As Cloud and mobile technologies are highly disrupting the consuming habits and the market, marketers need to take this new paradigm into account. This comes with a huge number of new tools marketers need to compare, select and adopt to keep up doing their job right and cope with those new challenges.
According to ChiefMartec.com, the number of marketing tools in the past year alone has grown by 87% over the past year, up to 3500. This definitely reflects the technology tsunami we are going through.
The 5 main categories are:
- Sales Automation, Enablement & Intelligence: 220 solutions
- Social Media Marketing & Monitoring: 186 solutions
- Display & Programmatic Advertising: 180 solutions
- Marketing Automation & Campaign/Lead Management: 161 solutions
- Content Marketing: 160 solutions
In addition to the tedious tasks of making the due diligence work to select the right tools and the effort needed to adopt those tools, marketers face another nightmare: “how do I integrate those tools together?”
In a recent article published on MartechAdvisor.com, Mark Geene, Founder & CEO at Cloud Elements states that, “as businesses become more digital, they must address the critical challenge of making sense of the magnitude of customer data flowing in and out of marketing automation apps. This can be made all the more difficult with the wrong approach”.
While marketing team prefer leveraging SaaS applications, pay for and run them by themselves without IT interfering in their operational needs and contributing this way to the development of shadow IT, this integration issue becomes a big challenge: “how the hell can I integrate my different marketing tools to leverage my investments and be more efficient ? Do I need to spend my time exporting and importing files manually from one tool to the other? And how do I leverage information from my existing CRM or marketing automation systems?”
Asking IT after deciding choosing a solution in their back would be an awkward situation for sure; but assuming they might be willing to do the job, how long do you think this is going to take them to make the integration right ? They will need to build multiple API-based connectors that require by definition a lot of monitoring and maintenance effort to make sure they keep working over time – yes, Cloud apps evolve all the time and their APIs too …
That’s why, when it comes to connectors, a “buy” approach is much more efficient than a “build” approach. Better rely on vendors specialized in Cloud app integration, commonly called iPaaS vendors, such as Cloud Elements. There are also vendors like Axway who are offering more limited iPaaS capabilities on top of a leading API Management solution and this might sometimes be enough to do the job right with no need for multiple investments in integration technologies. If you want to learn more about it, check out what is iPaaS …