Mapp vs. The World: Cross-Channel Marketing Platforms Redefined

Mapp vs. The World: Cross-Channel Marketing Platforms Redefined');

Did you know that there are 267 automation and campaign management vendors in the 2019 Martech report? Forrester only acknowledges 42 of them. They group them by revenue size (Large, Midsize, and Small), and cut the list down even more to the cream of the crop (if we say so ourselves). We’re very excited to have been included by Forrester among the top 9 cross-channel marketing platform providers in their new study titled The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management (Independent Platforms), Q4 2019. Check out our press release with all the details here.

Although we didn’t win gold, Mapp has finally been recognized by analysts as a competitive cross-channel engagement platform. But through the whole evaluation process, we’ve realized that we don’t fit into the pre-defined analyst categories perfectly. Mapp is so much more now, especially with the acquisition of Webtrekk, that it makes us wonder if there is a better way to define the cross-channel category.

How is the category currently defined?

Analysts define the cross-channel platforms in different ways:

  • Forrester labels it as Cross-Channel Campaign Management Platforms (CCCM):  “An enterprise marketing technology that supports customer data management, analytics, segmentation, and workflow tools for designing, executing, and measuring campaigns for digital and offline channels.”
  • Gartner refers to it as Multichannel Marketing Hubs (MMH):  “A technology that orchestrates a company’s communications with and offers to customer segments across multiple channels… Multichannel marketing hubs help brands create, orchestrate, execute and measure their customers’ experiences across devices and channels.”
  • G2Crowd names it as Marketing Automation Platforms: “These tools provide a central marketing database for all marketing information and interactions, helping marketers create segmented, personalized and timely marketing experiences for customers or prospects. A key component of marketing automation tools is the provision of analytics features to measure the impact of an entire campaign across segments and channels.”

They all have one thing in common: cross-channel marketing should come with analytics. But here lies the problem: analytics as an add-on is not enough. While all analysts recognize the importance of analytics, the main focus is placed on measuring and analyzing results, rather than putting insights at the core of campaign orchestration. The true power lies in insights-driven marketing; marketers need insights in real-time to inform and improve marketing programs.

Let’s first clarify some terminology here, as they often get mixed up in all the marketing buzz:

  • Data is the raw and unprocessed facts that are usually in the form of numbers and text. Data often lives in databases and spreadsheets.
  • Analytics is how you make sense of your data, uncovering patterns and trends which otherwise might have remained buried. Data is more or less useless without analytics.
  • Insight is the value obtained through the use of analytics. Insights provide the “aha-moment” that sparks smart new marketing movements. The insights gained through analytics can be used to grow your business while identifying areas of opportunity.

Therefore, the real value of data and analytics lies in their ability to deliver insights. You can have endless amounts of data, but you need to be able to digest and organize it in a way that allows you to pull out valuable insights. The best insights are actionable, as they can be used to take immediate action that will improve your marketing and will inform your future path.

We feel that the definitions and criteria set forth by analysts are missing a key piece of the cross-channel platform: insights at the core of the technology. Analytics and insights are not just an add-on, after the fact, but should drive cross-channel engagement. More weight needs to be placed on this all-important piece of the cross-channel campaign management arena.

New definition, new criteria

Lack of insights equates to lack of engagement. Insights are what allows brands to really understand their customers and empowers them to create meaningful engagements. This is only possible if marketing execution is triggered off of real-time insights. As a result, the market is evolving from “cross-channel campaign management platforms with analytics” to “insight-led customer engagement platforms.”

An Insight-led Customer Engagement Platform sounds great, right? But also quite abstract. When you put insights at the center of a platform, it looks something like this:

  • Engagement based on a real-time, unified customer profile
  • AI-generated customer insights to learn from the past and the present to predict future customer behavior
  • Marketing activation on those actionable insights
  • One-to-one personalization, including predictions, recommendations and churn prevention
  • Cross-channel execution (email, push, SMS, social, web)
  • Direct connectivity with a multitude of data sources (CRM, eCommerce, loyalty)

The most important part of this new definition is putting the right emphasis on analytics and insights in the cross-channel marketing game. To put it in visual terms, platforms that follow the traditional definition for CCCM and MMH look like this:

Data ⇨ Cross-channel Execution ⇨ Analytics

This equation puts analytics at the end of the sequence as a way to measure results and improve subsequent campaigns. The approach often entails scheduling time to analyze performance in order to optimize mid-campaign.

However, we propose a different equation to go along with our new definition of an Insight-led Customer Engagement Platform:

Data Insights Cross-channel Engagement

This formula puts insights at the core of the technology, using data to generate actionable insights that trigger marketing engagements. In a way, it is reversing the order of where and how insights are used within a marketing execution platform. The modern marketer is looking for a marketing platform that goes beyond cross-channel marketing + analytics, but instead uses customer insights as a means to drive and improve engagement.

Mapp: an insight-led customer engagement platform

Since the acquisition of Webtrekk, our focus has been to create real, reliable marketing insights that enable this one-to-one level of personalization. These insights provide the foundation for all future cross-channel marketing efforts. We don’t like mediocre results; not for us and also not for our customers. Therefore, our goal is to create extraordinary customer experiences and provide all the numbers to show that our approach is working.

And we are proud to report that less than half a year after Webtrekk joined the Mapp family, no other platform can provide the level of granular marketing analytics and customer insights and combined with cross-channel customer engagement. As of today, most companies struggle to truly understand their customers. We hope to provide companies without big data science resources with the marketing insights that will ultimately lead to self-driving and self-optimizing campaigns.

Ricardas Montvila, our Senior Director Global Strategy at Mapp comments: “What Mapp truly prides itself on is granular marketing analytics and customer insights, combined with cross-channel customer engagement, which is unmatched across the digital marketing ecosystem. In our view, the market and our customers are currently heading towards the area of Insight-led Customer Engagement rather than Cross-Channel Campaign Management with Analytics.”

All Mapp products are designed to improve the customer experience and create a loyal following based on recurring purchases. Our modules are intertwined and serve each other, ultimately creating Mapp Cloud. More specifically, Mapp Intelligence is the “brain” of Mapp Cloud – and the marketer’s go-to for cross-channel analytics and insights. Mapp Acquire collects data and allows for audience grouping and segmentation. Said audiences are then delivered to Mapp Engage for successful cross-channel marketing execution. With Mapp Cloud’s modules working together, automated, personalized messages are distributed in the most suitable marketing channel, at the right time, with the optimal contact frequency.

Wrap up

While the rest of the “world” is building cross-channel campaign management platforms with analytics, Mapp is breaking away and redefining the category by putting insights at the core of the technology. Moving towards an insight-led customer engagement model will make sure that marketers don’t miss the chance to truly know their customers and uncover those “aha-moments.” With Mapp Cloud, businesses can lay the foundation for real differentiation and competitive advantage.

Would you like to learn more about our cross-channel marketing platform with insight-led customer engagement at it’s core? Get in touch.

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