Marketing technology: The challenge of omni-channel orchestration

Marketing technology: The challenge of omni-channel orchestration

The proliferation of marketing technology poses a major challenge

Not so long ago, the ecosystem of marketing technology – commonly known as “martech” – represented a range of a few hundred applications. Today, according to ChiefMartech.com, there are 6,829 marketing platforms. And this figure is probably underestimated since WordPress alone, for example, is surrounded by a universe of 54,000 plug-ins!
This astounding array of platforms has arisen from the intention of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. However, the more marketers adopt the concept of the customer journey and strive to achieve omni-channel integration of their marketing activities, the more this rapide expansion will become a challenge. Beyond integrating them, we must be able to orchestrate them intelligently and efficiently.

The main categories of marketing tech

Marketing tech applications fall into seven broad categories based on their role in the marketing ecosystem. Most organizations should strive to include solutions from each category. In doing so, they will be in a position to maximize their agility and impact in the marketplace. But let’s not be too naive – many SMEs still don’t  have a website worthy of the name. So we still have a long way to go!
  • Planning and collaboration

    – applications that foster collaboration and optimize the creative process and application development

  • Customer Attraction

    – digital media platforms, social networks, SEO, etc. whose role is to attract potential customers to your website in order to convert them

  • Technical Infrastructure

– platforms that enable web content management, data collection and storage, and integration with enterprise systems

  • Point of sale and eCommerce

– transactional systems that collect customer data and communicate with inventory and fulfillment systems

  • Data and Analytics

– including DMPs and CDPs that consolidate customer data, interpret it and make it available for consumption by other systems

  • Sales and customer service

– CRM and service platforms that unify interactions, provide insight into the customer’s state of mind and context to their interactions
  • Marketing automation platforms

– tools that synchronize and personalize communication, contents and interactions with the customers through various channels in order to follow them through their journey.

The marketing technology challenge, beyond integration

The real challenge of marketing technology is not so much to interconnect them. In fact, most have an open API that makes it easy to exchange data with other platforms. The true challenge is to unify the data and use it to orchestrate marketing activities:
  • First by transforming and consolidating disparate information with a unified customer profile or single view of the customer
  • Then transforming this data into a comprehensive understanding of each customer
  • Then triggering intelligent events that will deliver content that is valuable to the customer
  • And finally, by continuously measuring the impact and optimizing the process.
However, some technologies are more essential than others. For example, without an automation platform, the overall orchestration of customer interactions is impossible. We will be forced to continue working in silos to manage digital, email, social and other channels independently.
For many reasons, Quebec, where we are based, is slow to adopt these platforms. A 2015 CIFRIO study reports that Quebec retailers only collect 26% of online sales made by Quebecers. Meanwhile, the Amazons of this world, with their  mastery of marketing technology, gobble up their market share.
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