A few years ago, the next generation of Unified Communications (UC) ushered in capabilities that changed the way people work. What were once seen as disparate technologies had unified and delivered business value when UC was imbedded into operational processes. Analysts and media have even begun reporting that UC improves customer engagement and satisfaction. Although making it all work across an organization isn’t always easy, the combination of different data brought together and integrated into business processes is allowing quicker and better business decisions.
Like Unified Communications, the next generation of marketing data and analytics is likely to require big changes and it also is all about unifying and imbedding it into more business processes. Similarity is also apparent in some target goals as both look to provide abilities to quickly make business actionable decisions and to allow that insight to occur across more business areas. In the case of customer engagement, that can be any business area that is tangent to the marketing goals.
So if marketing technology has some similarities to UC, where are we in the evolution of obtaining the bigger benefits?
Today, marketing data and analytics platforms are becoming more robust and integrated when delivered to target market areas, but they still lack intuitive means for a broader workforce to react upon them or even the ability to imbed the information into broader sets of business processes. So like the disparate communications tools before UC, the next generation of marketing data and analytics platforms requires a more holistic approach on how data and analytics can be used.
Some of the changes required include: the consolidation of many more online and offline data sources; greater need to be agile and dynamic; the abilities to perform analytic and data transformation executions in real-time and to accommodate links across business processes to be able to intelligently drive communications – not just in the marketing arena. This next-generation marketing technology must therefore have ease of convergence, consolidation and integrate data from all channels, as well as use analytics to “productionize” messaging insights and rules so they are consumable across a company.
For many businesses that might have disjointed market data and/or platforms that don’t lend themselves to consolidated analytics without expertise and integration efforts, the evolution of the next-generation unified marketing technology solution may not come fast enough. But don’t despair, as there are solutions that can help as the technology evolves.
So what to do while waiting for these next generations of unified marketing technology systems to emerge?
We will explore some answers to that question next time.
About the Author:
Mike Fuqua is the Chief Technology Officer at SIGMA Marketing Group, a marketing technology and strategy agency. Connect with Mike on or follow him on .