Are you able to deliver great customer experiences everywhere? Are you achieving personalised, cross-channel experiences that blow people away and deliver on your brand’s promises?
The answer to solving the customer experience issue, is omnichannel integration. Today, new omnichannel integrator solutions are able to integrate and optimise marketing channels, technology and data, as well as offering end-to-end services, such as strategy, integration, managed services, data environments and measurement & analytics.
So what makes an effective omnichannel integrations solution? What should marketers look for when seeking an integration partner? Below are the collated responses to 7 key omnichannel integration FAQs, from three industry experts.
7 Omnichannel Integrator FAQs Addressed
“Why do companies need an omnichannel integrator?”
“Across the marketing landscape, there’s increasing complexity but an urgent need for simplicity. The market will continue to have multiple marketing automation platforms, customer experience platforms, and so on, but companies need a single data foundation that can be supported by omnichannel integration.” – Bruce Biegal, Winterberry Group Senior Managing Director
“What’s driving demand for omnichannel integration?”
“This is the golden age of marketing innovation, but it’s created a wide footprint that makes it difficult for any one company to understand how to navigate the marketing technology landscape.
While the industry has downplayed that reality for quite some time, we’re now seeing a shift as marketers look to optimise their martech stacks and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to connect at the data layer.” – Scott Brinker, Chief Martec.com Editor
“What is an omnichannel integrator?”
“This new category of service provider [omnichannel integrators] should have a strong belief and focus on “data as a foundation” for driving the marketing experience and customer conversation.
Omnichannel integrators must be fluent across multiple components, and understand the flow of data in between and across platforms (martech and adtech) that are used in the customer journey. They should be able to integrate data at the foundation layer and architect and orchestrate data for activation across touchpoints (i.e., every screen) while ensuring closed loop for insights and measurement.” – Bruce Biegal
“What makes an effective omnichannel integrator?”
“An effective omnichannel integrator should be able to take a systems view of marketing. This means having the technical depth to be able to connect systems and data while ensuring quality, governance and privacy. But also taking a strategic approach – understanding how these integrations will impact marketing performance and the customer experiences.” – Scott Brinker
“How are companies building their marketing stacks?”
“While the martech stack debate is often framed as ‘suite OR best of breed,’ the reality is most stacks are ‘suite AND best of breed.’
Companies often adopt more than one marketing cloud while also tapping into the incredible array of specialised, innovative tools on the market.
As more marketers embrace an open and heterogeneous approach, they’re realising marketing can’t reach its full potential without system-level orchestration between these disparate platforms.” – Scott Brinker
“How do you see services and software coming together to solve for omnichannel?”
“Omnichannel is hard. Software like Customer Data Platforms provides a tool to do omnichannel but it’s just a tool: you still need organisation, skills, strategy, and other components to create the desired result. This is what services provide. As a practical matter, few companies have the internal resources to deliver an omnichannel solution, especially with all the other demands that face IT departments. That’s why outside service vendors who are specialists are so important.” – David Raab, CDP Institute Founder
“What key evaluation criteria should brands look for when seeking partners to help establish and manage their data foundation?”
“Broadly, it’s a combination of the right tools and skills. Tools are the easier part since you can buy them. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy because you want a vendor that has chosen wisely and has learned to use their tools effectively. This blends right into services, which involve expertise in specific areas including identity management, omnichannel strategy, and analytics. They also involve more general but still critical expertise such as security, data privacy, massive data (if you’re a big enterprise), system operations and complex project management. There’s also a fast-growing need for experience with integrating external data, including traditional third- party sources (such as demographics and intent), second-party sources (sharing data privately with selected partners), and real-time public sources (such as weather and news events).” – David Raab
Consider an Omnichannel Integrator for Enhanced Customer Experience
With an omnichannel integration partner, siloed, complex data landscapes can be simplified; omnichannel integrators are focused on helping solve the toughest marketing challenges, from customer experience and personalisation to measurement, attribution, optimising media spend and ethical data use.
Allowing a laser-focus on quantifiable business outcomes that increase audience reach, with the right solution, it’s possible to boost revenue, enhance the customer experience and improve ROI.
If you still have questions, or want to learn more about omnichannel integration, you can find more about Acxiom’s Omnichannel Integrator services here.