Siloed decision-making and planning have resulted in martech stacks being fragmented, underutilised or have incomplete data access. As such, companies now face the challenge of ensuring that their martech stacks communicate. To do so, Forrester said companies should place themselves at a competitive advantage through improved customer engagement.
An optimised martech stack can help boost personalisation for businesses, offer a cohesive customer journey, ensure agility, and offer protection for companies and consumers when it comes to data. It can also provide engagement velocity, allowing marketers to support more volume and at higher speeds, especially since customer experiences are becoming more real-time and individualised.
According to Forrester, marketers need to bring "an ecosystem-oriented mindset to martech". For those who wish to succeed in this area, here are four steps:
1. Enterprise martech strategy
Firms that implement a unified martech strategy will be able to deliver a consistent, efficient stack to the business to support customer engagement goals. By effectively planning, companies can also set aside resources for future innovation and updates such as including new touchpoints and implementing new streams of data.
Integration is not only the most crucial criteria in martech today but also the biggest technical shortcoming, Forrester said. Marketers need to ensure that any new investments in martech can be integrated into their existing stack. They should also consider multiple types of integration including the consolidation of customer profiles from multiple data sources, the workflows that enable several applications to communicate and work together, as well as orchestration features to engage customers across multiple touchpoints.
3. Data management and identity resolution
Inventory data requirements have to be implemented for current and planned use cases, especially personalisation strategy, expansion into new channels, and analytics. Marketers should then ensure that there are processes in place for data collection, data management and hygiene, as well as identity resolution.
4. Staffing and skills
Marketers need to create a defined support model for managing martech that organises the necessary skills and staff across departments. Marketers are also advised to bring on board a dedicated marketing technologist to lead martech strategy, define the roadmap, manage vendors, and coordinate resources.
At the same time, there are also four pillars of capabilities that marketers should take note of to build their best martech stack, with the first being data fabric.
According to Forrester, this pillar represents functionality to provide precise, complete, and scaled data to martech applications for insights and engagement. The next pillar is customer understanding, which represents the analysis-oriented functionality of the martech stack. This comprises the reporting and analytics features to understand customer behaviours and needs, as well as targeting functionality to define campaign audiences.
Brand strategy is also another important pillar when building a good martech stack, as it covers the strategic and operational funcionality for marketing. This includes marketing resource management functionality for planning and managing content. The last pillar is brand experience, which includes the systems that carry out customer experiences. According to Forrester, this functionality orchestrates and delivers interactions covering marketing, loyalty and advertising.
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