Rory Capern tells tech companies to “Tear Down This Wall” at #MarketingTO

Rory Capern MarketingTO

TechTO held its first MarketingTO event earlier this month to encourage startups to go beyond traditional boundaries and focus on collaboration as a way to achieve business growth. Toronto’s brand marketers, advertising agencies, and technology companies came together to share stories about what happens when three interdependent ecosystems are integrated. Rory Capern, former Managing Director of Twitter Canada and now VP of Partnerships at Pelmorex, shared his story at the inaugural event.

With 10 years of experience at companies like Twitter, Google, and Microsoft, where marketing, adverting, and technology work hand-in-hand, Capern has a belief that the industry going forward should be to think in an integrated way. In the video below, Capern states that the goal of all companies – and of all the departments at these companies – is to sell things and make money, and that goal is more easily achieved if the walls between these three channels are broken down.

“Let’s stop talking about these things as disconnected. They’re actually totally required for each part of the chain to be successful.”

“What I’m asking for this evening is integrative thinking. Let’s stop talking about these things as disconnected. They’re actually totally required for each part of the chain to be successful. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, the ability to think in an integrated way, the ability to use all of this technology to figure out how they all interoperate is where we have to go if we want to continue to drive better results,” he says.

Capern identifies three specific walls that exist between key areas in the industry, including performance and branding, creative and media, and MarTech and AdTech. He discusses the idea of the “solve”, which has been at the heart of the advertising world with forefathers like Wanamaker. For Capern the “solve” is an industry where these departments work together as a chain with links.

Though the tech world is evolving and some companies are taking down walls, Capern believes the problem now lies in speed and understanding. He emphasizes that putting these businesses together is just the first step, but the problems are not going to be solved by this step. He proposes a plan of action that includes aggregating roles, creating a demand in clients for a no walls system, and integrating data.

“We happen to be living a country that’s pushing the envelope with technology that we need to get there. The challenge today is getting signal from noise,” he says. Now we can process all the information, but we have to determine what matters and that’s a difficult question to answer when you get behind the dashboard of a marketing campaign. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s a successful result and how do you measure it? Those are three simple little questions but to get to the bottom of that and to understand its root is hard. We need thinking marketers who are analysts. We need to break down the walls.”

You can hear Capern’s full story below:


Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari is a freelance writer who has been published in many Toronto-based publications, including Hazlitt and Torontoist. When she’s not re-watching Hitchcock movies, she’s working on her collection of short fiction inspired by stories from her grandmother, one of the few women in India to receive post-secondary education in English literature at the time.

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