Marketers keep talking about having a single view of their customers. This is more easily said than done, since many of them continue to struggle with five or six different marketing-technology solutions, resulting in fragmented data that’s hard to make sense of or from which to draw insights.
That is why Gartner’s latest “Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs” report suggests consolidation of different platforms and measurement methodologies as a key to success. Having data all in one place can offer brand marketers a new level of customer insight. (Note: Report is free for CMO.com readers.)
Consolidation provides “one common view of what’s working and what’s not working,” said Gartner VP Andrew Frank. “This way, everyone can agree on how to measure effectiveness and how to improve it without necessarily always throwing more technology at it,” he told CMO.com.
According to the report, buying marketing technology still involves a great deal of confusion. What’s important for marketers, Frank said, is to invest in technology that aligns with the strategy.
“Your marketing strategy should influence your selection of platforms because even the biggest platforms--the ones that are most comprehensive--don’t require you to buy all of the components at once,” he said.
The big takeaway is that brands should be proactive about customizing a solution to better fit their needs, so that they are getting as much as possible from a single source.
“If you’re a company that focuses on direct marketing, e-mail, and mobile messaging, you might be able to buy one set of solutions as opposed to being a company that’s more focused on advertising or on analytics-driven marketing strategies,” Frank explained.
Gartner urges CMOs and other executives to consolidate some of the point solutions they’ve accumulated over the years. That doesn’t just mean bringing everything into one dashboard. It also means everyone within the organization using the same tools and analytics to design and measure their programs.
According to Gartner, a digital hub is foundational for many mission-critical marketing priorities. Per Gartner: A digital marketing hub provides marketers and applications with standardized access to audience profile data, content, workflow elements, messaging, and common analytic functions for orchestrating and optimizing multichannel campaigns, conversations, experiences, and data collection across online and offline channels, both manually and programmatically.
It typically includes a bundle of native marketing applications and capabilities, but it is extensible through published services with which certified partners can integrate.
Note: Adobe, CMO.com’s parent company, is featured in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs” report. Click here to see how we scored.