How many marketing technologies do you use daily? Perhaps your company employs digital marketing solutions from Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle or another big marketing cloud. You may also be using different solutions from thousand of best-in-class point providers. It’s great that you now have access to the data that each one of these applications collects on your customers, but how much time and money are you spending trying to stitch together complete customer profiles out of all these fragmented data sources? If you feel overwhelmed with the number of marketing technology vendors – and the massive amount of customer data they generate – you’re not alone. Most marketers (63%) at midsize companies say they have too many marketing technology vendors to manage effectively.
What if you could seamlessly unify all of your applications and customer data with one foundational platform? This is the concept behind “building your own marketing cloud” — the idea that marketers are free to use the solutions that are best for their business, without being tied into a single cloud vendor. Through an underlying “data layer,” marketers can seamlessly connect and unify those applications so they work in harmony for the first time. The results of this unified approach are impressive. According to a recent study conducted by eConsultancy and Tealium, businesses that are able to achieve even limited integration are showing 42 percent better results in transforming customer data into action.
Understanding How Tag Management and the Data Layer Fit In
In digital marketing, “tags” are snippets of code that most digital marketing vendors require their customers to embed in their web pages. The problem with these data- collecting tags is that they require IT resources to deploy. So, even though it’s marketers who buy and use these solutions, they depend on an already overburdened IT staff to deploy and manage them.
Enter tag management, a new category of application that eliminates that friction point by providing a single master tag to control the other tags. Marketers can then manage their solutions by themselves, quickly and easily, through a web-based interface, without having to burden already overburdened development resources.
The real star of tag management, however, is the “the data layer,” which creates a common, standardized language between all tag-based digital solutions. The significance of a data layer is that it allows your previously siloed marketing applications to share data and become truly integrated for the first time. This enables maximum flexibility and eliminates the question of which marketing cloud to use. You can use CRM from Salesforce.com, enterprise analytics from Adobe, email from Oracle, and retargeting, advertising, affiliate marketing, and testing from any number of point providers.
Here’s a visual representation of what it looks like to build your own marketing cloud with tag management:
From Cloud To Customer Success
One of the major benefits of building your own marketing cloud is that it allows you to correlate customer profiles instantly, and then share those profiles across your marketing technology stack, as well as across devices. This delivers what marketers have been after for years: the ability to drive more personalized (and profitable) transactions across all digital touch points using their existing applications. In other words, they can finally fulfill the omnichannel promise, without have to spend a fortune on costly and resource-intensive data warehousing projects.
Most applications today do a great job of helping you understanding the customer journey in their particular channel. But what if you can add insight about your visitors from each channel? For example, if a visitor abandons a cart, a common practice is to follow up with an email hours or days later. What if you could not only follow up within minutes or hours, but also display those products within your retargeting campaigns, or your search channel, or within other channels? This is the power of a unified marketing … personalized, real-time marketing across channels. (Watch a video of Ancestry.com talking about unified marketing).
A complete unified marketing platform is comprised of tag management and real-time audience segmentation. Together, they are redefining what’s possible in marketing, making it easier to maximize technology investments and helping organizations fulfill the omnichannel promise.
Erik Bratt is the VP, marketing communications at Tealium. He is a seasoned digital marketing strategist and communications expert, with a passion for telling compelling stories. Before joining Tealium, Erik held senior-level positions at Microsoft, WebSideStory (now part of Adobe Marketing Cloud), InboundWriter, and VoxOx, a leading cloud communications provider. Prior to that, he served for nine years as a professional journalist for the U-T San Diego.