The Importance of Integration in Customer Experiences

November 26, 2018 David Schweer

Gartner’s latest CMO Spend Survey revealed that nearly 1/3 of all marketing spend is allocated to technology.

That’s likely because CMOs are now more at ease greenlighting digital purchases—such as customer experience (CX) solutions—as a result of a proliferation of configurable, user-friendly, cloud-based technology that comes with a price that fits into their operational budget. 

However, the downside to this trend is that many of these tools exist on their own island. And this growing disconnect often can be discernable to customers.

Despite having more and better tools to deliver a premium CX, customers don’t think they’re getting one.

According to a Bain Consulting survey, 80% of brands think they’re delivering a superior experience, but only 8% of customers agree! This is especially interesting because the same Gartner survey reports that almost 20% of CMOs’ budgets are allocated toward CX initiatives.

According to this Forbes article, the source of the disparity in opinions is quite simple:

“Customers don’t care if you claim you have omni-channel or multi-channel capabilities. They only care that they can connect with you, the way they want to connect with you, and when they want to connect with you. They go through the channel that’s easiest and most convenient for them. It could be a phone, a desktop computer, a tablet – whatever communication method they are most comfortable with.”

So, if you’re a marketing leader, what’s an easy first step that you can take to drastically improve the experience you’re delivering?

Integrate your marketing technology!

An oft-forgotten aspect of CX initiatives is that delivering relevant omnichannel experiences takes an unprecedented level of integration support to connect data, workflows, and content.

3 ways to approach integration

There are three ways that most organizations today approach integrations:

  1. The do-it-yourself (DIY) integration: This type of integration between systems can be completed by you or a delivery partner, and is likely specific to your business. Typically, the DIY integration approach is more advanced, and commonplace in organizations that have tech ecosystems that include both legacy (i.e. non-cloud) back-room solutions and newer cloud-based solutions.

  2. Pre-built Connectors: For applications that already have some integrations, vendors will typically offer configuration only connection points so clients have an easier approach to connecting the solutions for better optimization.

  3. Leveraging a low-code integration platform: This method is the newest way to approach integrations and is really borne out the reality of the resulting customer experience being differentiator. In this approach, a third-party platform manages the endpoints and settings on behalf of the vendors. Low-code integration offers customers and end users a one-stop-shop to get access to hundreds of different integration combinations.

With more integration approaches and capabilities available than ever, you can more easily connect all your CX technologies to ensure you win over your customers on any channel. But before you embark on such cohesiveness initiatives, ensure you have a roadmap for integrating applications, as well as your marketing, and customer data ensure you set out to provide the CX your customers want and avoid making any costly mistakes.

About the Author

David Schweer

David Schweer is a Director of Product Marketing for Aprimo focusing on solution positioning, field enablement, and managing release information for the Aprimo platform. He has held various roles in Solution Consulting, Product Marketing, and R&D for London-based SDL, plc, Teradata, and Prysm. David received his MBA from Butler University and is based in Indianapolis, IN.

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