We recently released our newest whitepaper “Integrated Marketing Systems: The Essential Guide”. If you’re already sold on the value of integration and ready to put a plan into action, there’s no need to read the rest of this post. Just click the preceding link and get the whitepaper. It contains a simple three-step integration plan any marketing organization can follow to connect disparate marketing tech systems.
If however you’re still unsure whether there's value in connecting your marketing systems, let me share a few things we’ve learned through our efforts to understand the challenges facing marketers today and you can decide if integration is the right step for your marketing organization.
Marketers are heavily investing in technology
According to Gerry Murray at IDC, marketers will spend $20.2B on marketing software this year, and increase this to $32.8B by 2018. That means we’re buying a lot of technology. The intent is that it will help make us better, smarter and more efficient marketers, but with every license comes a new login and new processes in order to make it part of our day-to-day workflows. And eventually, if forced to work in each of these systems separately, we reach our threshold. We spend so much time on manual campaign- and data-management tasks that we have no time to be better marketers.
Automation's promise is not yet paying off
75% of marketing automation adopters claim they’re not receiving the full value from it and 62% report that the use of technology did not result in an increase in sales. When we look at the capabilities of these platforms, there’s no way this can be true if we’re properly implementing and fully leveraging marketing automation. The technology is too powerful for the rewards to not be available. We’re simply missing the mark. We must look at automation across our entire organization, not as it pertains to a single piece of software.
We're still stuck in manual processes
We’ve worked with countless customers who, prior to integrating their media and marketing systems, had full-time employees (even teams) dedicated to managing incoming data from online and offline sources; sorting, cleansing and normalizing it using spreadsheets; and uploading into end-point marketing automation and sales systems. The results of these types of manual processes are crippling—severely affecting data quality, resulting in many lost opportunities, creating an inability to truly measure ROI and negatively impacting customer experience. Plus, I don't know about you, but I sure didn't get into marketing to spend all my time staring at spreadsheets!
Integration is the missing ingredient
The benefits of marketing systems integration are clear. When systems are connected, data moves fluidly without human intervention; we’re able to better understand our customers; it becomes easier to analyze the performance of our campaigns.
I get it though. Integration means change. Changing the way you do things. Changing the way your team and tech are structured. Maybe even changing the priorities of your organization. One thing I know to be true—regardless of the initial effort it takes, change is worth it. It will make your job so much easier in the long run.
Once you’re sold on the importance of integration, the next question becomes “how?” “How do we get executive buy-in that integration is the next most important step? How do we develop a plan to connect our marketing, sales, and customer data systems? How do we know what types of integrations are best for us?”
The answer to those questions are simple. Download the “Essential Guide To Marketing Systems Integrations.” You can use it to develop your business case to gain the executive support you require. It explains the most common types of marketing integrations available. More importantly, you’ll find a simple three-step integration plan that you can follow to become an integrated marketing organization.
Get integrated so you can back to marketing.