jenga

Are you among the 50% of marketers whose technology stacks are not helping them to coordinate marketing across channels? That is what research by Signal found—even though more than half of those surveyed continually evaluate and invest in new technologies.

Not surprisingly, lack of integration is still impeding marketing technology ROI; 51% of marketers in the above survey admitted that their technologies are either loosely integrated or not integrated at all. Additional research bears this out:

Top Five Obstacles to Marketing Technology Success

  1. Integration complexities – 52%
  2. Lack of effective strategy – 39%
  3. Inadequate budget/resources – 38%
  4. Inefficient processes/workflows – 38%
  5. Inconsistent data across technologies – 29%
(Source: Informatica, Dunn & Bradstreet, Ascend2)

How “Stack” Integration and Maintenance Get Overwhelming

Anyone who’s ever played Jenga knows that each piece in the stack needs to be carefully positioned and integrated so that the pieces support one another. And then comes the inevitable moment when everyone holds their breath while awaiting the outcome of each move.

This type of scenario must be then played out over the average seventeen point solutions that the typical marketing “stack” contains, according to Signal. This is where integration and management of a dozen or two solutions become gnarly.

“Point solutions sometimes work. Point management never does,” says Andrea Fryrear, blogger for MarketerGizmo.com. “Management must see how all the technology fits together, and how they work with larger organizational goals. Otherwise the best technology in the world won’t give you a market advantage.”

To Stack or Not to Stack

“It’s clear that marketers need a new approach to create the level of engagement today’s consumers expect, and meeting that goal requires a clear roadmap for making their data and technologies work better together.” – Joe Stanhope, SVP of Marketing at Signal

The crux of the matter is that too many vendors are offering too many individual marketing technologies. And very few provide a suite of solutions specific to demand generation.

An integrated marketing suite – a concept we like to call the “anti-stack” – can in many cases work much more effectively than the typical individual marketing stack. This type of “hub” strategy can significantly reduce time spent in marketing staff training and S/W integrations.

This is especially the case when it comes to Account Based Marketing (ABM), which is more efficient but requires personalized content. Some companies address part of this challenge with emerging contact tracking methods, using either cookies or IP addresses.

However, content needs to be personalized, in real time, according to job title and location in purchase process. And for content to be truly effective, vehicles such as videos, live streaming, and interactive infographics that address short attention spans are essential.