Marketing has made enormous leaps since digital transformation began nearly two decades ago. Utilising today’s technology, brands are hyper-targeting customers and personalising brand experiences at an extremely high level. Not only this, but this is performed consistently across numerous channels and customer touchpoints.
There's an obvious correlation between the innovation in the field of marketing and the surge in the availability of data and the ability for marketers to actually leverage it with the help of new technologies.
Findings from Gartner provide further proof that data is becoming integral in current marketing plans – with martech spending rising by 30% last year and similarly, WARC revealed that 77% of social media marketers now use martech tools.
To reach every potential customer at every corner with the right message, companies have to strategically manage their customer journeys across all the touchpoints. This requires mass quantities of data to be managed and processed across multiple channels. This is no simple task and not having immediate access to first-party data makes it virtually impossible.
Unsurprisingly then, from Getty to the NHL, many companies are now taking their marketing in-house. By making the move, companies are able to take control of the customer experience and own their customer data.
Speed and Agility Drive the Shift to In-House
It’s no longer effective to communicate with every potential customer in the same manner. Specific audiences demand personalised experiences. Data and AI help brands segment their audience and better serve each segment. That’s where personalisation begins. AI and data analysis are the only options to make scalability practical.
Speed and agility are crucial. Customer touchpoints take place across multiple channels, so it's important for systems to speak to each other quickly, creating a fast data feedback loop.
The most effective marketers tweak their online marketing on a daily or hourly basis and respond to trends or issues as close to real time as possible. Turnarounds, strategy tweaks, and personalisation can be implemented almost immediately when data is stored and analysed in-house. Brands can deliver the experiences customers want through agile personalisation.
Agility is the primary driver for brands to move marketing in-house but integrating and managing all of that data is not a simple job.
The Future of Martech
Martech is making in-housing practical in a way that it simply wasn’t before. Gathering, managing and leveraging data across communication channels meant adding constantly more martech point solutions to the enterprise stack. This enlarged the stacks to a point that it’s highly challenging to visualise key data in a way that’s actionable and at the same time forced businesses to rely on agencies to manage each tool.
More than 50 percent of marketers feel their companies lack the technology to manage content, and 35 percent say they don’t make full use of the technology that they do have. It’s not that the technology doesn’t work; it’s that they haven’t connected their technology in a way that enables them to assess and take thoughtful action.
Touchpoints are everywhere and consolidating key omnichannel data while staying up-to-date takes some pretty intense work. There's now a piece of technology to manage each task a marketer needs to undertake, but it’s still a lot of work to get and analyse data from all those different systems.
Unlike the Sales or Finance departments that have their own specific platforms, marketing is still missing a ‘system of record’, where all the data and work is done on one unified platform.
Fortunately, smart AI solutions are becoming widely available to in-house teams, so brands can get on board the in-house data train. These AI solutions negate the need to gather data from different systems manually and separately. Instead, they aggregate data from across channels onto one AI platform that connects the data dots from various marketing systems.
New solutions connect, manage and leverage data across channels, enabling marketers to create marketing personas to drive strategy, track and analyse campaigns with AI, and identify influencers for each brand. Finally, brands have the tools to manage their entire marketing loop without the need to outsource.
With these solutions, companies are able to own their own customer data. Doing so has now become crucial for them to stay ahead of the game. Data cannot be outsourced but must be managed in-house as part of the holistic whole.
As brands are reaching and engaging with audiences across many channels – from digital to print, broadcast to out-of-home, the attribution model gets complex. The future of a brand lies in how they use their data. There is no better time to act than now.
Written by Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO at Socialbakers
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