Breaking down silos in the marketing tech landscape
By Jeroen Verdonk | 06 May 2016
It’s an understatement to say that the technology landscape has grown. It has, in fact, blown up. From martech, to adtech, to fintech, the logos on Scott Brinker’s marketing technology landscape, representing the marketing technology industry, has nearly doubled in just over a year. As a result, a challenge marketers face today is how to deliver relevant, consistent customer experiences that build their brands while filtering through the clutter of the rapidly evolving marketing technology landscape and removing the silos between these technologies.
In reality, most companies are still at an early stage in the marketing maturity curve and the task of navigating the marketing tech landscape is a daunting one. But, when done right, marketers are able to get better customer insights than ever before. Additionally, they are able to deliver consistent and personalized experiences across all channels, that the rapidly growing 77% of “digital natives” now have come to expect and demand.
Build Relevant Customer Experiences
In the end, integrating key components of the marketing technology stack is what customers are looking for. Scott Brinker predicts that backbone platforms will serve as the foundation of marketing’s technology infrastructure, because they promote open APIs and robust third-party developer communities. Marketing automation, CRM, WCM, and e-commerce engines are increasingly serving as true platforms, with ecosystems of interoperable marketing applications growing around them.
Branding automation software, an example of this backbone platform, automates and streamlines day-to-day operations by making each stage in the content lifecycle more efficient, standardized, and scalable. With it, brand managers can control all stages of the content lifecycle, from the creation of marketing content, to its cultivation and finally consumption across multiple channels such as email, website, and social media. Backbone platforms like branding automation need to be the driving force behind other marketing technologies - not just a standalone solution.
Integration is Key
Technology silos are the biggest barrier to consistent and personalized digital experiences. Siloed teams, practices, systems, budgets, and strategies erode your organization’s digital experience potential, according to Forrester Research, so it’s clear the focus should be on integrating key components of your marketing technology stack. The disruptive nature of today’s digital experience landscape requires solutions that are easily and quickly integrated with other best of breed solutions.
Companies that integrate best of breed technology are more likely to provide personalized customer experiences. For example, merging content management systems (CMS) with best of breed branding automation software truly enables a strong foundation for consistent and personalized customer experiences. The joint solution provides constant feedback on content performance across all channels, enabling businesses to continuously refine their strategy for diverse audiences.
Be Contextually Relevant Across Channels
Whatever terminology we ultimately want to use to describe these technology integrations, without personalization, engaging with brands across touchpoints risks revealing the "ugly welding seams in the customer experience," states Gartner's Jake Sorofman.
Take Coca-Cola, for example. No matter where you are in the world, when you visit their Facebook page, it will take you to one of their many global pages. Coca-Cola’s global pages show locally-specific content, depending on your location. The same goes for Coke’s Twitter feed, with dedicated pages for sub-brands and other products.
Coca-Cola’s customers do not feel the transition between touchpoints and experience a unified brand journey. Personalization, in this case, happens in real time, with consistent branding along the way.
Integrating marketing technologies is essential for any modern digital marketing team. Silos are the biggest barrier to a consistent and personalized digital experiences. Whether you want to use real-time data to send the right content at the right time to the right person, or deliver a consistent brand message across all channels, you need to integrate your marketing technologies. However, integration is just the start. The real competitive advantage comes from formulating a clear directed strategy fueled by real-time insights.