The War on Complexity: How Streamlining Your Marketing Strategy Can Pay Off
In today’s challenging, fast-moving competitive landscape, marketers need to find ways to serve up responsive, personalized brand experiences that speak to each individual customer and reach them on the devices, digital platforms, and messaging channels that they care about. Doing that successfully can be a significant undertaking, requiring brands to assemble marketing technology stacks capable of supporting this vision at scale.
With the right strategy and expertise on hand, a built-for-purpose marketing stack can be an invaluable part of an effective customer engagement strategy—just look at the success that Burger King has had with this approach. But, in some situations, organizations find themselves struggling to see the full value of their marketing stack due to technical and collaborative challenges that can crop up.
To help out, let’s take a look at three common challenges related to marketing tech stacks that can lead to significant complexity and inefficiencies for marketing teams and how brands can avoid them going forward.
Challenge #1: Lack of a 360-degree view when it comes to customers
To serve up the kind of timely, personalized messages that today’s consumer expects, brands need to gather actionable information on their audience to support message targeting, triggering, personalization, and more. But just gathering that information isn’t enough—you need to make sure that your marketing team can make sense of it and leverage it effectively to provide brilliant experiences to your customers.
In many companies, data is collected from a wide variety of sources and touchpoints, like web, mobile, backend serves, DWHs, and partner technologies. If your marketing stack isn’t able to provide a single view of the customer, the result can be data silos that make it difficult (even impossible) to provide a cohesive valuable experience to each individual and increase the risk that you’re serving up broken or incoherent experiences to users.
How to address this challenge
No matter how many different places you store data, you need to ensure that any actionable customer information is in a single, central location where marketers and other customer-facing teams can take effective action on it. In many cases, the best way to do that is by ensuring that your organization is porting the information needed to support all your key use cases into your customer engagement platform. Built for purpose, the Braze platform has a flexible and modern interface that supports pre-built integrations. And with live-updating customer profiles, marketers are always working with the most relevant data, allowing them to send timely, relevant, and accurate messages without being held up by data silos.
Challenge #2: Difficulties carrying out projects across teams
While data silos are a major problem for brands leveraging different technologies, they aren’t the only kind of silos that can impede successful customer engagement efforts. One of the biggest problems that modern brands face comes in the form of organizational silos, where lack of collaboration and communication across different teams makes it extremely difficult to serve up unified experiences to their customers in all the different places they engage.
The issues that crop up as a result of organizational silos often mirror those caused by data silos—to wit, different teams will own different elements of the tech stack or different stages of the customer journey, but won’t have the ability or inclination to align with the other teams who touch the user experience resulting in broken, frustrating experiences for those users.
How to address this challenge
Customer engagement is a team sport, requiring cross-functional collaboration across Marketing, Data, Product, and Engineering. As such, organizational problems require an organizational solution. According to Carlos Valdes-Dapena, an expert on organizational collaboration, “most organizations misunderstand what is required to ignite and sustain collaboration.” The first step of creating a seamless customer experience is deciding which tasks require collaboration and which don’t. Further, he advises companies to build specificity into their calls for collaboration: Who will work with whom? What tasks will they perform together and separately?
, different teams own different aspects of the data collection process—from the case data gathered by the customer service team to the browsing data overseen by your web team—and still other teams might be charged with using it to customize or power messaging experiences in a given channel.
The key here is to understand the cohesive experience that you’re looking to provide for the customer and then to align with the relevant teams on what part each will play in supporting it. That takes teamwork, but it also means doing the work to understand which groups are and are not stakeholders and what each needs to be accountable for. Without that clarity, all the work to align and build bridges between teams may be for nothing.
Challenge #3: Significant resources needed to ensure data is where it needs to be
While ensuring that you have a single-view of each customer is an essential part of supporting effective customer engagement, it’s not the only stack-related data challenge that brands have to overcome. For many data teams and other technical stakeholders, the work revolves around making sure data is available where it’s needed—and it isn’t something that can be solved with pure hustle and elbow grease on the part of these stakeholders. If this complexity isn’t addressed, it can make it hard to focus on the core areas that are meant to be the purview of these teams and can lead to burnout and missed opportunities over time.
How to address this challenge
The solution to this kind of complexity requires the right technologies in your stack. If you’ve assembled a stack that’s built on streaming data and with data agility in mind, a lot of these challenges can be easily addressed using the tools at your disposal—and if you haven’t built that sort of stack, you may find that you need to update your technology mix to put this problem to bed.
Consider London-based delivery company Deliveroo. The company’s Central London team had access to a lot of actionable data, but found itself having to spend significant amounts of time surfacing insights to teams in other regions. To address this issue, the company leveraged the Braze platform’s Currents high-volume data export tool in conjunction with Braze Alloys technology partner Looker, making it possible for stakeholders in other regions to view, analyze, and act on the data without requiring as much support from the home office. In fact, by using Looker and Currents together, the HQ CRM team reduced the amount of time spent fielding data requests by 8X.
While marketing technology stacks are an essential part of modern customer engagement, brands need to make sure they’re being thoughtful about how they’re building, maintaining, and optimizing those stacks in order to reduce complexity and support cohesive brand experiences.
Interested in learning more about what it takes to build and maintain a built-for-purpose stack? Check out our in-depth look at all things stack.