A new report from the CMO Council details the impacts of marketing technology, with a focus on integrated technology strategies. The two most important concepts in the report are easily found highlighted in its title: Quantify how well you unify.
First, some results from the study that jumped out at me:
- Companies that have a formal roadmap for digital marketing technology integration and data unification are achieving more targeted, relevant and efficient customer engagements.
- The most successful companies in the survey have a comprehensive marketing technology strategy and are taking steps to better deploy, manage and integrate their technologies.
- The most successful companies extend their strategies beyond marketing to include sales, product development, etc., and they generate a significantly higher business impact.
So, unification matters not only in your technology stack, but also in how you approach your marketing strategies. Business and technology goals should be aligned. Likewise, everyone benefits when marketing aligns with sales, product development and other areas of the company.
At SAS, we are seeing strong results from a unified strategy, in terms of being able to create more focused interactions with customers and prospects. Our social media guidelines, for example, are global, and so is our social media platform. And we’re replicating many of our most successful digital marketing programs around the world.
In each of these programs, the importance of measuring our activities cannot be overstated. Any time we can show the impact of a particular program, we find more and more proof that digital marketing makes sense.
You might have to use your data to make hard choices, but ultimately the data makes those choices easier. For example, we have shifted our marketing and advertising budgets so that 70-80 percent of our spend is in the digital space. It’s hard to argue with that shift when the metrics support it.
Beyond unifying technologies and strategies, you also have to unify employees around digital marketing. This can be a challenge when some regions, and some individuals are more digitally inclined than others.
Many creative marketers are still very much focused on traditional marketing activities like brochures, print ads and hotel seminars. When you go 80 percent digital, like we have, your marketing programs require a different skill set. You have to develop training programs and talent that support your new digital programs.
Today, your web site is your first impression in the marketplace. It’s one thing to look pretty on your home page. But you can’t stop there. What are you doing to draw people in? That’s where digital marketing comes in. You have to bring people to your Web site, provide downloadable content and give them reasons to keep coming back.
If you can unify your skill sets and tools around that goal, and do it in a measurable way, you’ll see many of the same benefits that the “top companies” in the CMO Council report are seeing.