Guide to Setup an Integrated Digital Marketing Ecosystem
Defining and establishing your brand image with random acts of digital marketing can be a resource consuming and strenuous job. However, an integrated digital marketing ecosystem is well positioned to meeting new challenges of digital space and developing personalised connections with target customer. The real challenge is combining the independent pieces of silos for online brand promotion, i.e., SEO, PPC, SMO, etc. and making them work together. Here is a guide for setting up an integrated digital marketing environment which can create relevance, consistent branding, and top of mind awareness:
1. Prepare an Integrated Strategy Beforehand: It is important to prepare an integrated strategy which profiles customer demographics and behavior. The strategy must encompass different channels with closest proximity to target customers. For example, not every business will require a Facebook page but for some it will be highly relevant. Identifying the right channel and integrating them will help marketers in reaching the partners in simple, convenient and effective way. The integration strategy must encompass three important aspects:
Data: Businesses have piles of raw & unstructured business data locked in siloed IT systems and databases. For impactful marketing campaigns, marketing teams should have the customer centric information at their fingertips. An Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) solution can help businesses in deriving actionable insights from raw & unstructured data.
Content: Apart from delivering the right content to the right audience it is important to ensure that the content is enriched and interactive. The integration strategy should be able to combine platforms like Ahref, and Buzzsumo for delivering content to the customers which is impactful and drives more value.
Analytics: To make the digital marketing efforts meaningful, smart and relevant the analytics infrastructure must be brought under the ambit of integrated digital marketing strategy. The framework must support the marketing channels like SEO, SMO, Mobile, Ecommerce, etc. to deliver actionable customer centric information. This can help organizations in understanding the exact needs of their customers and delivering them quality service.
2. Connect The Marketing Technologies: Gartner Survey 2016-2017 confirms that companies will spend more money on digital marketing technologies for advertising and marketing. There is no doubt that digital marketing is the next big thing of the future. But companies should not blindly follow the trend and have in place an interwoven mesh to connect technologies and align them with business goals. Expert digital marketers recommend to have a ‘Create One Publish Everywhere Approach’ to strategically link digital marketing technologies for conversion optimization, email marketing, analytics and search engine marketing.
Another relevant capability is to identify the volume of data which will be processed between systems. There is nothing bad for taking the help of information solution experts who can give advice on data load balancing requirements. This practice will also help teams in understanding the data flow patterns required to ensure seamless flow of data.
Knowing the pattern will help companies in dealing with sudden traffic spikes in form submissions due to a new product launch, webinar or event.
Which is the most important strategy in Integrated Digital Marketing?
3. Define Controls for Communication: It is important to define tools and triggers for creating the structural framework of integrated ecosystem. At the outset, the following points shall be made clear:
- How the marketing data will be shared between stakeholders
- Tools required for sharing the campaign related data between cross cultural teams.
- Communication setup for effective team collaboration.
- Assigning roles to stakeholders for different digital marketing campaigns.
This exercise will help teams in setting up a collaborative ecosystem to support content promotion, social PR, email marketing, and affiliate network marketing operations. For example, some Marketing Automated platforms provision Salesforce integration as well to help marketers in customizing data models and functionalities as per specific business rules.
Some other things to consider in this regard is whether selecting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) or Representational State Transfer (REST) API based integration systems. REST is comparatively a newer communication protocol which uses JSON data format than SOAP which uses XML data format.
Therefore, it is better to read more case studies about different integration terminologies and concepts. Staying updated with the Martech will help teams in setting up an integration framework which can be customized as per specific and necessary marketing functions.
4. Identify Training & Development Needs: The scope of DIgital marketing is not limited to simply deploying marketing systems and it is a cultural and permanent shift. Business teams must have the expertise to integrate the disparate marketing systems. The marketing teams must have the ability to configure and reconfigure applications effortlessly.
Organizations shall appoint Integration consultants to evaluate specific training and development needs of employees. The training sessions can empower marketers in configuring connections between marketing technologies to meet shifting business requirements.
Marketing teams often work like a sack of corn, Independent yet united. They often work on disparate marketing projects. The training and development strategy shall ensure that all members are delivering consistent marketing mix and brand standards across campaign. Similarly, there shall be strong inter-wiring between internal and external marketing agencies to ensure that a brand delivers consistent messaging.
5. Find Solutions for Cloud Integration: Large and medium size organizations face huge problems when their cloud and on-premise business systems run into conflict. Using manual coding and homegrown solutions can be a resource consuming job. A strategically wise decision is to use a B2B integration platform or integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS). Advanced platform & enterprise class solutions help in:
Publishing content from a central interface.
Managing field mappings or system configurations
Connecting with the API of the target systems.
Maintaining active data exchange sessions.
Retrieving specific information for retrieving
With over 1000 players in the B2B integration space, It is quintessential to have some considerations for selecting an advanced integration platform as well. An ideal integration iPaaS platform should enable non-tech users, and business partners to create rich workflows and manage application networks with minimum coding.
6. Measure Performance: An integrated marketing ecosystem should provide Knowledge Performance Indicators (KPI) and metrics to measure & improve the online marketing efforts. This will also help in understanding the channel performance, driving traffic towards the B2B or B2C website and fostering cross channel performance. Information related to online traffic, social sharing, theme traffic, etc. can help teams in developing deeper and meaningful connections with the target audience.
The technology stack needs to have the performance controls to measure the outcomes. These indicators will help in understanding how the digital marketing operations are performing together. That’s why Having performance measuring controls is always a strategically wise decision.
Integrating the digital marketing efforts is not as difficult as companies believe. Following this starter kit can help businesses in creating an integrated digital marketing ecosystem. An integrated marketing environment can reduce wastage of efforts, improve productivity, increase leads and ensure 70% more conversions. More importantly, a digital marketing team with better linkage and connectivity is far more well positioned and connected to cover important business touch points.