B2B CMO’s are becoming increasingly more responsible for covering every step of the customer journey. Using modern-day technology and tools is essential to bridging that gap and creating a personalised marketing strategy for today’s customers. However, with tools and technology come new challenges for CMOs. Commonly, marketing uses many different channels, systems and even old legacy platforms to get their job done. The only problem is…these systems don’t talk to each other, resulting in data silos.
In turn, it becomes even more difficult to answer some of the most important questions that prove your success as CMO:
- How do I connect data from different tools to gain a 360o view of the customer journey?
- How can I use this data more effectively to create better customer experiences and drive revenue growth?
- How can I prove the ROI of marketing to my organisation?
To answer these questions, you need an efficient and integrated marketing ecosystem to make the most of your tools and data. This is where integration services shine, and where B2B Integration-as-a-Service can be a great enabler for CMOs and their marketing teams.
3 benefits of integrating your systems
With organisations using different systems to manage their marketing efforts, it is easy for data to become siloed, and it becomes time-consuming to keep track of all data and analytics from each tool.
By integrating these different systems into one cohesive platform, the CMO can access and analyse all relevant data in one place to make informed decisions. This is particularly important in today's fast-paced operating environment, where agility is key to success. With all insights available at one glance, you gain access to the latest information, enabling you to act on it quickly. The increased efficiency also translates to more time spent on strategic initiatives that drive results instead of time spent manually collating data from the different sources available.
Imagine the next time you launch a marketing campaign, you can see all insights in one dashboard, where you quickly get the information you need and make decisions with confidence.
Increased Collaboration Between Teams
iPaaS also promotes better collaboration between different teams within the organisation. By streamlining data integrations and providing access to real-time information, different departments, such as marketing, sales and customer service can work together more effectively to create a cohesive strategy that supports business goals. For example, the sales team can use marketing data to target their outreach efforts more effectively, customer service can use sales and marketing data to help serve your customers better - enhancing the customer experience.
The same data used by marketing is just as useful for customer service teams alike as support teams have access to all relevant information in one place, eliminating the need for redundant data entry, and resulting in decreased wait times for customers. Having easily accessible customer data benefits all teams with a role in the customer journey – from marketing to sales, to customer service – and even R&D and beyond.
Improved customer experience
Today’s customer is very demanding and to be able to meet those needs, at the right place, at the right time, can be a game changer for any organisation. With an integrated system giving you real-time access to all customer data points, you gain better insights into the customer journey. For example, by integrating your CRM and marketing automation platform, marketing can access real-time data insights to personalise communication and offers based on each individual’s preferences and demographic/firmographic information. This means that marketing campaigns can be more targeted and personalised to create customer experiences that keep up with customer demand and influence the lead-to-revenue journey – turning leads to lifetime customers.
Connecting your data points in a centralised way also makes it easier to track your customers’ path to purchase and understand the customer journey at every stage where you as a CMO will be able to make more informed decisions that lead to building better customer experiences.
How to integrate
In some cases, there might be an out of the box integration provided by the platform itself. Take for example, the native Marketo to Salesforce sync integration. It’s usually free and fast to setup; however, it may be a standard solution that doesn’t fit complex situations or your specific business needs.
In this cases you can consider doing it in-house with your internal IT team. However, this is often difficult, costly and time-consuming because you need to be prepared to ask yourself:
- Does IT have the time to prioritise this integration? - With IT responsible for balancing the needs of the whole organisation, how soon will they be able to prioritize my integration in their backlog and deliver?
- Do they have in-depth knowledge of the tools we’re looking to integrate? - This part is very important: do they need time to learn all the different systems & APIs to deliver the integration you want?
- Will they have time to maintain the integration? - An integration is usually not a set up and forget it exercise. Tools and platforms upgrade consistently and so do their APIs, causing your integrations to break if the existing integration is not updated. Additionally, you may want to tweak the setup as conditions and business needs change.
Based on your answers to the questions above, you may want to consider outsourcing the integration, using an iPaaS solution. Integration-Platform-as-a-service, or iPaaS, is the outsourcing of business-to-business (B2B) integration tasks, which makes connecting two or more business systems a breeze. By using iPaaS, you can leave the integration process to a third party who will manage and oversee it for you. This not only saves you time and money by getting up and running both quickly reliably, but in the longer-term, all required maintenance and updates are managed for you.
Gartner defines integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) as a vendor-managed cloud service that enables end users to implement integrations between a variety of applications, services and data sources. iPaaS connects disparate applications, services and data sources to enable information to flow between them - Link
iPaaS vs. Fully Managed iPaaS
An iPaaS typically provides self-service integration capabilities, meaning that users can create and manage their own integrations without the need for IT support. iPaaS is a popular choice for organizations looking for a flexible and customizable integration platform. Fully managed iPaaS, on the other hand, goes beyond the self-service model by offering a complete integration solution that includes expert support, management, and maintenance of the integration cycle. A fully managed iPaaS provider takes care of all the technical details of integration, such as building custom code, hosting, security, and maintenance. This approach allows organizations to accelerate the development of their platform integrations, reduce the burden on their IT team, and achieve faster time-to-value. Fully managed iPaaS is a compelling choice for organizations looking for a comprehensive and cost-efficient integration platform.
As integrations become more business critical and are no longer an IT-only project, CMOs and other roles that impact the customer experience not only benefit from integrating data, but in most cases will need to (now or in the near future) in to in order to adapt to the ever-changing customer journey and contribute as data-driven revenue drivers.
Modern day marketing NEEDS to have connected data to keep up with the ever-changing customer journey. Integration is no longer a nice to have - it’s a necessity for CMOs and other roles alike. Integrations provide a powerful tool for driving growth and success within an organization. If you are a B2B CMO looking to optimise your processes and stay ahead of the competition, think about using an iPaaS solution to take your business to the next level. With your marketing stack integrated, you get:
- The right data, so you can launch more effective and targeted marketing campaigns in less time,
- This, in turn, will improve the customer experience and help you stay ahead of the competition,
- The flexibility to easily add and remove integrations as needed allows you to quickly respond to changing business needs.
So, if you're a B2B CMO looking to optimize your processes and stay ahead of the game, it's time to think about using a managed iPaaS solution. With the ability to streamline your data integration processes, launch better campaigns, and improve the customer experience, an iPaaS solution is a must-have for any modern marketer.
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