When it comes to investing in their tech stacks, marketers need to prioritize platform extensibility as a must-have in 2021. That’s because after a year of radically changing shopping and communication habits due to the pandemic, consumers demand consistent experiences at every turn more than ever before.
As companies try to keep in touch with customers across multiple channels and touchpoints – including website, email, text message, and social media – the term ‘consistent experiences’ has come to mean consistent omnichannel experiences. Tech stack investments are trending accordingly: The number of companies investing in omnichannel experiences has jumped from 20% to more than 80% in 2020.
But there is a catch. Consistent omnichannel experiences require a high level of integration across the entire stack. It’s more than a matter of purchasing countless new apps for new touchpoints. Without integration, marketing automation quickly runs amok, and customers become frustrated by receiving offers for products they have already purchased, don’t even want, or worse, had to return to the seller.
So it’s no surprise that ‘integrating disparate tools’ emerges as the number one challenge for digital marketers right now; to a point where 38% of marketers prioritize technologies that integrate well with existing tools in their tech stacks.
This is exactly why extensible marketing platforms like Selligent Marketing Cloud chart a way forward by adding layers of connected functionality around a solid (data) core. Find out the details in our new brochure on Marketing Platform Extensibility, available now for free download. It shows the keys to delivering contextually relevant consumer experiences across channels and devices, using powerful connectors and APIs to orchestrate all tools in the stack based on the latest customer data.
QUICK PRIMER: WHAT IS PLATFORM EXTENSIBILITY?
Too busy to read a full brochure? No worries, here’s a TL/DR primer. In a nutshell, platform extensibility is the potential to expand the impact of a digital marketing platform by adding more data sources and functional features. And to do so in a manner that maintains full data integrity at every turn (more on that later).
Selligent Marketing Cloud has been built with extensibility at the very core. Out of the box, the platform is ready to synch with other tools in the tech stack via APIs and connectors for data sharing and integrations. This applies to both standard connectors as well as customized integrations with a client’s business intelligence.
The true mark of an extensible platform is the ability to easily connect to any other solution and combine data from various sources. And in the next step, make that data actionable for users across an organization as well as marketing-specific AI for personalized and laser-focused engagement on an omnichannel scale.
WHY MARKETING PLATFORM EXTENSIBILITY MATTERS IN 2021
At a time when 71% of consumers expect customer service to know their full story after the first contact, companies are faced with the challenge of aligning massive streams of data into a 360-degree customer view. Ultimately, hard-wiring your marketing automation to real-time behavioral and transactional data is the only way to avoid frustration, disconnected experiences and out-of-context messages.
For this to happen, a truly extensible platform needs to ensure the unhindered flow of real-time data across the entire stack. Even if the data is collected and maintained by different tools and apps, there can be no silos or lags. This is why marketing platform extensibility matters in 2021, and why it’s built into the core fabric of Selligent Marketing Cloud.
At its core, the Selligent platform synthesizes all consumer data into a rich universal profile for every consumer. And thanks to its extensible architecture, the platform constantly imports data from all consumer engagement channels to enrich these profiles and provide marketers with a 360-degree customer view. In the next step, the platform can filter, analyze, and make relevant this profile data, so it becomes actionable in customer journeys in real-time.
So whenever our built-in AI engine Selligent Cortex creates personalized offers for specific customers, the latest data flows from universal consumer profiles. When our Smart Audiences functionality defines the optimal customer segments for a campaign or message, it’s based on the latest data from universal consumer profiles. And when our Send Time Optimization (STO) feature automatically calculates the perfect time when an individual consumer is most receptive to marketing messages, the underlying data comes from… you get the picture!
SELLIGENT CLIENTS TURN PLATFORM EXTENSIBILITY INTO WINNING INITIATIVES
When it comes to integrating their own solutions into Selligent, our clients can rely on our open and flexible data layer to modify their data schema and manipulate their data however they choose. Selligent leverages APIs and connectors to connect to other tools for frictionless synchronization of key information without limits. No predefined or restrictive data models. Just a customer-specific set-up that can evolve over time as new solutions become part of the stack.
Here are two examples of how Selligent empowers marketers to connect all the dots and deliver the kind of personalized omnichannel experiences customers have come to demand:
1. Essent: Fighting churn by checking in proactively across channels
As a major energy provider in the Benelux region, utilities company Essent sells gas and electricity to households as well as companies located in Belgium. Like every company in this highly competitive segment, Essent is battling a wide-spread problem: Churn, meaning customers signing over to competitors without prior notice.
To make a change, Essent drew on the Selligent platform’s extensibility: Via a customized API, the company was able to connect its customer database to Selligent’s full-fledged omnichannel engagement capabilities. Since connecting the dots, Essent has sent over 300 ‘check in’ email messages per day to gauge customer satisfaction surveys. The automated campaigns include automatic call center follow-ups to discuss customer contracts and discounts, replete with reminder SMS messages.
This level of omnichannel integration between personalized engagement and customer-specific business intelligence has reduced churn and delivered outstanding results: With 60% Average Open Rate and over 30% Click to Open rate, the campaign is outperforming previous KPIs as a prime example of putting customer data to work in an integrated, relevant manner.
2. NDC Mediagroup: Connecting the dots with live events
NDC Mediagroep is a Dutch publishing house known for some of the country’s most widely read newspapers, weeklies, magazines, and websites. At the same time, the company attracts large crowds of consumers with live events. But looking at statistics from these events, the company needed a way to opt attendees into receiving follow-up emails and retargeting.
As a solution, the team envisioned an event management software tool capable of scanning at least 2,000 visitors in one hour, while providing instant reporting about number of visitors and making contact data available for follow-up communications once the event is over. To make it happen, NDC developed the event tool in an open-source format with a special twist: The front-end application communicates with the backend in Selligent via API.
As a result of this integration, attendees enjoy a seamless experience: They use one QR code to access the venue and all workshops. And thanks to integrating the relational database with Selligent, all event data, as well as clicks, views, and order data are linked to a consumer profile. This provides the key to automated follow-ups triggered in Selligent based on attended workshops. The numbers speak for themselves: Thousands of event attendees – previously lost to follow-up marketing – have opted into communications and email view rates have shot from 35% to over 75%. All it took was connecting live events and email marketing via an API!
So there you have it: With platform extensibility emerging as a must-have in 2021, our flexible, hyper-connected platform allows marketers to make the most out of tools in their stacks and maximize returns on their marketing technology investments.
If this quick primer caught your interest, dive deeper. Learn more about how an extensible marketing platform like Selligent can help your brand create relevant and data-driven consumer experiences by downloading our new brochure on extensibility.
Also feel free to book a demo of our platform to see how Selligent Marketing Cloud breaks down data silos and ties all your customer interactions and data points into a unified picture, to make marketing personal.