Over the last few years, the marketing landscape has become increasingly complex with more products and more vendors. Deciding which platforms to use is becoming more of a challenge and there are no straightforward ‘one-size-fits-all’ answers.
The growing number of platforms
A recent survey by chiefmartec.com showed the number of marketing technology vendors has increased from around 100 companies in 2011 to over 900 in January 2014.
Behind this growth, has been the huge innovation in marketing over this time. The increase in the number of platforms simply shows how much marketing has evolved, and the pace of change is not likely to slow down in 2015.
It is not just that the number of similar products has increased. The entire nature of these products has also become a lot broader as marketing teams look for new and better ways to engage potential customers and measure success.
The increasing role of marketing
Today’s customers are “always on” and they expect to interact with your business whenever and wherever they choose. It is now part of the marketing team’s role to build and nurture these leads across a much wider range of channels.
This represents a significant leap from what has worked well in the past. Marketing teams are now having to become much more scientific and data-driven in their approach, and are relying more and more on technology to do this.
While selecting the right technology platforms has become incredibly important, it is not the only hurdle that marketing teams face. Another challenge is to keep the conversation as human as possible. Customers expect simple and relevant communications at each step in the buying cycle.
This means integrating your data across all customer touchpoints, and marketing, sales and IT teams need to work together to achieve this.
Potential customers will usually make several interactions before becoming a fully qualified lead. Deciding where information should be stored is one element that needs to be planned out carefully. Your marketing teams will want to work within the digital platform but your sales teams will want to work within CRM.
A great customer experience
Once you have brought the data together, it becomes possible to deliver a great customer experience, where a customer can interact with your business in any way that they chose.
It is the marketing team that will be responsible for delivering this. The real challenge will be to put the processes and practices into place across the business to deliver this.
This may seem a little daunting. The best place to start is by developing a plan to join up your systems and data. That way you can move towards a consistent customer experience.
Most companies are still in the early stages such transformations. The rapid growth in the technology landscape is simply reflective of this.