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Do marketers have too many tools?

13th Jul 2017
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One look at the 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic tells you we are in a busy space. Look a bit closer and you will see that it now lists over 5,000 different solutions for marketers. Over 5000. Do marketers really need all these tools or does this outsized number reflect a widespread search for the right tools?

Doing it the hard way

We constantly come across stressed out marketers; many spend large chunks of their workday trying to overcome disparate marketing technology and siloed teams when all they really want to do is get their marketing campaigns out the door.

One organization recently walked me through their current campaign process, as follows:

  • Send a brief to IT to pull a selection
  • Wait a few days
  • Receive the counts
  • Review the brief
  • Get updated counts, until finally…
  • The data was ready.

Then, one set of data had to be sent to their ESP and loaded into an email tool, and another set would be sent off to their fulfilment house.

After various rounds of checking and revising counts as additional suppressions were applied, the campaign was ready to go.

Do their lives really need to be that hard? What a time- and resource- killing process. Look familiar? When I asked how they measured the campaign, they said it was virtually impossible; with some data with their fulfilment house and some stuck in their email tool, trying to pull it all together required too much effort and cost. They did have a reporting tool, but is was next to useless as it just didn’t have the right data in it.  They are doing it the hard way and they are far from alone.

Make it about outcomes, not technology

Most marketers that I meet want to focus on delivering a great customer experience, adapting to the needs of their customers in the moment—not spending their life worrying about tech and processes.  They want to be able to quickly turn their ‘whiteboard’ ideas into new campaigns and add real business value on a consistent basis. This is what we call Adaptive Marketing: using technology to focus on outcomes while maximizing the customer experience.

How can we make marketing easier?

First, you can replace all your siloed processes and systems with something that brings everything together. After all, what’s the point of having separate analysis, campaign, email, and reporting tools if you can control them all with one tool? We’ve seen companies deliver 10x productivity improvements in their campaign process and effectiveness by making the switch to provide an Adaptive Customer Experience – one source that can simultaneously achieve a business objective while creating the best brand experience possible. 

It’s not about optimizing channels anymore and chasing every tool that you think might give you a better chance, it’s about using a solution that maximizes every opportunity with each individual customer using the full context of their relationship.

Alternatively, if you have other marketing tools, channels, and systems that you want to keep, you can integrate them. Why not connect all these tools so that they work intelligently together rather than as separate solutions? As a marketer, you can then orchestrate from one place rather than multiple. Scottish Power recently saw a 22% uplift in retention rates by taking this route.

Marketers: step out from the crowd

If you are the typical marketer bursting with ideas, but blocked by your current marketing technology and processes, maybe it’s about time to step out from the crowd, simplify your choices and make the move from typical to Adaptive Marketer.

Roger Luxton is senior solutions consultant EMEA officer at Alterian, an Adaptive Customer Experience company where marketers gain the power to maximize customer opportunity in milliseconds, allowing brands to stay one step ahead of individual customers with the right message no matter where or when they interact.


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Devjeet Singh
By Devjeet
02nd Aug 2017 07:56

Hi Roger,

Great work on the report. The whole sector has exploded as predictions. It is fascinating to observe the growth of this space over the past couple of years because we had only about 1,000 tools available in 2014 and market has grown by 40% in last 1 year. I also feel worth mentioning here that over 2,300 tools have received some sort of investor funding so this sector has become hot cake these days. Let's see what happens in next 1-2 years :-)

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