Falling into bad habits is easy, especially when the marketing technology landscape is so complex and overwhelming. But contributor Erik Bratt urges you to avoid these cardinal errors.
Are you the master of your martech domain?
Many of today’s marketers might be hesitant to respond in the affirmative, given the current jumbled landscape of siloed technologies, fragmented data sources, and missed opportunities. These days, the only way for marketing professionals to truly be in control is to try and avoid these seven deadly sins of marketing technology:
Sin #1 – AVOIDANCE Of Developing A Martech Strategy
Making the best use of technology is difficult enough without having some semblance of a strategy to guide you.
This includes understanding the appropriate solution mix for your business’ needs; how these solutions can work together to create additional synergies; and making sure you have the right personnel and processes to manage and optimize these key applications.
The rewards for strategic marketers are big: 42 percent of senior marketers who define and own their martech strategy see a greater business impact than those who do not, according to a recent CMO Council study, “Quantify How Well You Unify.”
Sin #2 – NEGLECT Of The Data Layer
Quite simply, the data layer is the most strategic asset in today’s marketing technology stack, helping break down the silos that exist between applications, channels and devices.
Sandwiched between the application and the user experience layers, the data layer is comprised of all the behind-the-scenes data and structure that drive customer interactions in web, mobile and other digital channels.
The data layer standardizes the different data definitions from each vendor so that marketers can gain a holistic view of the customer journey and act upon that data to drive more targeted, cross-channel interactions. The data layer allows an organization to set up additional visitor profiles that can be accessed by all of its key marketing vendors.
Sin #3 – AMBIVALENCE About A Real-Time Data Infrastructure
Increasingly, modern marketing is about being able to respond to customer behavior in a true real-time manner. This means collecting, segmenting, enriching and acting on customer data within milliseconds, not hours, days or weeks.
The marketing end-to-end infrastructure must be able to not only ingest data quickly from different applications and channels, but to process it and send it back to vendors in real time to take advantage of customer interaction opportunities.
Think about personalizing content and offers that may need to change from page to page, or having the ability to act upon abandoned cart contents on a timely basis.
By sending customers a reminder email in one hour or less, family history site Ancestry.com (Note: a client) shows that it can increase its reach to potential cart abandoners by 60 percent. The effectiveness of re-engaging those same customers drops to 5 percent after more than hours. Clearly, low-latency marketing is critical to today’s enterprise.
Sin #4 – IGNORANCE Of Best-In-Class Vendors
The era of “Software as a Shackle” is over. Thanks to new thinking and new applications, brands no longer need to be victims of “vendor lock-in,” wherein once the solution was fully deployed, it wasn’t worth the hassle of ripping out that code in favor of new vendors.
Using tag management, marketers can add, edit or remove almost any solution via an intuitive web interface, without resulting to software coding. (Disclosure: my employer offers tag management technology.)
This new freedom makes it easy to swap out and even test different vendors against each other to determine which solution is best for a marketers’ business needs. It also gives them greater leverage because they have more choice and flexibility than ever before.
Sin #5 – DISREGARD For Getting The Right Resources
If you’ve ever used an enterprise-class marketing automation tool or an enterprise analytics solution, you know how much work is required to make those tools successful.
At my own company, we brought in a technology expert well before we invested in a new marketing automation platform. As a result, we were able to be more efficient and successful right off the bat.
It’s a mistake to buy advanced tools and systems and not invest in the right resources to manage and optimize them. Success requires that you have the proper dedicated resources to deploy these solutions effectively so you can use them to their full potential. Otherwise, your expensive cloud solutions will be sitting on the virtual shelf, gathering virtual dust.
Sin #6 – ACQUIESCENCE Of Lengthy Deployments
It’s no longer permissible in modern marketing to wait days, weeks or months to implement a key solution, especially with the rise of tag management solutions, which take much of the friction out of the deployment process.
Deploying a solution quickly means generating revenue and improving the customer experience that much faster. Seventy-eight percent of respondents in a not-yet-released Econsultancy survey, “The ROI of Tag Management,” (a follow-up to the 2012 version sponsored by my employer) said that tag management positively impacts the speed at which companies can run marketing campaigns; 44 percent said it significantly increases their campaign velocity.
Sin #7 – DENIAL Of Unified Marketing
Marketers have been talking about delivering the right message, at the right time, at the right place for decades.
That capability is now a reality, but it requires a commitment to avoiding many of the sins listed above. The reason you ultimately want to unify your applications and data is to be able to drive those consistent, timely omni-channel interactions.
The marketers which focus on bringing unified marketing to life will gain a competitive advantage while engaging customers in new and exciting ways.
To be the master of your martech domain requires smart thinking and extraordinary discipline, but it’s absolutely critical to progress to the next level of marketing.
Am I missing any martech sins? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.