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Last year’s research study by Signal showed the struggle of fragmented marketing systems: as described in Forbes, “90% of marketers believe that highly integrated platforms will help deliver more efficient programs, better customer experiences and higher marketing ROI.” At the same time, because marketers have an average of about 17 different applications that are highly integrated at only 25% of the companies surveyed, fewer than 5% of marketers believe their platforms will enable successful cross-channel marketing.

Developing Integrated Marketing Platforms

Building a unified marketing platform is challenging, requiring you to implement solutions that have innate integration capabilities. However, implementing a framework that allows integration with various third party marketing solutions is crucial for any product’s survival in the marketing technology market. A successful integration platform allows assimilation of various marketing software like Salesforce, Omniture, Workfront, Eloqua, and various other platforms, along with data imports from flat files. Importing flat files is key since many marketers work in these and typically need to upload that data into the new system. Such frameworks usually have basic infrastructure in place to handle integration requirements. Therefore, you would only need to make certain modifications for sending and receiving data to and from the various marketing tools, requiring a development of a specific solution and APIs for each such integration. 

Marketing teams use various types of software to reach goals, so developing integration capabilities gives some of the below benefits: 

  • Automated Integration:

    Since most marketing solutions are now accessible through programming APIs, integrating these solutions automatically is far easier than having to perform manual steps. Automated integration allows users to gather different pieces of information from different stages of the marketing process, making the integration process efficient and user friendly. Additionally, through an integrated platform, marketers can ensure that the right message about the brand is being delivered to the right audience, at the right time, and through the right medium.

  • Real Time Access to Data:

    An integrated framework provides the marketing department real-time access to data, rather than performing manual tasks to fetch data at defined intervals. This helps marketers get information as and when it is needed, and helps make dynamic, data-driven decisions that impact business.

  • Centralized Source of Information:

    Since integration frameworks have APIs that are developed following a set of defined development standards, the implementation mechanism does not change drastically from one provider to another. By building a solution that interacts with all the APIs to send and receive information, marketers can have a centralized source of information that increases overall efficiency of their marketing processes.

  • Improved Collaboration:

    As most marketing platforms’ APIs support two-way interactions, integration reduces effort in managing data in different systems. A centralized platform enables data consistency across systems, provides greater visibility, and leads to improved collaboration across applications and teams.

  • Customer-Centric:

    Integrated frameworks provide a bird’s-eye view of the entire marketing process, with the ability to drive cross-channel campaigns and facilitate coordination between business units. This produces data for an increased knowledge of the customer and their behaviors in order to better nurture long-term relationships with them.

  • Enhanced ROI:

    Integration APIs allow access to information in real-time while reducing manual effort in managing data across various solutions and applications. Marketers will be empowered to plan activities, measure performance, and allocate budgets based on modeled outcomes, to attain better ROI.  

Integrated marketing platforms are cross-functional marketing strategies that connect multiple marketing touch     points, providing a single view of the entire marketing function. They allow marketers the ability to automate processes and drive multi-channel marketing campaigns with personalized insights. Such frameworks are essential when creating and implementing marketing solutions so that marketing information is in one place, helping to steer marketing efforts in the right direction.

If you are developing marketing technology or software, have you thought about the integration capabilities that will position the tool for success?

Brijmohan Bhavsar
About the Author – Brijmohan Bhavsar

Brijmohan Bhavsar is the Senior Project Manager(.Net) at INDUSA. He is an Application Developer himself, and Project Leader in a wide variety of business applications.


Contributing author: Neha Kumar

Topics: Marketing