Do acronyms like ERP, DW, CRM, CMS, API, DMP, MA, DAP give you a headache and you don’t know how to orchestrate your technology stack? Or do you have problems how to collect and manage your data? Or do you have problems how to activate your data and get the business benefits? If you answered yes, It might be worthwhile to read this blog post.
Our Managing Director Jukka Sundquist wrote earlier in The Nordic Morning blog how to turn your company into growth making machine: https://www.nordicmorning.com/latest-thinking/1088/
In that post Jukka mentioned that one important part of building the growth is data and technology. At the moment companies are spending more and more money on marketing technology and data capabilities so I decided take a closer look at the subject and try to give you few tips how to get started / go forward:
1. Start from your business
When you start to think about the optimal marketing technology stack, you need to start from your business objectives and work yourself down the ladder through marketing and digital marketing objectives. This way you can make sure you are on the right track to support your business and growth with your marketing technology stack. On the other hand, if you don’t have a proper marketing technology stack, it might prevent you reaching your objectives and you give an unnecessary competitive edge to your competitors.
2. Focus on the data
All or at least most of the data you need already exists somewhere. It could be in the silos of our organisation, with your marketing partners or with other third party vendors. To bring and collect all this data together you need the right technologies but it is not enough. Data itself is not that useful but the insights you get from the data and the decisions you make based on them are the ones which bring you the benefits and enable the growth.
As Jukka puts it in his article: “You need capability to manage and analyze the data sets. Once this is in place, the data can be used to start building a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey and experience in order to make customer acquisition and lifetime value as good as possible while making the customer experience better at the same time.”
To get started you most likely find data to enhance your marketing from your ERP and/or CRM platforms. You might need tag management, data warehousing and dashboards to orchestrate your data sources and visualize it to make it more understandable. To be able to analyse your digital asset you need to have tag management done correctly, measurement and analytics tools to find the insights and (Customer) data management platform to make the data actionable. In quite many cases you also need people who can bring data sources together and analyse the data. Good news is that some of the tools start to have quite good Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities to help with analyzation.
3. Make your data actionable
As stated earlier some of the growth can come directly from understanding your customers better but, to boost that growth you need to make the data actionable in every part of the customer journey.
To be able collect your customer data and reach your customer segments with the right marketing message in the right time in any channel you most likely need a (Customer) Data Management Platform i.e. DMP maybe powered with a sophisticated tag management platform. The data you use can be from your CRM, analytics tools, campaigns or from any data partners you might have. When using this data your marketing will be more effective because the delivery of your advertising or any other content or service is more targeted, relevant and personalized (right time, right message, right people).
On top of the DMP you might need these technologies to activate your data and deliver your message in owned, paid and earned channels: Ad buying & campaign management platforms, content delivery and personalization tools, customer engagement platforms, email delivery tools or marketing automation platforms. Most sophisticated Marketing Automation platforms or so called Marketing Clouds could handle most of this but you can also see that on the price tag as well.
But remember, without data these activation or delivery tools are, if not completely useless, but ineffective at least.
4. Think about the connectivity
When you start thinking and building your marketing technology stack, pay some attention to the connectivity between different platforms. It is important that the data is valid, able to flow between the platforms and is actionable as mentioned above. The most popular platforms have quite good API connections but be prepared that you might need to do some custom work or coding of your own. Some of the connectivity issues can be avoided by taking a full-stack marketing platform but, be prepared for higher investments and a potential vendor lock-up. One good option could be to use sophisticated tag management platform as the core of the whole stack.
It is worth to spend some time thinking about the connectivity, since you will most likely save time and resources in the long run but also making sure that your Martech choices are not blocking your growth opportunities in the future.
5. Be Agile
It might be wise to be agile when choosing your data and marketing technology stack. Think about your business goals and your budget, don’t necessarily go all-in immediately. Make a proof of concept / business case with lighter or inexpensive tools: test, get quick learnings, even fail if needed and then start building on that. If it seems that it makes sense to start building a proper stack, do it. You have then done the proof of growth.
But also remember, when developing your Data and Martech stack for growth it is a continuous process. As Jukka mentioned in his blog: “Building the Growth does not happen overnight. It is constructed in small pieces and tangible milestones, in an agile manner and creating growth all the time during the process.”
We at Klikki and Nordic Morning Group can help clients to audit their Data and Marketing technology stack, create the most suitable strategy to go forward, help to implement technologies and increase the competence to use them. Together we can build the most suitable Data and Technology stack for the future growth. If reading this inspired you and brought ideas how we could work together, please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more!