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On Marketing Technology Evolution: From Tools of Engagement to a System of Insight

Marketing technology has evolved fast during the past decade and today there are thousands of applications.

Matti Airas / April 25, 2019

The majority of these tools have a narrow functional scope: you can engage with customers in social media or send emails; you can design surveys or analyse web behaviour; you can figure out IP addresses or hunt for mentions about your brand and topic on social media, and so on.

While most of these tools work very well as stand-alone tools, they don't naturally form an integrated system without careful planning and design. In most large organisation these tools are used by many people, often in many locations around the world. The standalone nature of marketing tools and the way they are used makes it difficult to provide a consistent customer experience.

Marketing automation platform was originally developed to become the point of customer experience orchestration, but if you look at the figure below, marketing automation is just one component in a larger system, in which the pieces don't quite fit together.

Figure 1: Typical martech suite components

Figure 1. is an example of a martech suite. In this example, we have divided the tools into "On stage" customer-facing and "Back stage" workflow communications and reporting tools, and we have placed the tools into functional categories. This is a good first step towards system thinking, but it doesn't mean that the tools know about each other and work as one system.

There is no technical reason why marketing tools cannot be integrated. Most of the tools have good APIs for integration. For example, in order to have a functional handover from marketing to sales, marketing automation and CRM must be synced. But most often in the cases we have seen, the majority of the tools function more or less in a silo, run by one or two people in the organisation without a formal interface to other tools, systems and people. We believe that the reason for this is the lack of system thinking in marketing organisations.

Without system thinking it is difficult to provide good data, and good data is the prerequisite for predictive marketing. In the marketing evolution path towards predicting customer behaviour, the next step is a system of insight that offers differentiation.

Figure 2: From tools of engagement to a system of insight

Customers don't care or even know that you have many tools and many teams generating the customer experience. They just expect a factually and emotionally satisfying and consistent customer experience. The source for a consistent and excellent customer experience is good data – and good data requires system thinking. This means that you need to have a system in place, in order to orchestrate customer experience. In our next blog post we will introduce a reference design for a system of insight. I

Interested in hearing more? Contact us for a free consultation and let's see how System of Insight can work for you.


Co-authors Matti Airas and Olli Karioja

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Matti Airas
Lead Business Consultant, Marketing Science Team, Customer Experience Management

Matti Airas is an expert in customer feedback management, marketing automation, predictive marketing analytics, and how to use data and machine learning to automatically trigger customer interactions. Before joining Tieto, Matti worked for a customer feedback analysis company Etuma and before that Nokia in the U.S.

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Matti Airas

Lead Business Consultant, Marketing Science Team, Customer Experience Management

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