Thanks to technology, we can now collect mass quantities of data. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated. Furthermore, 90% of the data we have today was created in just the past two years. Data is collected from smartphone GPS signals, weather and climate sensors, social media posts, photos and videos posted online, purchase transaction records, and so much more.
In 2016, a typical day saw:
- 500 million tweets sent
- Over 4 million hours of content uploaded to YouTube
- 3 billion Facebook messages posted with 5.75 billion likes
- 6 billion Google searches
- Over 205 billion emails sent
All of this is in addition to the mass quantities of customer data your company collects through its website, e-commerce store, mobile app, social platforms, and in its brick-and-mortar stores. That’s an unbelievable amount of information to sift through to find the customer details you need to improve engagement and increase sales.
Collecting the data, is merely Step 1. Unfortunately, integrating the data from a wide range of databases, channels, platforms, tools, and technologies is a herculean challenge. Without being able to simply sync the data across your various platforms, you’ll have to invest time in manually translating all that customer information from one platform to another.
If you can’t integrate those platforms, your data can only provide a fragmented view of customers and their purchasing journey. Additionally, using segmented data from various silos makes it difficult to create and implement an effective, personalized omnichannel marketing strategy, a necessity as marketing continues to evolve.
Integrations between platforms are key to success and will provide marketers with the much sought-after single, unified view of customers in real time.
Why Integrations Are the Answer
The marketer’s problem is not technology. There is plenty of excellent tech available that gives marketers more options than ever before. The hurdle confronted daily by the marketer is how to combine all the data about a customer from a range of sources into one unified profile so interactions with them can be personalized, relevant, and effective.
Unfortunately, this feels like an impossible task for many marketers as they attempt to chart the customer journey blindly without a clear understanding of what the unified data might say about it. You can spend days, weeks, or even months trying to put that puzzle together, but you’ll never quite get there as long as several important pieces are missing.
Without integrating channels and platforms, marketers simply go back to the old way of marketing: collect the data, crunch whatever numbers are available, respond accordingly, hope for the best, and repeat. Instead, marketers need to shift their focus to building a personalized omnichannel strategy, which can only happen when they have a unified collection of all customer data and a robust customer data platform that interprets that data in a meaningful way, a way that keeps all the data synched and up to date.
While marketers are perfectly capable of toggling back and forth between tools, their time is far better spent on marketing strategy. Whether you call it multitasking or task switching, the result’s the same: Productivity nosedives an average of 40%, costing the global economy $450 billion in lost time. Multitasking negatively impacts us in other ways:
- Multitaskers take 50% longer to complete a single task and make up to 50% more errors.
- Whether you multitask or not, we spend an average 1 minute and 15 seconds on a task before being interrupted.
- It takes an average of 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted.
- Massive multitasking can temporarily lower your IQ by up to 15 points.
Yes, multitasking makes us dumber. At least in the short run. We can recover, of course, but try applying this to a marketer using ten different channel management tools. Everyone on the team must learn how to operate, deploy, and integrate each tool, forcing each marketer to switch tools even to carry out basic tasks.
Tomorrow’s most successful marketers will work within a single platform that can integrate all the tools necessary to automate and trigger marketing activities across your online and offline channels. When your team can pull a wide range of sources into a single database that is always up-to-date, they will save hours – perhaps even days – that were previously spent wrangling customer info. Instead, they’ll be empowered to fully focus on strategically leveraging that single platform to reach customers at just the right moment in just the right way.
What to Look For in Platform Integrations
Partner Quality and Diversity
When you’re choosing your B2C marketing platform, you’re also selecting that platform’s partner community. For this reason, it’s important to pay close attention to the quality and diversity of the partners that integrate with your potential platform. The solution could be the best in the world, but if it doesn’t integrate with other platforms—starting with your e-commerce and CRM platforms—then it will become useless.
Not all platform integration solutions are created equal, and you’ll have to do your homework and weed out partners who can’t back up their quality claims. As you research B2C marketing platforms, ask yourself if you would also engage with each platform’s partners independently. If the answer’s no, you must keep looking.
You’re seeking a diverse solution that puts all your data, channels, and tools in one place, but be vigilant: any platform that claims it can do everything probably can’t – at least not very well. Besides, your marketing team most likely doesn’t need everything they offer. Steer your search toward the partners who offer only the features and capabilities your team must have. There are plenty of platforms out there that successfully combine a host of marketing functions in one place. Match up what your team needs with what’s most available in each solution and go after the platforms that score highest.
Lastly, successful marketing is a promise delivery system. Every time you interact with customers, you are making a promise to treat them with respect and tailor your messages and offers to their preferences. The same is true when choosing a platform integration partner. If a prospective partner community says it will elevate the way your marketing team works, how do they plan to execute and deliver on that promise? If they have trouble answering that question, it’s time to resume your search for a partner community that can clearly explain how it will help integrate your platforms, construct a solid omnichannel approach, and reach the promised land of a unified customer profile.
One example of a partnership that works is that of Emarsys and Magento. Customers of Magento enjoy its exceptional e-commerce platform but needed a way to efficiently synchronize all their customer data with an automated email marketing platform. Working with Emarsys, Magento developed an API that plugs directly into the Emarsys B2C Marketing Cloud, ensuring that a marketer’s contact database is updated every time a customer interacts with the brand’s e-commerce site.
These interactions can trigger transactional emails and automated engagement programs, all while reducing or eliminating time-consuming tasks like manually exporting and importing multiple files over fragmented platforms. Ultimately, Emarsys for Magento can turn a marketer’s big data into actionable information. This helps them make more informed marketing decisions and give customers truly personalized shopping experiences.
Multitasking doesn’t help you work any faster or any better. In fact, it’s been proven to lower performance. By jumping back and forth between tools and platforms in an effort to manually sync data to create a unified customer profile, all you’re really doing is wasting valuable time creating incomplete and fragmented reports.
The unified profile is completely possible, however, once you put a comprehensive omnichannel strategy in place. That approach depends on a solid B2C marketing platform and its community of partners. So, choose wisely.
We are on the cusp of a new era in marketing, where online and offline channels come together like never before to paint a detailed picture of the customer you want to reach. Making it to the next level requires trusted partners, and with the increasing number of high-quality platform integrations available through Emarsys, our solution is positioned to help make this transition not only possible but remarkably exciting.
For more on integration partnerships and how Emarsys can aid your company in achieving omnichannel success, take a look at the following related resources.