By: James Word on January 18th, 2019
5 Top Tips For Integrating Your Marketing Technology Stack
There’s little doubt that technology exists to make our lives easier. But in today’s environment there is also a level of complexity that exists when multiple technologies are used within an organization.
A case in point is your marketing agency; you’ll most likely use a number of systems, anywhere from three to 10, to help your teams deliver on client campaigns. Everything from digital asset management and usage rights management, to distribution and campaign management and tracking.
The challenge for your business is that while each system is important, they are all separate and the complexity comes from navigating between workflows and making operations more efficient. As it stands, the process of moving from one system to another is a manual, time consuming one, as is overall management. How do you remove the pain? How do you make the process more efficient and free your staff up?
Through integration. Connecting your marketing technology stack and driving automated workflows through the campaign process, from creation and delivery, to management and tracking, can deliver significant value to your business.
So, what do you need to make it work?
1. The Solution Must Demonstrate Financial Value
Of course any new solution must provide a return on investment. But more than that, with the proper integration solution you can achieve much higher levels of efficiency. And this will not only improve your agility as a business and time to market for your client campaigns, but will also allow you to optimize your resources. By introducing elements of automation into workflows you can free up your staff from doing laborious manual tasks and let them focus on creating and delivering the campaigns they need to. In effect, you are enabling your agency to do more with less.
2. Recommended Approach
Regardless of the number of technologies you have in your stack, the best approach is a staggered one. Integrating all workflows and technologies at the same time can add a level of complexity that risks success. Start small, and realize that automating one area will have an impact on other areas. Integration is an evolving process and as such should be approached logically.
Begin by integrating one or two pieces of technology that yield the most benefit. This is where your staff wastes most of their time, repeating manual processes on a daily basis. Once the new process is in place, your staff should love the solution. It should make their lives easier. Then look to the next integration. Going one-by-one, gaining incremental success with each, will help you drive change management. After a few integrations, your staff should wonder how they ever worked with the old processes. Integration is, by its nature, a learning process. Go slow and reap the rewards. Go fast and risk everything.
3. Validate The Value
At each stage in the process, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the expected value. The ultimate aim of integration and automating workflows is to increase efficiency and if that’s not happening, you need to re-evaluate the process. Again, this also helps identify issues, challenges, and problems that need to be resolved before integrating other technologies in the stack.
4. Futureproof. Futureproof. Futureproof.
The technology landscape is evolving so rapidly that it’s critical you keep up with the changes. When looking at integration and workflow automation, your solution must be able to evolve.
This is where an ongoing relationship with an integration partner is required. As your business evolves, your integration must continue to function and be able to handle future demands. To maintain success, you will need an integration partner that can futureproof your solution.
5. Working with Industry Experts
An agnostic integrator and industry expert will bring great value to the integration process. Not just during the discovery and implementation stage but afterwards as well – especially when it comes to management and support. As mentioned before the solution needs to evolve in line with the industry and your business, and an integrator with the right expertise is key to success here. There are a lot of companies out there to choose from, but if an integrator doesn’t understand your business, your workflows and lacks the ability to ask the right questions and discover the necessary level of detail then your solution will never be as functional as it should be.
It’s a partnership between your business and your integrator and collaboration is important. After all, you’re the expert when it comes to your marketing workflows and they’re the expert when it comes to automating your workflows. The right partner will be focused on your success, to ensure the solution is bringing value.
Conclusion: The Power of Partnership
Integration and automation can add significant value. But where do you start? You need to understand the workflows and the technologies. Sounds simple enough, but often there is a lack of people in your organization that have these skills. This is where working with an integration expert can help.
An integration expert can guide you through the discovery phase to gain a clear picture of all workflows and understand how they can be automated. From there, an integrator can perform an analysis and system design for each integration point. Once a solution is in place, they can ensure it continues to function and is properly supported. At the end of the day you want to achieve increased efficiency and agility. Starting off on the right foot, with the right partner, will pay dividends.
About James Word
James has over 25-years of experience servicing the content lifecycle needs of advertising agencies, corporate marketing groups, retailers, and the entertainment industry. His depth of implementation experience provides a well-rounded understanding of real-world uses of digital asset management, content management, work management, creative production, and automation. He is a multi-product expert with deep technical knowledge on how to design integrations that drive business value.