The latest trend in digital marketing is the emergence of various digital marketing platforms. Marketers typically end up using different applications such as a marketing automation platform, a CRM system, and a Web Analytics tool. They might also have a Content Management System for their public-facing website. According to a recent McKinsey study, the ability to generate and leverage deep customer insights is becoming a necessity for marketers to compete effectively.
Multiple digital platforms working in silos do not communicate with each other and thus fail to provide a common view of the customer across multiple channels. This essentially creates a big obstacle in extracting the customer-centric insight from the huge chunks of data collected from the various digital marketing platforms which are working independently. It involves a lot of time and effort to collate this data for analysis.
The solution to this is to deliver a holistic platform that integrates all these digital marketing platforms to create a connected ecosystem and deliver a single view of the customer.
Insights derived from how consumers behave and interact online can inform everything from product development and innovation to sales processes. However few companies are taking full advantage of the opportunity presented by exponentially increasing volumes of customer data. This is partly because there’s no single solution common for all companies. Organizations need to consider factors such as the extent to which digital operations should be integrated within existing commercial functions, whether it should be centralized or regionally based, and how much online activity should be standardized rather than tailored by geography, product, or service. It also requires a commitment to gathering, analyzing, and deploying data much more effectively than most companies currently do.
The optimal digital solution depends on the needs and business goals of an organization and it varies from one organization to another. To obtain the integrated solutions that can manage digital marketing across all channels to drive increased demand generation and customer acquisition, marketers need a systematic approach that, when followed, can lead them to the right mix of capabilities, and eventually, platforms that they would like to implement.
To begin with, the first one needs to understand their customers (their industries, roles, and needs; their buying cycle, pain points, and motivators). This forms the foundation to identify the capabilities that an organization needs to have to market and engage their prospects and customers. Then comes selecting the right digital marketing platforms that will deliver these capabilities and finally, all these platforms need to be integrated to provide that unified engagement framework or holistic solution that will ensure a unified messaging with a single view of the customer across all channels.
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