By Nicolas Chammas, Persado, SVP of Global Corporate Development and Partnerships and Lauren Birks, Persado Director of Corporate Development and Partnerships
Marketing is a business of overused buzzwords and catchy phrases. “100% seamless integrations” is one of them. In a perfect world, marketers would have access to a native integration and, with the push of a button, they’d be able to generate and deploy the perfect customer experience every time.
Integrations are rarely that seamless, though it won’t stop MarTech vendors from pitching their products as such. The truth is, the most important question CMOs, Chief Product Officers and CEOs need to ask when evaluating their current MarTech stacks — and before adding any “shiny new objects” — is “what is our time to value?”
Transformative experiences, significant ROI, incremental revenue (more buzzwords!), along with easy integrations all sound great. However, without proper vetting, marketing stack additions can wind up costing CMOs millions of dollars in implementation fees, take many months just to get started, and can lead to a messy tech stack. This all takes the focus away from the bottom line: brands providing their customers with a seamless experience with every interaction. So much for a magic button, right?
According to Forbes, the average CMO tenure is less than four years. As such, senior marketers don’t have a full year to waste on a technology that may produce results. CMOs (and their CEOs) wanted more customer engagement yesterday. They can’t spend months waiting for a long and complicated implementation. This is why even though there’s no magic button, there is a huge opportunity for plug-and-play products that produce immediate results. Technologies that can make an immediate, barrier-free impact this quarter, bring compound value by multiplying the impact of existing investments without integration hurdles.
MarTech, by definition, is technical. How can a CMO ensure their MarTech stack remains efficient and that any addition fits within the existing system? Looking at vendors who have existing integrations is one of the easiest ways to do this. If you already work with Salesforce, Oracle or Adobe, and want to add Artificial Intelligence, look for a solution which not only demonstrates seamless integration but also one that offers immediate time-to-value. This way, as a CMO, your team won’t be burdened with a complex and costly implementation, and you will be able to produce results for your CEO, Board and Investors much sooner. This can also make it much easier to get organizational buy-in — what CEO wants to hear that they won’t see results for at least a year? And what CFO wants to hear that in addition to shelling out millions of dollars for new technology, they must spend multiples of that just to get it up and running?
There will always be large scale, major implementations that require the expertise of an Accenture or Deloitte and the like, but not all additions to marketers’ tech stack should be this complex. When marketers are able to deploy campaigns quickly and gain learnings sooner, rather than waiting months to benefit from new technology, they can focus on driving results and learning from each campaign thanks to efficient, effective technology. The bottom line is, your MarTech stack may not be 100% seamless (hint: it almost never is). If time-to-value is immediate, your customers are going to enjoy better experiences sooner, and your CEO and CFO will be thrilled with the results.