As Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Unfortunately, as organizations grow, consumer channels multiply, and Big Data gets even bigger, many companies fail to heed these words of wisdom.
Consider the following statistics:
- Just 17% of marketers say their mobile strategy is fully aligned and integrated with their overall marketing (FierceCMO)
- Fewer than 1 in 20 marketers claim that their marketing technologies are fully integrated (Signal)
- Less than 25% of CMOs believe there is adequate collaboration between marketing and IT (Accenture)
Let’s dig a little deeper into these three stumbling blocks, how they affect business performance, and what marketers can do to get past them.
Siloed UX Across Devices
With mobile web usage having officially surpassed desktop usage for the first time early last year (Search Engine Watch), marketers already know the importance of connecting with consumers via smartphones and tablets. However, 83% of consumers say that a seamless experience across devices is important (ExactTarget), requiring marketers to go beyond basic “mobile friendly” experiences.
Unfortunately, this is where the silos set in and marketers fall short. Modern brands must strive to provide users with cohesive journeys as they use multiple devices both simultaneously and sequentially.
The key to doing this successfully? Identity. By asking a user to register and log in across devices, marketers can maintain a single view of the user’s profile and activities, making it possible to create experiences where each device picks up where the last one left off.
Siloed Data Channels
Marketers are implementing a growing number of technologies in an effort to reach their customers across touch points, including email, advertising, social, and more. In fact, according to a recent survey, 53% of marketing departments use five or more marketing technology solutions, while 15% use ten or more (EContent). With each adoption comes yet another source of user interaction and insight.
In theory, this sounds great, but the problem is that none of these siloed systems “talk” to one another, with only 24% of markers claiming to have a clear understanding of their customers across channels (Experian). This leaves marketers with multiple, disparate views of the same exact customer, making it nearly impossible to provide users with relevant experiences and accurately attribute ROI.
Leading brands like Learn Liberty are adopting database solutions that break down data silos by consolidating unlimited volumes and varieties of data across marketing platforms. By housing customers’ permission-based social and on-site behavioral data in an advanced database built with a dynamic schema, Learn Liberty is able to export this information directly into its email automation system of choice, Marketo, using a direct integration. The ability to generate more relevant and timely Marketo campaigns from these insights has resulted in a 152% boost in site referral traffic from email marketing.
Siloed Business Departments
Traditionally, IT and marketing have functioned in two separate spheres of the organization, with IT knee-deep in algorithms and APIs, and marketing laser-focused on crafting the perfect banner ads and email campaigns. But as businesses face increasing pressure to become more data-driven, marketers place a growing burden on IT to turn customer data into actionable insights.
Days are often spent working overtime to crunch numbers and create reports for marketing managers, sales teams, and C-Level execs to quickly digest, many of which are outdated well before completion. 40% of CMOs believe their companies’ IT teams don’t understand the urgency of integrating new data sources into campaigns to address market conditions, while 43% of CIOs say that marketing requirements and priorities change too often for them to keep up (CMO.com).
However, as customer data becomes the linchpin of business success, and CMOs’ technology budgets surpass those of CIOs, there is an unprecedented need for these two departments to collaborate and work closely together. Marketers must turn to IT to implement a dynamic, consolidated customer data management solution that gives them a single view of customers across channels. This solution must also have the power to turn Big Data into digestible, actionable insights for use across marketing platforms and campaigns. Helping marketers manage customer data more effectively ultimately reduces maintenance burdens for IT, leaving developers with more time to focus on innovation.
As customers continue to demand more personalized, seamless experiences, silos within organizations will become increasingly detrimental to marketing success. For more information about how your business can function as a whole rather than “the sum of its parts,” download our white paper, “Achieving A Single Customer View: The Holy Grail for Marketers.”
By Rachel Serpa