Whether you are pursuing an open platform or the elusive all-in-one marketing suite as your marketing tech solution, the need — right now — to connect and integrate marketing systems at the most basic levels is absolutely essential to obtaining the data you need to get your job done. The good news is despite the omnipresence of the Marketing Frankenstack (glued together marketing systems from different providers), this is very doable with today’s abundance of APIs provided by “Marketing Cloud” providers.
My Integrate colleagues and I see this every day as we work with marketing groups of all sizes using Integrate’s software to connect critical data and processes to various marketing automation and CRM systems. Many APIs for marketing integrations exist. The key to success is a solid understanding of your technical systems, needs, processes and skills and just a small bit of time to execute the APIs. Let’s walk through a case study of how API integrations can work for a typical marketing organization.
I will use Marketo, a leading marketing automation provider that has committed to an open “customer engagement platform” approach, as an example (Integrate is a Marketo LaunchPoint partner). Marketo’s API functionality (specifically Webhooks) is well documented. Just Google “Marketo Webhooks” and see the staggering results. Let’s dig into the actual execution of APIs, using prospect and media data integrations with Marketo for closed-loop marketing as an example.
Marketers often rely on third-party media providers to generate new prospects. Cleansing, validating and uploading the generated data is often still a very manual process that can be automated by software to increase data quality and lead velocity. This is the first place where I frequently witness the effectiveness of API integrations. Automating the delivery of leads from media partners into a Marketo account using a solution such as Integrate’s software takes a total of seven steps. Seven quick steps eliminates marketers from having to upload batch lead files. Of course, you always want to test to assure full integration. We find our marketing customers are validating leads sent directly to their marketing automation account, increasing lead velocity immediately. It really is becoming that easy. (Click here to see the steps required).
Another situation in which I witness API effectiveness regards sending lead dispositions back to the customer data acquisition solution (in this case Integrate’s) to analyze and optimize media programs quickly, precisely and effectively (this is known as closing the loop). Using APIs such as Marketo Webhooks to pull data from its system and into Integrate’s accelerates and improves optimization by feeding data back to media partners as leads are scored, nurtured, and matured to sales-ready leads (or even customers). Setting up this API integration is a bit more time intensive: 12 steps. We do this all the time with positive results and happy marketers.
The value of real-time lead delivery and closed-loop analytics is self-evident. But the real point is that they’re easy to set up and they work. Does this mean open platforms are always a better solution? Of course not.
The marketing suites made available by providers such as Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe and IBM are in many ways tailored to a few specific industries, company sizes and specific environments. Each organization differs; their specific process, existing technologies and even people (culture) will determine whether many integrations through an open platform or a suite solution (which often also requires separate integrations) will work best for them. Integrations are not only feasible, they’re becoming very necessary in all aspects of marketing as data grows at an exponential rate, along with the solutions designed to properly leverage it.
Go ahead. Jump in and get Integrated.