Systems Orchestration: How To Optimize Your Marketing Technology Stack

Written by: Alayna Carlson
     

If your business has done any digital marketing recently, you may feel like the last thing you need is more technology.

And you may be right.

On average, marketers use more than 12 different technology tool sets every day, and 61% of marketers struggle because their technologies don’t talk to each other. They want better integration of their marketing tools.

Getting systems to integrate and communicate with each other, and getting data to transfer from one system to another, have long been challenges for businesses that practice digital marketing. Finally, there is a solution to this problem: systems orchestration.

The Marketing Technology Glut

There are thousands of applications available to marketers to help them automate marketing processes that once had to be done manually. The combination of tools you implement form your marketing stack: a grouping of technologies that make difficult and repetitive processes easier and more efficient.

You may already be familiar with some of these technologies:

  • Analytics tools
  • Email automation tools
  • Content management systems (CMS)
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
  • Ecommerce tools
  • Digital advertising platforms
  • SEO tools
  • Cloud storage tools
  • Web hosting platforms
  • AI/chatbots

The results of this technology glut have mostly been positive.

Marketers can now demonstrate how they contribute directly to business revenue by reporting on the most granular analytics. They can scrutinize each individual campaign and measure how subtle changes influence their results.

For example, instead of email blasts, marketers can create long, elaborate chains of automated emails that provide leads exactly what they need to move forward in their buyer’s journey. They can be personalized and sent at optimal times to ensure their effectiveness.

Sales and marketing no longer need to work in siloed environments. With shared technologies, marketers and salespeople can build campaigns together and hand off leads with almost no friction.

The issue is the complexity of all these tools and the wide array of options presented to businesses and marketing departments. In 2017, there were at least 5,381 marketing technology offerings on the market.

Many of these “platforms” have APIs that let them synchronize with other applications, but they vary. When internal and external technologies, processes, and resources don’t connect with one another, it becomes difficult to deliver a positive and measured customer experience.

What is Systems Orchestration?

The best way to understand systems orchestration is to compare it to automation.

When we talk about automation, we’re talking about making a single task execute automatically. This could be an email that gets triggered by a customer action or an automated process for qualifying a lead.

Systems orchestration, sometimes referred to as application orchestration or marketing orchestration, has its roots in the IT field. Automation is a part of it, but systems orchestration refers to an integration of systems and processes on a much grander scale.

  • From a customer’s perspective, systems orchestration is a process that provides the right personalized experiences across every channel the customer uses. These experiences aren’t just synchronized across touchpoints; they’re consistent, no matter how the customer interacts with the company.
  • From the company’s perspective, systems orchestration is a process of bringing every technology asset together to work in concert, whether it’s an outward-facing marketing technology or an internal process. Ideally, every system should work seamlessly together to create a more perfect organization.

New technology is added strategically and integrated into the existing system easily.

With a clearer view of how their systems function together, CMOs and other decision-makers can make more informed technology purchasing decisions. This leads to fewer random technology purchases, fewer wasted investments, and less unused technology.

For example, for marketing and sales, a CRM often serves as a base of operations from a technology perspective. If every other system integrates with the CRM, whether it’s an email client, an analytical tool, or a billing system, the company can get a clearer understanding of how all their technology works together.

How Orchestration Works with Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing, once revolutionary, is now a standard marketing practice for many companies. Inevitably, successful inbound marketing depends on how customer data is collected and utilized.

Marketers have a wealth of customer data. But not everyone knows how to use it.

According to a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), 43% of the companies surveyed said they obtained little benefit from their data and 23% said they derive no benefit whatsoever.

Drawing insights from customer data, marketers can build personalized experiences that nurture leads through their buying journey and beyond, on as many channels as that lead touches. When all their marketing systems are working in tandem, businesses can get a full picture of how each customer enters the system, engages with the company, converts, buys, and stays satisfied.

Businesses can also use systems orchestration to synchronize their campaigns.

Instead of one-shot marketing campaigns that target one stage of the buying journey, business can build end-to-end nurturing campaigns that easily move different buyer personas from brand awareness, to purchase, to repeat customer.

Start Orchestrating Your Marketing Systems

First, you should do an analysis of all your current marketing systems. If your technology purchases were random in the past, you may have some redundancies.

You may even have systems or services that you are paying for but hardly using. Now is the time to eliminate some of this technology glut.

Second, you’ll need a central system of record for all your contacts and customers. If your current CRM doesn’t integrate with your other systems, it may be time to consider a new CRM.

Before choosing a new CRM, you’ll need an API strategy.

Don’t just adopt new technology components as needs arise. Try to map out in advance which software components, apps, and add-ons you’ll need for your marketing efforts. This will help you choose the right CRM, as only CRMs that integrate with these components will be viable.

And finally, get help from a marketing and technology integration partner to coordinate the purchasing and implementation of your marketing technology stack. Ideally, this partner will also help you build and execute marketing campaigns once your technology stack is implemented.

Ready to get started?

Contact Growth Panda today to find out more about orchestrating all your marketing systems. We'll help you make strategic technology decisions, provide custom integration services, and help you execute end-to-end marketing campaigns that deliver results.