When it comes to choosing digital tools, marketers are often faced with the choice of a single vendor application suite or multiple best-of-breed packages for different functions. A new study shows that marketers are divided on which is the best approach.
The research, from the Winterberry Group and the IAB, revealed that one of the marketing industry’s biggest challenges is establishing how to gather, merge and activate cross-channel data.
Marketers say that neither suite or best-of-breed solutions currently available solve this problem, regardless of how they build their technology ‘stacks’.
The study found that marketers are increasingly demanding interoperable tools that will help them reach the holy grail of seamlessly harnessing and deploying customer engagement data across devices and channels. Signal, a global leader in real-time, cross-channel marketing technology, co-sponsored the study entitled Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity.
“Marketers are on a journey to unlock the power of their data by unifying it across desktop, mobile, CRM, email, point-of-sale and more. Their vision is to create a seamless experience for customers, but many brands are stuck in first gear because of the complex and difficult task of connecting massive amounts of fragmented data,” said Mike Sands, Signal’s CEO.
Among the key findings in the study:
Complexity is the norm. Enterprise marketers on average use more than 12 distinct toolsets to support data-driven marketing efforts. A notable minority (9 percent) regularly work with 31 or more.
• Platform integration is a key hurdle. More than 60 percent of marketers said better integration of existing tools would help them derive greater value from data.
• Marketing technology is data-dependent. The most commonly used toolsets – such as analytics platforms powering audience segmentation and predictive modeling – rely on a constant feed of consumer data to perform well.
• Cross-channel marketing is an unrealized goal. Less than half of marketers are leveraging data and technology for key cross-channel initiatives such as targeting, engagement and measurement.
• Organizational siloes hinder integration. Within the typical marketing organization, five stakeholder groups – including digital, analytics, media-buying, loyalty, and direct marketing – utilize different tools.
• Interoperability has become critical. Along with scalability and real-time processing of big data, it’s a top criteria driving future technology purchases.
“This new report confirms that marketers are in early stages of their evolution toward a cross-channel future. They’ve invested significantly in an expanding array of sophisticated toolsets, but there’s a maturity gap. Regardless of whether marketers choose suite, cloud or independent solutions in their stacks, fueling these technologies with cross-channel data requires an integrated data layer as the foundation,” said Marc Kiven, Signal’s Founder and CEO.
Signal’s Fuse Open Data Platform is the only solution built for the express purpose of solving these challenges and closing the maturity gap. It offers a cross-channel data foundation that empowers marketers with any type of stack to build a single view of the customer.
“Fuse streamlines and simplifies the gathering and centralization of data from web, mobile and offline channels,” Kiven said. “Signal merges fragmented customer data and activates data to deliver the right personalized message across relevant channels – all at a real-time pace.”