Challenge

  • Are you trying to build better experiences for your customers?

  • Do you need to develop a clearer picture of their behavior through your data?

  • Is it challenging for you to create personalized marketing content and send timely emails?

You are not alone. Many businesses invest in marketing technology tools to create efficiencies (it’s a top priority for 55% of marketers). But efficiency is not an immediate byproduct. Marketers commonly hit technology roadblocks as they try to leverage the tools and integrate them with existing business platforms. Even those who have successfully implemented their tools don’t always know how to apply the technology to improve the customer experience.

That’s where a MarTech optimization strategy is comes in. According to a recent Ascend2 survey, 39% of marketers report they are in the process of implementing a MarTech strategy, while 19% say they are still developing it. That’s a majority who are still figuring things out.

MarTech enablement presents common challenges

It’s an all-too-common tale. A company invests in marketing platforms with the hope of being able to seamlessly execute personalized, timely, and relevant marketing campaigns to engage customers. But once the technology is implemented, challenges arise ─ and the team is left frustrated that the promises of the platform providers do not meet their expectations.

One of our clients, a prominent insurance company, heavily invested in a powerful MarTech stack: Salesforce Marketing Cloud for email, Sitecore CMS for website content management and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for customer data. They expected the tools to increase marketing’s efficiency and improve the customer and agent experiences, leading to better engagement, new customers, growing loyalty, and increased revenue.

But that’s not what happened. In reality,

  • Marketing struggled to use the platforms, and the systems were not effectively integrated. Typical marketing tasks often required the help of IT or developers.

  • There wasn’t a single source of truth for customer data, so it took weeks and a lot of manual processes to send an email. Sitecore was not built to allow self-service capabilities.

  • The team wanted to send personalized messages to the right people at the right time in the right channel, but they couldn’t.

  • They experienced issues with data quality and an inability to leverage analytics for benchmarking and reporting.

It was time to seek outside expertise.

Solution

Our approach

We proposed a MarTech maturity strategy to help move the company toward a more efficient and effective use of their marketing technology.

Our first step was to get clear on outcomes. What were they trying to accomplish and how would success be measured?

We discovered they wanted to:

  • Increase operational efficiency and self-service of their MarTech stack

  • Have a single source of truth for customer data

  • Personalize and enhance the customer experience

  • Mature their measurement and reporting capabilities

Success would be measured by an increase in engagement with marketing messages and, ultimately, increased revenue.

Our project team included experts in technology, digital strategy, data analytics, and customer experience. They worked closely with our client’s marketing, IT, data, and customer experience teams to understand their processes, pain points, and how the teams work together.

We assessed the current state of their MarTech stack, identified gaps, and made recommendations to mature their digital marketing capabilities. More specifically we:

  • Evaluated client’s implementation and use of Sitecore, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, and Google Analytics.

  • Developed understanding of the user journey (both customers and agents) and identified points of friction.

  • Collaborated on company’s customer experience vision and how they’re engaging their customers.

  • Evaluated a current campaign to bring depth to our understanding and inform our recommendations.

This was more than a technology play. It was about solving problems and connecting the dots so that our client could achieve their business goals.

What we uncovered

Our client’s MarTech platforms were not set up in a way that was optimal for their marketing team to use, nor were the right processes and governance in place to ensure tactics were executed effectively.

A domino effect occurs in such scenarios. The original setup resulted in delays and missed opportunities to engage customers, which impacted customer acquisition, retention, loyalty, and ultimately revenue for the company. Our goal was to help mature their digital marketing capabilities in order for them to meet their goals and objectives.

The roadmap to success

We provided a MarTech maturity strategy, including a roadmap listing the activities and work streams that, when implemented, would enable the client to work more efficiently and effectively to accomplish their goals.

Some of the work we did and key recommendations included:

Sitecore CMS

  • Recommended best practices for content management architecture, permissions, and how users access the system (Sitecore XP, including Sitecore SXA).

  • Suggested key architectural changes so marketers could work faster and independent of IT.

  • Provided steps to help client mature into Sitecore’s A/B testing, personalization, and marketing automation offerings.

Google Analytics

  • Identified where client could go a level deeper with their analytics, beyond base-level metrics they were tracking (e.g., track specific events on site and ID users who logged in and their actions).

  • Identified cleanup activities to remove duplicate data and ensure that inaccurate data was not polluting their dashboards.

Salesforce marketing cloud

  • Identified which Salesforce upgrades they needed to purchase in order to achieve the goals they outlined.

  • Identified opportunities to integrate data from the CRM to increase the accuracy of customer data and decrease the time to execute email campaigns.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  • Identified data issues that needed to be resolved to fully leverage the CRM.

  • Outlined the ideal way to leverage Dynamics within the technology ecosystem.

Outcomes

Our client came to us overwhelmed about how to resolve a variety of issues created by the way their technology was originally stood up. Working together, we moved them to a state of clarity about how to make the most of their marketing technology stack: Sitecore, SFMC, Dynamics, and Google Analytics.

They’ve now got a clear path to achieving their marketing team’s goals and have already seen some progress as we’ve forged ahead to the next stage.

Some quick wins we achieved during our assessment included: removed errors and duplicates from reporting, expanded marketing permissions inside their tools, and enhanced their analytics and reporting capabilities.

Roadmap for MarTech maturity
Enhanced analytics and reporting capabilities
Increased marketing self-service
Defined marketing/IT roles in managing technologies