The new rules of digital marketing

How can digital marketers co-ordinate content and data across fragmented systems?

“Multichannel marketing at its most complex includes automation, personalisation, attribution and resolution or transaction across every marketing and communications channel.” - The Reality of Multichannel Marketing, Econsultancy

Single view, not single place

Online channels are hungry: as they grow they generate more data. The temptation to hold onto it is too great to resist.

This creates a headache for digital marketers. A common situation is to find customer data split across many different systems: website content management systems, email marketing systems, social management platforms and search platforms - in addition to multiple internal CRMs and other data stores.

These systems are in many cases managed by different internal teams which makes integration hard. And platform providers don’t help since they prefer lock-in, so are incentivised to keep their data within their platform.

The dream of a single store for customer data cannot survive in this environment. Instead a more fruitful approach is to strive for unified views of customer data, using services that aggregate data from many stores (such as Funnelback). Digital marketers can set rules to determine how data from different stores is displayed alongside each other.

Content lives everywhere

Content lives in multiples places, not just the website. Social platforms demand native upload for the best performance. Mobile publishing, such as Facebook Instant articles and Google AMP, require new content formats. And content might live in other ancillary services too, like optimisation services (e.g. Optimizely) or scheduling systems (e.g. Buffer).

The demand for native upload will only increase as platform providers become more fragmented and more needy.

The dream of a single place where all content lives and is published cannot survive in this environment. Instead a more fruitful approach is to hold content in a system designed to present it in different formats and publish over APIs (e.g. Contentful). Digital marketers can then set rules to determine how content is sent to different platforms.

Analytics on every platform

Every platform includes analytics and this is creating new, more powerful ways of profiling users and marketing to them such as:

Each of these tactics could potentially be used on any channel/platform: on every website, email, social platform and search platform. Not just within each one, but between them too.

The dream of a single marketing system where all analytics live and marketing decisions are made cannot survive in this environment. Instead a more fruitful approach is to integrate software bilaterally, tying the APIs of many systems together using a rules platform (e.g. Zapier). Digital marketers can then set rules to determine what marketing decisions are made based on analytics on disparate platforms.

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