Did you know that on average there are more than 17 different tools and services in use in most companies’ marketing ecosystems? If you start counting, I’m sure that your count racks up quickly as well.
The digital marketing ecosystem is comprised of different tools and technologies that all have their special use or function. The functions vary from data handling to website management and marketing automation.
In this blog post, I concentrate on the tools that improve the customer experience. Some of these tools are not aimed at directly improving the experience, but in the end they all affect it.
If we take a look at my previous post where the path from data to improved customer experience was outlined, we can peg different tools of the marketing ecosystem to each step of the path.
Some tools may have a direct effect on customer experiences, such as A/B testing or UI-related tools, but the biggest impact that the marketing ecosystem has on customer experience comes from the process flow outlined in the following four steps.
All the tools used during the four-step process are important and needed when progressing to the next step and finally achieving the results of an improved customer experience. But when used individually as a single tool, for example, a data analytics tool does not visibly improve the customer experience. The point of the digital marketing ecosystem is to combine and integrate individual tools into one system to reach new capabilities beyond those of any single tool.
So, what are the most important digital marketing tools along the path to success? Let’s go through the path step by step:
Step 1: Customer data = Integrations
By having an integrated marketing ecosystem, you and your marketing tools can analyse the data better and form an understanding of the possible customer better. Gathering customer data from all possible channels is important when you want to find behavioural patterns and predict customers’ purchasing behaviour. The data gathered through integrations will form the basis of the steps.
Step 2: Knowledge of the customer = Analytics
Analytics tools are getting more and more sophisticated. Some use machine learning and AI to analyse customers and their behaviour, both individually and by segments. When there is enough data to process, different analytics tools can predict customer behaviour based on analogous customers and discernible patterns. With analytics tools, a company can better understand their customer and form a holistic view of them, which lets them put better next actions into place.
Step 3: Segmenting = CRM
When customer data has been analysed, customers can be segmented and assigned to different groups or tagged appropriately in the CRM. Then customer relationship management tools can help to nurture and follow up on customers during their journey.
Step 4: Targeting and personalisation = Marketing automation
In the fourth step, marketing automation tools enter the picture as the provider of relevant content and the workhorse of lead nurturing.
With the help of the tools in the previous steps, automation can be used to send emails, recommend content such as blog posts, offer special discounts and more using data analysed and different behavioural patterns that automation has recognised.
Customers have a better experience when we can offer them relevant information and content based on their true interests and if we can fulfil their needs and offer solutions to their problems.
When the customer experience is improved through relevance, many of the usual tools in the marketing ecosystem can be seen as drivers and enablers of an improved digital customer experience.
Remember—it’s not about individual tools; it’s about utilising the capabilities of individual tools to help the next tool and in the end, fully utilising the whole ecosystem, with an improved customer experience in mind!
About the writer
Tuomas Pitkänen is a fresh graduate from Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku and co-founder of Hydrohex Ltd, a sports start-up providing water exercise techniques. This ambitious problem solver has marketing analytics in mind, his left foot in the startup world, his right foot in video production and content creation at heart. Some of his biggest passions are aerial photography and fiddling with custom mechanical keyboards. If you hear lots of loud keyboard clicking, that’s probably Tuomas.
Tuomas Pitkänen received a scholarship from ID BBN for his master’s study and Susanna Juusti from ID BBN was his mentor during the research. ID BBN collaborates closely with the educational institutes of marketing and technology.