By Nada daVeiga
I’ll start with the frosting. As far as I can tell, it’s been the Year of the Customer for several years now. During this time, every company has gotten the “customer experience” (CX) religion – improve it or die. Thousands of software applications have emerged during what’s now called the Age of the Customer, focused on improving CX by providing the right individual with the right interaction or information, at the right time.
The Age of the Customer has spawned an entirely new software category, marketing technology (martech), chronicled tirelessly by industry analyst Scott Brinker, who goes by @chiefmartec on Twitter. His oft-shared, visual history of the martech product landscape looks like this:
Of the 2017 marketing technology landscape, Brinker notes:
- There are now 5,381 solutions on the graphic, 39 percent more than last year
- There are now 4,891 unique companies on the graphic, up 40 percent from last year
- Only 4.7% of the solutions from 2016 were removed (and another 3.5 percent changed in some fundamental way – their name, their focus, or their ownership)
Where’s the cake?
My point is that there is a lot of frosting here – thousands of applications designed to address the sexiest elements of customer experience. But what’s missing is cake. Data is the cake onto which martech frosting should be added. Integrated enterprise data is the foundation for effective CX strategies to be built on because otherwise, you’re just playing an expensive guessing game.
That’s where enterprise integration comes in. With the expansion of digital channels and new customer initiatives, the variety and volume of customer signals are more diverse than ever. Beyond classical CRM systems around sales and service, understanding the customer lifecycle means bringing together data from, in addition to martech apps, sources including social media, websites, field service, quote management apps, and Internet-enabled things like mobile devices to sensors.
Bake the cake – integrate your enterprise data
More than ever, your company needs to focus on the cake of data, and the enterprise integration required to create it. The good news is, today’s enterprise integration cloud solutions make it easier than ever to build a rich data foundation for comprehensive, effective initiatives in the Age of the Customer.
To learn how to design your integration strategy to enable success with your customer initiatives, download the white paper, “Integration in the age of the customer: The five keys to connecting and elevating customer experience.” In it, you’ll find actionable insights on how to optimize your organization’s data integration strategy for the digital customer, including:
- Why you need to ensure your organization’s integration strategy is customer-focused
- How to plan around the entire customer lifecycle
- Which five integration strategies help speed customer analytics and experience initiatives
- How to put the odds of customer success in your favor
Nada daVeiga is VP Worldwide Pre-Sales, Customer Success, and Professional Services at SnapLogic. Follow her on Twitter @nrdaveiga.
 “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2017): Martech 5000,” Scott Brinker, May 10, 2017.