as even more of an introverted contemplative contrast, if only in the radical change of scale speed and volume (as in literal noise, the kinetic sculptures are loud, visually percussive and frenetically enveloping experiences). What is present in all of the projects noted here is a sense of industry, the epic labor commitment involved in the making of these sculptures is amoung the first strong impressions. It occurs to me to wonder if that embedded engagement with labor is an artistic magnification or reflection of an existing Trbovlje zeitgeist, in the shadow three parallel and inseparable monuments; the influence of the industrial character of the town, the historic and continuing strong virtuous attachment to the person of the Worker and attendant philosophical attachments to the value of work, or indeed the influence of Trbovljes art ‘fathers’: Laibach. It should be no surprise whatever that Kreže has a history of artistic collaboration with Laibach.”


<<< BACK HOME <<<<                                                    >>>>>> NEXT POST >>>>>>



Cymatics, from Greek: κῦμα, meaning “wave”, is a subset of modal vibrational phenomena. The term was coined by Hans Jenny (1904-1972), a Swiss follower of the philosophical school known asanthroposophy. Typically the surface of a plate, diaphragm or membrane is vibrated, and regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles, paste or liquid.[1]Different patterns emerge in the excitatory medium depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency.

The apparatus employed can be simple, such as the old Chinese singing bowl, in which copper handles are rubbed and cause the copper bottom elements to vibrate. Other examples include the Chladni Plate[2]and the so-called cymascope.

From Wikipedia

<<< BACK HOME <<<<                                      >>>>>>>> NEXT POST >>>>>>>