Is your infrastructure making your marketing stack work?

Posted on November 23, 2017

Is Your Infrastructure Making Your Marketing Stack Work

Your company’s CMO is now likely to dedicate as much budget to technology as your CIO does. Research by Gartner shows spend on marketing tech continues to climb—on average, 27 per cent of the total marketing budget, or around 3.2 per cent of total company revenue.

Marketers are investing in infrastructure, external services, marketing SaaS platforms and analytics tools. The question is: is that investment creating the right foundations to support and scale both marketing and business success?

Why is marketing technology so important?

As the number of digital channels expands, meeting consumer expectations for a joined-up experience across every touch point with a brand becomes more complicated.

A recent Salesforce survey of more than 7000 consumer and business buyers found that most people expect companies to know and respond to their unique needs. Personalised experiences and customer care also influences loyalty—70 percent of consumers and 82 percent of business buyers agreed.

Data fuels marketing automation and personalisation, informing the creation of targeted content and experiences that consumers crave. A range of technologies have emerged to help marketers to effectively capture, manage, analyse and apply customer (and third party) data.

A brand’s marketing stack should include multiple platforms, with varying levels of integration. Some common tools include: social media and website analytics, customer relationship management systems, email marketing platforms, marketing automation tools, and content marketing systems.

Growing sophistication in marketing technology is all designed to make it simpler for teams to understand and address consumer needs, in a timely and tailored way.

Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising CEO Jodie Sangster said the biggest driver of digital marketing transformation will be focusing on the customer.

“The idea we are trying to get to is the utopia of the right message, to the right person at the right time and be highly relevant and personalised so that we can build and retain our customers. That’s the driver behind it,” Sangster said.

Challenges of building a great marketing stack

Marketing technology is essential to gaining a complete customer view. But an effective stack also relies on the right infrastructure, processes and workflows to ensure that data is high quality, insights are accurate and response times are fast.

Customers don’t just expect well-nuanced interactions, they expect immediacy and reliability. The ultimate promise of the age of digital disruption is speed and convenience—if your marketing team can’t manipulate and use data quickly, you might as well not bother.

Agility can be enhanced by marketing technology, but only if an enterprise is well-equipped with network and cloud services that enable them to make the most of digital tools and ways of working.

For instance, global property group Goodman implemented a private, high-speed cloud connection to Amazon Web Services (AWS), ensuring guaranteed performance of its applications hosted in the cloud. This resulted in a more seamless and reliable transfer of data internally, compared to a VPN.

A survey of marketing professionals in the United States by AdAge found over 50 per cent were using a centralised platform to manage and segment customer data, known as a data management platform (DMP). However, many were disappointed by their DMP.

Among the reasons cited were: technology limitations, and data security issues. The survey revealed that internal implementation and support for the software often posed problems, rather than the products themselves.

Marketing success not only hinges on software, but an uninterrupted internal capacity to process, interpret and transfer information quickly. That requires secure cloud-based applications and data, plus consistent network performance.

Meeting customer expectations requires resourcing

End consumers now have all the power, with technology making it easier for people to research better deals, switch providers or find products that more closely match their needs.

Forrester Principal Analyst, James L. McQuivey, believes that in a world of digital disruption and unprecedented connectivity, leaders need to motivate and enable their teams to embrace the customer more fully.

“That will mean changing the operating model of the organisation to be more customer-obsessed. It will also require that executives consciously lead the organisation to customer obsession,” McQuivey said.

He surveyed executives at an event run by Forrester and found that just 15 per cent believed that they provide the resources the company needs to better serve customers.

Successful marketing depends on data moving between a number of integrated technologies, which in turn requires inter-departmental support in terms of investment, implementation and managing networks and data across an enterprise.

Resourcing the underlying IT infrastructure that makes a marketing stack effective can be enhanced by working with specialists. Network experts that can deliver unified, reliable communications and IT systems will help drive a more customer-centric, omni-channel approach to marketing.

Learn more about ways Vocus can support your company to achieve a truly agile, secure and scalable data networks to underpin marketing excellence by contacting us today.  

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