Companies today are obsessed with delivering great experience to customers. Waking up in the morning every day and asking, “How can we deliver the best experience and value to customers? How can we make it easier and put some sense in the madness?”
The obsession makes sense because delivering superior customer experience has become a defining competitive advantage. Thanks to digital connectivity, companies now have multiple channels to engage with customers, and vice versa. However, it has also made the customer journey more complex than ever, and marketers are struggling to keep up.
Orchestrating a best-of-breed marketing stack
The good news? For every stage of the customer journey, there is a solution or platform that marketers can tap into. This probably explains why from just 150 in 2011, marketing technology solutions increased to 5,381 in 2017, as monitored by Scott Brinker.
Among the gamut of benefits these digital solutions have, it all boils down to leveraging data—at scale—to improve processes and guide decision-making. Before, marketers based a lot (but not all) of marketing activities on gut feelings. Today, they have data that provide in-depth insights and context for any marketing and customer strategy they want to implement.
In fact, according to Deloitte’s manager for customer technology, Calvin Yeoh, marketing automation and the marketing technology stack “add value” and are the “central nervous system that allows companies to orchestrate [customer] experiences at an operational strategic level.”
The existence of more than 5,000 marketing technologies means that there is unlikely a single solution that fits all of marketers’ needs. To successfully create a best-of-breed marketing technology stack, marketers must define and focus on the capabilities they need.
Getting better results in an ecosystem approach
However, there is more than just combining solutions and forming the perfect marketing technology stack. For these technologies to work together, marketers must actively seek an ecosystem approach and select vendors that help them. Forming strong partnerships among themselves and enabling service partners to support and help internal teams to reach the expected results to build a best of breed implementation strategy together.
Beyond API and SDK integrations, vendor partnerships empower marketers to tap resources that may not be available within the organization, easily scale up and down based on changing needs, and gain new skills and access long-term expertise at a lower cost.
Gone are the days of working with just one or two external partners, with multiple channels and capabilities, such as search, social, and content, it’s becoming the norm for marketers to work with numerous specialized partners. Regardless of whether it’s an internal or external team that handles which function, all marketers and vendors involved in an initiative must work as an interconnected ecosystem, collaborating and having the same overarching goal in mind.
Combining this approach with excellent understanding of the customer, marketers get real breakthroughs. In fact, Deloitte found that companies with a collaborative strategy are “twice as likely to outgrow their competitors; and more likely to improve their profit.” It is also already a priority for many CEOs, with 86% saying collaboration is a very important skill, according to a PwC survey.
Preparing for the next steps
With a complex customer journey, and a mixture of internal teams and marketing technology stack vendors, the true value of an integrated ecosystem is driven by the success of everyone involved. As the leader of this collaboration, marketers need to be an effective orchestrator.
As the folks at PwC said, “The collaborative approach is remarkably effective at building consensus, increasing levels of motivation and participation, [and] pulling teams together . . . It provides a fertile ground for experimentation, resulting in more innovative results.”
Now, navigating the complex customer journey can be a little less daunting. With a best-of-breed marketing stack founded on strong vendor partnerships and an ecosystem approach, marketers can truly take advantage of delivering the best experience to customers.
At Mintigo, we want our clients to succeed, and we do that by joining best partner ecosystems that truly offers a wide-range of benefits to our clients. From Oracle Marketing Cloud Marketplace to Marketo Accelerate, to Demand Gen Alliance with our service partner DemandGen, Mintigo strives to create long-lasting, competitive, and valuable partnerships because we believe that collaboration within a mutually beneficial ecosystem is not only the future of the marketing technology space, but also the most efficient and effective way for our clients to deliver dynamic, superior experiences to their customers.