Adam T. Sutton

Integrate Online Marketing Channels

Marketers have many software vendors to choose from. There are laundry lists of companies willing to upgrade your website analytics, email marketing, display ads and almost any other part of your online business.

The growing list of platforms is making the job more complex. Work is done through several dashboards, and data comes from several directions. You have to spend time with each platform to achieve a single goal.

That is why Lisa Arthur, CMO, Aprimo, argues for marketing integration. Aprimo is an integrated marketing software provider. Arthur says integration can help marketers get back to focusing on driving higher ROI.

“The goal and promise of marketing integration is to simplify the complexity of marketing and allow marketers to spend more time on the strategy, the messages and the content, instead of chasing data and ad hoc processes,” she says.

Integration essentially pulls fragmented marketing processes under a single, centralized platform. The approach can free up some of your time, as well as:
o Streamline a multi-channel ROI calculation
o Cut campaign launch time
o Align disparate marketing goals
o Give executives and managers a quick view of overall marketing performance
o Give multiple marketing teams a central platform to work from

A key to starting the integration process is to align business strategy and marketing objectives with the goals of the effort. Consider how aligning marketing data and technology under a central platform help your company achieve its goals.

Second, marketing integration is more of an on-going journey than a short project. The process can continue for years and will require an executive sponsor. If you’re interested in integration and you’re not an executive yourself, find an executive to champion the project and point to how it will improve business goals.

Third, you should track and benchmark operational and strategic metrics. For example, on an operational level, will your team get campaigns planned and launched faster after integration? Strategically, will your team improve campaign performance?

Not all of your marketing needs to be integrated at once. Your team can start small by centralizing a disparate and manual process — such as creative review. Emails, ads and landing pages can be viewed and approved from a single, central location, rather than through an endless chain of emails.

Your team may not have a conversation around integration tomorrow, but if your number of marketing channels continues to grow, you might want to consider having the conversation soon.

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