The most common question we get is what Martech platforms to invest in. A lot of effort is put into requirements, procurement, and implementation of new Martech – but the result is too often not better personalization, lower campaign costs, or a higher automation grade that companies were looking for. Too often, the shiny new platforms are still used in exactly the same way as the old technology.
That’s because no matter what the platform suppliers want us to believe – marketing automation is not a technology arms race. The leaders in the space are not the organizations that have the best Martech platforms, the coolest AI applications, or the most messages sent. You need more than just technology – you need skills, data, and a new way of working. As Ian Wilson, senior director of marketing at Heineken put it when I attended websummit in Lisbon a few years ago, “We have the best Martech stack money can buy – now I need the people that can operate it.”
The leaders in marketing automation have understood that and focus beyond the platforms to create real change:
- Marketing automation is not a marketing discipline – it is a customer discipline – It might sound counter-intuitive as marketing is in the name, but leaders don’t treat marketing automation as marketing, they use it as the glue that holds the customer journey together. They have integrated their marketing automation team with their CX team with a goal of coordinating all notifications to customers, and marketing automation plays a role in marketing campaigns, in ecommerce, in loyalty and in customer support.
- It demands a new breed of marketers and agile ways of working – Good marketing automation is based on understanding customer insights, the data you have, your toolset and to have the ability to use that to create relevant customer communication. In a traditional marketing process where each of these are separate steps you will have frustrated creatives on the one end and frustrated platform specialists on the other. The leaders have embraced data-driven marketing by integrated analytics, implemented cross-functional teams and agile ways of working – in marketing automation data, analytics, and tech must be fully integrated with creative to be efficient.
- Personalization is the goal – and data is the fuel – Data is the single biggest blocker to getting marketing automation right. Some companies have enormous amounts of data that sit in systems that are not integrated. Others have no direct customer relationships and suffer from too little data. What distinguishes the leaders is that they have a clear data strategy based on their circumstances; they have identified what data they need, how they will collect it, store it, and make it available and then step by step changes their data landscape to support the comms activities.
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This blog is authored by Malin Hendriksen, marketing automation expert at Capgemini Invent.