Demystify Marketing Technology Integration

August 8, 2018
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Ask the right questions to build better marketing technology integrations.

Whether you’re a marketing leader who prefers to work with a handful of technology vendors or you have a stack comprising dozens of software solutions, you know these tools must work together to deliver results. But this notion of marketing technology integration is often ambiguous. There are myriad ways to sync data, content and business logic across systems to deliver cohesive, intuitive experiences across different customer journeys.

“Always ask relevant questions about your own internal needs and the capabilities you want to enable.”

“To get marketing technologies to ‘play nice’ together, you have to first ask the right questions,” says Bryan Yeager, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner for Marketers. “As you evaluate new solutions and partners to continue building out your marketing technology stack, you must first investigate your own internal needs and the capabilities you want to enable.”

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Ask the right questions

Actively engage with your internal technology teams about the integration capabilities they provide. Ask vendors and other external partners about various integration options they provide to ensure your needs are met.

  1. What use case am I trying to support with a specific integration?
    Many integrations simply pass data from one system to another based on defined business rules or event triggers. A common example: Lead information that’s captured through a nurture campaign from a marketing automation platform, then passed to a CRM system for access by business development reps and other salespeople. Make sure to define the use case you want to enable through integration before you consider options.
  2. Where does marketing technology fit within the broader enterprise technology ecosystem?
    It’s important to build and maintain a healthy relationship with enterprise IT counterparts. IT teams manage many critical upstream and downstream data dependencies that marketing relies on, such as internal user directories and billing systems.
  3. Is there any additional cost associated with activating and maintaining integrations?
    Some providers may charge for access to individual connectors or institute pricing based on the number of API calls to their system. Any type of customization that requires a professional services team is likely to incur additional costs. Get a clear picture of the potential costs early in the process, and build a case to justify the value that the integration will deliver over time.
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