optimize marketing technology stack with unified customer data

Marketing technology is a bridge that enables marketers to create, nurture, enhance, automate, and measure consumers’ brand interactions. Savvy marketing leaders are adopting innovative marketing technology (or “MarTech”) solutions to understand how people move through the entire customer lifecycle. Much of marketing in the digital age is centered on using this technology to access and analyze big data, collected through consumer interactions and engagements, to form predictions about future behaviors. Knowledge of the customer is a top priority for marketing professionals and marketing organizations.

The challenges marketers face in terms of customer knowledge are often tied to customer data that isn’t integrated or unified. Reaching your customers across the multitude of digital touchpoints that exist is difficult to achieve when your data lives within separate point solutions across your organization.

The Customer is the Center of the Universe

Marketing has evolved into a customer-centric discipline, which places the individual customers at the heart of marketing design and delivery. As brands fight for customer loyalty, it is crucial for marketers to utilize their data in the interest of their customer. As customers have different behaviors and preferences, customer-centric marketing moves past a “one size fits all” approach to cater to the individual. As a customer-centric marketer you are always working towards gaining a 360-degree view of your customer and their journey with your business. Synthesizing these rich insights about individual customers is only possible with a unified data set, at the center of an optimized and integrated MarTech stack.

Do you have a MarTech Stack or just a stack of marketing technology?

MarTech tools are often SaaS platforms that offer a variety of solutions like marketing automation, social media engagement, AdTech, content management systems, analytics tools, and others. These MarTech tools span the following core categories: Automation, Advertising, Content, Analytics and Reporting. These numerous, often non-integrated tools collect and store data about each customer across different teams and departments. The data is at risk of becoming fragmented, leading to fragmented marketing, which in turn makes marketers struggle to obtain a 360-dgree view of each individual prospect or customer. Data silos prevent organizations from delivering a consistent, holistic customer experience.

(Example of what a typical marketing stack might look like)

The Challenge: Breaking Down The Silos

We have known data silos are bad for the last 30 years, but yet we are still talking about them! To quote Cyfe, “Data silos exist separately; without sharing, cross-referencing, interpreting, adding to each other’s self-contained data sets”. There are many reasons for these data silos, but we all agree that if you control your data you control your business’ future.

Corporate structure can play a role in how these silos are created. They exist because separate business units within a company collect data for a particular purpose. This does not lend well to the sharing of data. For example: a typical marketing department will have specific individuals or teams using different platforms for each marketing objective. These separate teams will have ownership over the data being aggregated by “their” tool, often resulting in a siloed data view. If each piece of the marketing puzzle is assigned its own MarTech solution, it will become harder and harder to integrate all that data.

Any established company that has gone through various leaders, philosophies and acquisitions will experience incompatible systems. As companies grow over time and as leadership roles change, vendors relationships can change too. Sometimes that growth can come in the form of acquisitions, where the organizations involved have not only completely different philosophies but also different systems and an overlap in vendor service providers. Typically, these systems are incompatible, can’t communicate and can become obsolete. The result is, more siloed data and a cumbersome workflow.

Making matters even more challenging the marketing technology landscape is rapidly evolving with thousands of different software technologies crowding the market. From 2017-2018 there was a 27% increase in MarTech solutions being offered. This image (see below) from Chief Martech demonstrates the 6,829 martech vendors available. With the amount of MarTech vendors available, businesses have a much higher chance of falling victim to data silos within each single platform or tool.

The Solution: Unified Data on a CDP

To ensure the flow of data is flawless, you need to go beyond the marketing technology platforms. Everything has to come together like a well-oiled machine, which requires all the working parts to be in perfect working order. This happens when you successfully merge all fragmented data sources into one central place. Previously siloed data sets will be able to communicate with each other for the first time. This type of convergence holds the potential to unlock breakthroughs that weren’t previously accessible, including an unrivaled level of customer centricity.

Enter the CDP

Marketers’ frustration over disconnected customer data and eagerness over unifying it has inspired a new set of MarTech solutions: Customer Data Platforms (or CDPs). Per Gartner, “A CDP is a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modeling and optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers.”

CDPs centralize data collection, unify customer profiles from disparate sources, create and manage segments, and activate those segments in priority channels. The CDP is both the foundation for data-driven marketing and customer-centric marketing, with comprehensive data making a single customer view possible. Marketers are able to draw on first-, second-, and third-party customer data when planning and executing marketing efforts. From the customer’s perspective, this means more meaningful, relevant, and timely touchpoints throughout the customer journey.

When evaluating the CDP marketing place, marketing leaders should gain an understanding of how the CDP ingests data and how it integrates with your internal and external data sources. This will help you determine whether you just need a CDP solution or a marketing cloud with an underlying CDP, depending on the current execution platforms in place.

How Can Mapp Help?

Mapp Cloud is the unique combination of a marketing cloud, a DMP and CDP, helping you consolidate many technologies into one platform. With an execution layer on top of the CDP, you can launch cross-channel campaigns from a unified data set.

Mapp’s comprehensive solution is designed to support customer acquisition and customer engagement. Your marketing teams will be able to coordinate, build, and automate campaigns across email, mobile, social, and web, as well as share and view data analytics. Any data from your external vendors will also be unified in Mapp’s CDP.

The result is the ability to trigger the right message in the right channel at the right time! This will ensure consistent, meaningful touchpoints throughout your customers’ entire journey with your brand.

Check out the webinar replay on this topic to learn even more about how Mapp can help you optimize your MarTech stack with unified customer data:

Wrap-Up: From Data Silos to Unified Data

Don’t let your MarTech stack become the source of fragmented data. Focus on data strategy rather than technology platforms, bring all your data together to uncover everything there is to know about your (prospective) customers. The end goal is to create a single profile of a customer with a 360-dgree view of their brand interactions. By aligning deep customer insights with communications and operational processes, a company can drive sustainable results and become truly-customer centric.

If you’re ready to see a demo of how Mapp Digital can help your company, email hello@mapp.com.